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General Spine News

Cracking the Code for Best Back Treatments

If you could look into the future, what would you want to know? People with low back pain might ask, "What treatment will work best for me?" Physical therapists may be the first to answer.

A group of military-based physical therapists studied the benefits of spinal manipulation. They found five factors that may predict who gets relief from back pain using manipulation. Patients in the study had low back, buttock, and/or leg pain. No one with symptoms of pressure on the nerves took part in the study.

The five factors included:
  • symptoms present less than 16 days
  • one hip could rotate more than 35 degrees
  • loss of motion in the low back
  • patient's beliefs about activity and pain
  • no symptoms present below the knee

    Treatment with spinal manipulation was helpful if a patient had four out of five factors present. In fact, when a patient has four of these five factors, the chances of getting better with manipulation go from 45 percent to 95 percent.

    The authors of this study feel that it's possible to tell who will be helped by spinal manipulation for low back pain. This will allow therapists to treat these patients quickly and with the right treatment. According to the authors of the study, pain relief is possible in one or two such treatments.

    Timothy Flynn, PT, PhD, et al. A Clinical Prediction Rule For Classifying Patients With Low Back Pain Who Demonstrate Short-Term Improvement With Spinal Manipulation. In Spine. December 15, 2002. Vol. 27. No. 24. Pp. 2835-2843.


    *Disclaimer:* The information contained herein is compiled from a variety of sources. It may not be complete or timely. It does not cover all diseases, physical conditions, ailments or treatments. The information should NOT be used in place of visit with your healthcare provider, nor should you disregard the advice of your health care provider because of any information you read in this topic.
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