In the interest of whole-body wellness, many chiropractors offer their patients a range of options to help relieve back pain in addition to spinal manipulation. This includes advice about diet, lifestyle and exercise.
Research has also found that patients given a combination of spinal manipulation and exercise experienced greater improvements in back function and greater reductions in pain compared to those treated with spinal manipulation or exercise only.
Furthermore, improvements lasted longer in patients receiving both manipulation and exercise than those who received only one type of intervention.
The study included more than 1,300 patients, randomised into four groups: a control group that didn’t receive any intervention, and three groups that each received one of three forms of care – spinal manipulation, exercise, or both.
Compared to the control group, patients in all three intervention groups experienced "small to moderate" benefits in the treatment of back pain, with the greatest improvements in the group that received spinal manipulation followed by exercise.
In an accompanying study, researchers examined the cost-effectiveness of adding manipulation, exercise, or both to the usual "best-care" practice for back pain.
They found that, depending on the total cost of treating a patient with back pain, spinal manipulation would be "a cost-effective addition to 'best care' for back pain in general practice" and that "manipulation followed by exercise probably gives better value for money."
Manipulation is effective
Together, these papers provide evidence that manipulation of the spine, either alone or in conjunction with an exercise programme, is an efficacious and cost-effective form of care for people suffering from back pain.
If you suffer from back pain, talk to your doctor or chiropractic about a treatment plan that includes regular exercise.
- (Dr Reg Engelbrecht, Chiropractic Association of South Africa)
UK BEAM Trial Team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ Online First, Nov. 29, 2004.
UK BEAM Trial Team. UK BEAM Trial Team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: cost-effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ Online First, Nov. 29, 2004.