Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Spinal Manipulation for Low Back Pain

April 19, 2017


Spinal manipulation is one of the oldest treatments in recorded history and is presented utilized by multiple professions including Physical Therapy.  Physical Therapists perform spinal manipulation for patients suffering from head aches, shoulder, neck, pelvic, or low back pain.  The mechanisms behind the pain relief found with this treatment are currently being investigated, but we believe the treatment alters the sensory information contributing to the pain experience.  Research shows spinal manipulation reduces pain and disability in the short term, but when combined with appropriate exercises in a Physical Therapy treatment program leads to long term benefits.  

A recent systematic review was conducted on the available evidence behind the utilization of spinal manipulation for acute low back pain in the Journal of the American Medical Association (Paige et al. 2017).  The authors initially reviewed 26 studies on spinal manipulation for acute (<6 weeks) low back pain before studying 15 randomized controlled studies on a total of 1711 patients.  The authors the pooled data provided moderate evidence for reductions in pain and improvements in function for patients with acute low back pain.  This review article provides further evidence and support for the utilization of spinal manipulation for patients with low back pain.