A benefit of spinal manipulation as adjunctive therapy for acute low-back pain: a stratified controlled trial

Spine (Phila Pa 1976). 1987 Sep;12(7):702-6.


Fifty-four subjects volunteered to participate in a controlled study contrasting spinal manipulation with spinal mobilization without the rotational forces and leverage required to move facet joints. All suffered from regional low-back pain for less than 1 month, were ages 18-40, had never previously undergone any form of spinal manipulation, and denied a prior episode of backache within the previous 6 months. Randomization was stratified at outset into those who suffered for less than 2 weeks and those whose discomfort had persisted for 2-4 weeks. Outcome was monitored by a questionnaire assessing functional impairment. A treatment effect of manipulation was demonstrated only in the strata with more prolonged illness at entry. In the first week following manipulation, these patients improved to a greater degree (P = .009, t test) and more rapidly (P less than .025, Wilcoxon rank-sum test).

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Acute Disease
  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Back Pain / therapy*
  • Clinical Trials as Topic
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Manipulation, Orthopedic*
  • Prospective Studies
  • Random Allocation
  • Spine*