Back pain patients may respond positively to spinal manipulation: 4 observations

Written by Megan Wood | September 04, 2015 | Print  |

Spinal manipulation may relieve back pain for some people, researchers at the University of Alberta in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada found, according to NewsmaxHealth. Spine published the study.

Spinal manipulation involves applying pressure on joints to manage pain. Researchers studied patients who received two sessions of spinal manipulation during a week. They also examined a control group with similar symptoms who did not receive spinal manipulation.


Patients recorded their pain levels before and after the sessions, and researchers measured their changes in muscle activity and spinal stiffness with ultrasound and MRI imaging.


Here are four findings:


1. Some patients who underwent spinal manipulation recorded less pain and demonstrated improvements in back muscle thickness, disc diffusion and spinal stiffness.


2. The patients who saw improvements with spinal manipulation experienced positive changes that equaled or surpassed measures in the control group.


3. Those patients who received spinal manipulation and did not experience reduced pain also did not have any physical improvements, indicating that the treatment did not work, overall.


4. Researchers emphasized that this study does not necessarily support the effectiveness of spinal manipulation, but does explain that the effectiveness of the treatment is patient-specific.


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