Mend Physical Therapy Blog and Injury Information

Utilizing Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Low Back Pain

February 26, 2018


The Journal of the American Medical Association recently reviewed the evidence on the utilization of spinal manipulation for patients with acute back pain.  Authors reported moderate evidence to support its’ use to both decrease pain and improve function.  The majority of research on spinal manipulation is currently being performed by Physical Therapists to determine best practice patterns for its’ utilization, as well as, the mechanisms behind its’ effectiveness.  A recent review article was published on spinal manipulation’s effects on patient’s with more persistent low back pain.

Coulter and colleagues pooled the data of 9 trials including over 1100 patients with persistent low back pain (The Spine Journal. 2018).  The authors reported spinal manipulation significantly reduced low back pain and disability.  In addition, spinal mobilization was found to also reduce pain within patients with low back pain.  The authors found spinal manipulation produced a larger effect on these treatment outcomes than spinal mobilization.  In our Boulder Physical Therapy practice we find spinal manipulation to be effective in the short term to reduce pain and disability allowing a rapid transition to advanced exercise programs.  Long term relief of low back pain is best achieved using core, upper and lower body strengthening programs. 

Contact the Boulder Physical Therapy Experts at MEND to learn more about solving your low back pain.