The effectiveness of chiropractic management of fibromyalgia patients: a pilot study

J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1997 Jul-Aug;20(6):389-99.


Objective: To demonstrate the effectiveness of chiropractic management for fibromyalgia patients using reported pain levels, cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, strength, flexibility, tender points, myalgic score and perceived functional ability as outcome measures.

Design: A. Preliminary randomized control crossover trial. B. Before and after design.

Patients: Twenty-one rheumatology patients (25-70 yr). CHIROPRACTIC INTERVENTIONS: Treatment consisted of 4 wk of spinal manipulation, soft tissue therapy and passive stretching at the chiropractors' discretion. CONTROL INTERVENTION: Chiropractic management withheld for 4 wk with continuation of prescribed medication.

Main outcome measures: Changes in scores on the Oswestry Pain Disability Index, Neck Disability Index, Visual Analogue Scale, straight leg raise and lumbar and cervical ranges of motion were observed.

Results: Chiropractic management improved patients' cervical and lumbar ranges of motion, straight leg raise and reported pain levels. These changes were judged to be clinically important within the confines of our sample only.

Conclusions: Further study with a sample size of 81 (for 80% power at alpha < or = .05) is recommended to determine if these findings are generalizable to the target population of fibromyalgia suffers.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Aged
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Back Pain / therapy
  • Cervical Vertebrae / abnormalities
  • Chiropractic*
  • Fibromyalgia / therapy*
  • Humans
  • Lumbar Vertebrae / abnormalities
  • Massage
  • Middle Aged
  • Musculoskeletal Diseases / therapy
  • Pain Measurement
  • Physical Therapy Modalities
  • Treatment Outcome