Backing Up Back Treatments That WorkThere are many ways to treat low back pain, but which method is the best? How do treatments stack up against each other? A group of chiropractors and physical therapists compared four of their treatment methods.
These four types of treatment included education (called back school), joint manipulation, myofascial therapy, and manipulation combined with myofascial therapy. Joint manipulation is performed by both physical therapists and chiropractors. Myofascial therapy is a way to move and stretch the soft tissues.
Surprisingly, there were no differences in results of the four treatment methods. Two hundred patients were treated with one of the four methods. All groups showed big changes in pain and activity after three weeks. These changes were kept for six months. There wasn't any further improvement by the end of six months.
Back school therapy and hands-on treatment by chiropractors or physical therapists had the same results. They all seem to be equally effective in treating recent low back pain. The question still remains as to whether people who receive no treatment would do as well as the groups who got these treatments.
Chang-Yu, J. Hsieh, MS, PT, DC, CA, et al. Effectiveness of Four Conservative Treatments for Subacute Low Back Pain. In Spine. June 1, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 11. pp. 1142-1148.
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