Low back pain (LBP) is a well-recognized public health problem with no clear gold standard medical approach to treatment. Thus, those with LBP frequently turn to treatments such as spinal manipulation (SM). Many clinical trials have been conducted to evaluate the efficacy or effectiveness of SM for LBP. The primary objective of this paper was to describe the current literature on patient-centered outcomes following a specific type of commonly used SM, high-velocity low-amplitude (HVLA), in patients with LBP. A systematic search strategy was used to capture all LBP clinical trials of HVLA using our predefined patient-centered outcomes: visual analogue scale, numerical pain rating scale, Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, and the Oswestry Low Back Pain Disability Index. Of the 1294 articles identified by our search, 38 met our eligibility criteria. Like previous SM for LBP systematic reviews, this review shows a small but consistent treatment effect at least as large as that seen in other conservative methods of care. The heterogeneity and inconsistency in reporting within the studies reviewed makes it difficult to draw definitive conclusions. Future SM studies for LBP would benefit if some of these issues were addressed by the scientific community before further research in this area is conducted.
Copyright © 2012. Published by Elsevier Ltd.