The effect of manual therapy and exercise in patients with chronic low back pain: Double blind randomized controlled trial

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2017 Nov 6;30(6):1303-1309. doi: 10.3233/BMR-169673.


Background and objectives: To determine the effects of spinal stabilization exercises (SSE) and manual therapy methods on pain, function and quality of life (QoL) levels in individuals with chronic low back pain (CLBP).

Methods: A total of one-hundred thirteen patients diagnosed as CLBP were enrolled to the study. The patients allocated into Spinal Stabilization group (SG) and manual therapy group (MG), randomly. While SSE performed in SG, soft tissue mobilizations, muscle-energy techniques, joint mobilizations and manipulations were performed in MG. While the severity of pain was assessed with Visual Analog Scale (VAS), Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Short Form 36 (SF-36) assessments were performed to evaluate the functional status and QoL, respectively. All assessments were repeated before and after the treatment.

Results: Intragroup analyses both treatments were effective in terms of sub parameters of pain, function and life quality (p< 0.05). Inter group analyses, there was more reduction in pain and improvement in functional status in favor of MG (p< 0.05).

Conclusions: This study showed that SSE and manual therapy methods have the same effects on QoL, while the manual treatment is more effective on the pain and functional parameters in particular.

Keywords: Low back pain; exercise; pain; quality of life; rehabilitation.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Therapy*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Low Back Pain / rehabilitation*
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Manipulations*
  • Quality of Life
  • Visual Analog Scale
  • Young Adult