Lower back pain is common and can be quite debilitating. That’s why people frequently turn to a chiropractor for help. A new study from the University of Bern in Switzerland suggests that may not be worth the effort.
The investigators divided 104 people with low back pain between two groups. One group received usual medical care, including pain relievers such as acetaminophen or diclofenac. The other group was given spinal manipulation in addition to usual care. Patients in both groups had similar reductions in pain and took similar amounts of painkillers. No difference was apparent after 6 months either. The investigators concluded, “SMT [spinal manipulative therapy] is unlikely to result in relevant early pain reduction in patients with acute low back pain.”
[Annals of the Rheumatic Diseases, Sept., 2009]