Manipulation & Low Back Pain Multi-centre UK Study
Any clinician managing LBP should be aware of this relatively massive multi-centre randomized controlled study (RCT) consisting of over 1330 patients with LBP (UK BEAM 2004).
The purpose of this large study was to once and for all determine the relative effectiveness of spinal manipulations, group exercise classes, their combination and re-assurance advice from a general practitioner (GP).
The clinicians providing the manipulative interventions (maximum of 8 sessions), included physical therapists, chiropractors and osteopaths. The GPs in the “control” group provided with re-assurance and appropriate medications.
Here are the three basic conclusions from this study:
Conclusion #1: Relative to basic GP intervention, spinal manipulation achieved a small to moderate benefit at three months and only a small benefit at 12 months
Conclusion #2: Relative to basic GP intervention, manipulation followed by group exercise classes achieved a moderate benefit at three months and still a small benefit at 12 months
And now the million-dollar question: Are these small clinical benefits worth the cost of therapy??
Conclusion #3: Spinal manipulation is a cost effective addition to GP care for back pain in general practice. Manipulation alone probably gives better value for money than manipulation followed by general group exercises
Posted on: December 24, 2005
Categories: Lumbar Spine