Back pain study JAMA
Every second adult has back pain from time to time or constantly in the course of their life. Therapies such as painkillers, medication for muscle relaxation, sport, physiotherapy or heat packs only help some of those affected. Other patients can be helped by spinal manipulation of the spine (SMT) by a chiropractor. This is shown in a review paper in the American medical journal JAMA.
In the meta-analysis, the American researchers tested how effective SMT is compared to other non-manipulative therapies in adults with acute low back pain. In total, the results of 26 randomised clinical trials were included. Chiropractic manipulative therapy was shown to have statistically significant benefits in terms of both pain relief and improvement in function.
However, as the studies differed greatly in terms of quality, patient selection and study design, the results on efficacy also varied. According to the authors of the meta-analysis, the benefit of SMT for acute low back pain is about as great as that of painkillers such as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs.1