Objective: To evaluate the short-term effect on spinal mobility, pain perception, neural mechanosensitivity, and full height recovery after high-velocity, low-amplitude (HVLA) spinal manipulation (SM) in the lumbosacral joint (L5-S1).
Design: Randomized, double-blind, controlled clinical trial with evaluations at baseline and after intervention.
Setting: University-based physical therapy research clinic.
Participants: Men (N=40; mean age ± SD, 38 ± 9.14 y) with diagnosed degenerative lumbar disease at L5-S1 were randomly divided into 2 groups: a treatment group (TG) (n=20; mean age ± SD, 39 ± 9.12 y) and a control group (CG) (n=20; mean age ± SD, 37 ± 9.31 y). All participants completed the intervention and follow-up evaluations.
Interventions: A single L5-S1 SM technique (pull-move) was performed in the TG, whereas the CG received a single placebo intervention.
Main outcome measures: Measures included assessing the subject's height using a stadiometer. The secondary outcome measures included perceived low back pain, evaluated using a visual analog scale; neural mechanosensitivity, as assessed using the passive straight-leg raise (SLR) test; and amount of spinal mobility in flexion, as measured using the finger-to-floor distance (FFD) test.
Results: The intragroup comparison indicated a significant improvement in all variables in the TG (P<.001). There were no changes in the CG, except for the FFD test (P=.008). In the between-group comparison of the mean differences from pre- to postintervention, there was statistical significance for all cases (P<.001).
Conclusions: An HVLA SM in the lumbosacral joint performed on men with degenerative disk disease immediately improves self-perceived pain, spinal mobility in flexion, hip flexion during the passive SLR test, and subjects' full height. Future studies should include women and should evaluate the long-term results.
Keywords: Intervertebral disc degeneration; Intervertebral disc disease; Manipulation, spinal; Rehabilitation.
Copyright © 2014 American Congress of Rehabilitation Medicine. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.