Is Spinal Manipulation Better Than Placebo for Low Back Pain Relief?

PainRelief.com Interview with:
James S Thomas, PT, PhD
Professor

Departments of Physical Therapy and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Director of Motor Control Laboratory
Virginia Commonwealth University
Departments of Physical Therapy and Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Director of Motor Control Laboratory
Virginia Commonwealth University
Richmond, VA 23298

Dr-James-Thomas
Dr. Thomas

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?

Response: While there are numerous studies on spinal manipulation which is typically defined as  high velocity short amplitude thrust procedure to treat a hypomobile vertebral segment, there are very few studies that examine spinal mobilization (typically described as non-thrust or as a muscle energy technique). There are even fewer studies on the comparative effectiveness of these interventions. 

Accordingly, the RELIEF study was designed to provide a rigorous examination of the comparative effectiveness of the two most common manual therapy techniques for treating low back pain (i.e., manipulation versus mobilization) compared to an effective placebo (i.e., Sham Cold Laser).

PainRelief.com: What are the main findings?

Response: Relative to the placebo group, there was no difference in the change in pain or disability for either spinal manipulation or mobilization. 

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Chiropractic Care Linked to Lower Use of Opioids for Spinal Pain Relief

PainRelief.com Interview with:
Jim Whedon DC, MS
Director of Health Services Research
SCU Health System
Southern California University of Health Sciences
Whittier, CA 

PainRelief.com:  What is the background for this study?  What are the main findings?

Response: Utilization of nonpharmacological pain management may prevent unnecessary use of opioids.

Our objective was to evaluate the impact of chiropractic utilization upon use of prescription opioids among patients with spinal pain. Overall, in the states of CT, MA and NH, at any particular time in the study period of 2012-2017, between 1.55 and 2.03 times more nonrecipients of chiropractic care.filled an opioid prescription, as compared with recipients.

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