Studies confirming the Benefit of Chiropractic Manipulative Therapy
1. A meta-analysis in 2003 found spinal manipulation to be more effective than sham therapy and no more or no less effective than other treatments.
Hurwitz EL, Morgenstern H, Harber P, et al. A randomized trial of medical care with and without physical therapy and chiropractic care with and without physical modalities for patients with low back pain:6-month follow-up outcomes from the UCLA low back pain study. Spine. 2002;27(20):2193-2204.
2. Treatment at a chiropractic clinic was more effective than outpatient hospital treatment for lower back pain.
Ernst E. Chiropractic spinal manipulation for back pain, British Journal of Sports Medicine, 2003;37(3): 195-196.
3. Patients with chronic neck pain enrolled in clinical trials reported significant improvement following chiropractic spinal manipulation, March/April 2007 report in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT).
Vernon Howard et al, Journal of Man and Physiol Ther, March/April 2007
4. Spinal manipulation proved statistically significant improvement for neck, mid and lower back pain as compared to medication and acupuncture.
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1999 (Jul); 22 (6): 376-381
Randomization was successful. After a median intervention period of 30 days, spinal manipulation was the only intervention that achieved statistically significant improvements (all expressed as percentages of the original scores) with (1) a reduction of 30.7% on the Oswestry scale, (2) an improvement of 25% on the neck disability index, and (3) reductions on the visual analogue scale of 50% for low back pain, 46% for upper back pain, and 33% for neck pain (all P<.001). Neither of the other interventions showed any significant improvement on any of the outcome measures.
5. Spinal manipulation showed the highest proportion of early (asymptomatic) recovery and best overall results for neck and back pain as compared to medication and acupuncture.
Spine 2003 (Jul 15); 28 (14): 1490-1502
Randomization proved to be successful. The highest proportion of early (asymptomatic status) recovery was found for manipulation (27.3%), followed by acupuncture (9.4%) and medication (5%). Manipulation achieved the best overall results, with improvements of 50% (P = 0.01) on the Oswestry scale, 38% (P = 0.08) on the NDI, 47% (P < 0.001) on the SF-36, and 50% (P < 0.01) on the VAS for back pain, 38% (P < 0.001) for lumbar standing flexion, 20% (P < 0.001) for lumbar sitting flexion, 25% (P = 0.1) for cervical sitting flexion, and 18% (P = 0.02) for cervical sitting extension. However, on the VAS for neck pain, acupuncture showed a better result than manipulation (50% vs 42%).
6. Overall, patients who have chronic mechanical spinal pain syndromes and received spinal manipulation gained significant short-term and long-term outcomes as compared to medication and acupuncture
J Manipulative Physiol Ther 2005 (Jan); 28 (1): 3-11
For patients receiving acupuncture, consistent improvements were also observed, although without reaching statistical significance (with a single exception). For patients receiving medication, the findings were less favorable. Larger studies are now clearly justified.