Chiropractic Management of Low Back Pain and Low Back-Related Leg Complaints: A Literature Synthesis

Center for Teaching and Learning, Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport, Iowa, USA.
Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics (Impact Factor: 1.48). 11/2008; 31(9):659-74. DOI: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2008.10.007
Source: PubMed


The purpose of this project was to review the literature for the use of spinal manipulation for low back pain (LBP).
A search strategy modified from the Cochrane Collaboration review for LBP was conducted through the following databases: PubMed, Mantis, and the Cochrane Database. Invitations to submit relevant articles were extended to the profession via widely distributed professional news and association media. The Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP) was charged with developing literature syntheses, organized by anatomical region, to evaluate and report on the evidence base for chiropractic care. This article is the outcome of this charge. As part of the CCGPP process, preliminary drafts of these articles were posted on the CCGPP Web site (2006-8) to allow for an open process and the broadest possible mechanism for stakeholder input.
A total of 887 source documents were obtained. Search results were sorted into related topic groups as follows: randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of LBP and manipulation; randomized trials of other interventions for LBP; guidelines; systematic reviews and meta-analyses; basic science; diagnostic-related articles, methodology; cognitive therapy and psychosocial issues; cohort and outcome studies; and others. Each group was subdivided by topic so that team members received approximately equal numbers of articles from each group, chosen randomly for distribution. The team elected to limit consideration in this first iteration to guidelines, systematic reviews, meta-analyses, RCTs, and coh ort studies. This yielded a total of 12 guidelines, 64 RCTs, 13 systematic reviews/meta-analyses, and 11 cohort studies.
As much or more evidence exists for the use of spinal manipulation to reduce symptoms and improve function in patients with chronic LBP as for use in acute and subacute LBP. Use of exercise in conjunction with manipulation is likely to speed and improve outcomes as well as minimize episodic recurrence. There was less evidence for the use of manipulation for patients with LBP and radiating leg pain, sciatica, or radiculopathy.

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    • "The latter technique is administered by way of a treatment table with break-away sections that allow multi-planar distractive forces to be applied principally to intervertebral discs [111,112]. Although mechanically assisted manipulation with an impulse device such as the Activator adjusting instrument is categorized as a high velocity, low amplitude procedure [50], flexion distraction methods are considered within the realm of mobilization [50]. Hence, patients who have not received chiropractic treatment via manual manipulation techniques aimed at inducing joint cavitation have not undergone a trial of care akin to that which is utilized during the MUA procedure. "
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    ABSTRACT: As exhibited throughout the medical literature over many decades, there is a lack of uniformity in the manner in which spine pain patients have historically qualified for and received manipulation under anesthesia (MUA). Also, for different professions that treat the same types of spinal conditions via the same means, fundamental MUA decision points vary within the published protocols of different professional associations. The more recent chiropractic literature communicates that the evidence to support the efficacy of MUA of the spine remains largely anecdotal. In addition, it has been reported that the types of spinal conditions most suitable for MUA are without clear-cut consensus, with various indications for MUA of the low back resting wholly upon the opinions and experiences of MUA practitioners. This article will provide a narrative review of the MUA literature, followed by a commentary about the current lack of high quality research evidence, the anecdotal and consensus basis of existing clinical protocols, as well as related professional, ethical and legal concerns for the chiropractic practitioner. The limitations of the current medical literature related to MUA via conscious/deep sedation need to be recognized and used as a guide to clinical experience when giving consideration to this procedure. More research, in the form of controlled clinical trials, must be undertaken if this procedure is to remain a potential treatment option for chronic spine pain patients in the chiropractic clinical practice.
    Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 05/2013; 21(1):14. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-21-14
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    • "Chiropractors specialize in managing musculoskeletal disorders and reviews have indicated that this approach is as effective and safe as conventional medical care and physiotherapy for back pain [8-10]. When combined with other modalities such as exercise, chiropractic care appears to be more effective than other treatment approaches for patients with chronic neck pain [9,11,12]. "
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    ABSTRACT: The high prevalence of neck and low back pain in the rapidly aging population is associated with significant increases in health care expenditure. While spinal imaging can be useful to identify less common causes of neck and back pain, overuse and misuse of imaging services has been widely reported. This narrative review aims to provide primary care providers with an overview of available imaging studies with associated potential benefits, adverse effects, and costs for the evaluation of neck and back pain disorders in the elderly population. While the prevalence of arthritis and degenerative disc disease increase with age, fracture, infection, and tumor remain uncommon. Prevalence of other conditions such as spinal stenosis and abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) also increase with age and demand special considerations. Radiography of the lumbar spine is not recommended for the early management of non-specific low back pain in adults under the age of 65. Aside from conventional radiography for suspected fracture or arthritis, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and computed tomography (CT) offer better characterization of most musculoskeletal diseases. If available, MRI is usually preferred over CT because it involves less radiation exposure and has better soft-tissue visualization. Use of subspecialty radiologists to interpret diagnostic imaging studies is recommended.
    Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 05/2012; 20(1):16. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-20-16
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    • "Several systematic reviews have evaluated SMT for LBP conditions[19,30-32] and are in general agreement that SMT is one of several treatment options of modest effectiveness for LBP. Two earlier literature reviews focused specifically on BRLP, or sciatica[14,15]. "
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    ABSTRACT: Back-related leg pain (BRLP) is a common variation of low back pain (LBP), with lifetime prevalence estimates as high as 40%. Often disabling, BRLP accounts for greater work loss, recurrences, and higher costs than uncomplicated LBP and more often leads to surgery with a lifetime incidence of 10% for those with severe BRLP, compared to 1-2% for those with LBP.In the US, half of those with back-related conditions seek CAM treatments, the most common of which is chiropractic care. While there is preliminary evidence suggesting chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy is beneficial for patients with BRLP, there is insufficient evidence currently available to assess the effectiveness of this care. This study is a two-site, prospective, parallel group, observer-blinded randomized clinical trial (RCT). A total of 192 study patients will be recruited from the Twin Cities, MN (n = 122) and Quad Cities area in Iowa and Illinois (n = 70) to the research clinics at WHCCS and PCCR, respectively.It compares two interventions: chiropractic spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) plus home exercise program (HEP) to HEP alone (minimal intervention comparison) for patients with subacute or chronic back-related leg pain. Back-related leg pain (BRLP) is a costly and often disabling variation of the ubiquitous back pain conditions. As health care costs continue to climb, the search for effective treatments with few side-effects is critical. While SMT is the most commonly sought CAM treatment for LBP sufferers, there is only a small, albeit promising, body of research to support its use for patients with BRLP.This study seeks to fill a critical gap in the LBP literature by performing the first full scale RCT assessing chiropractic SMT for patients with sub-acute or chronic BRLP using important patient-oriented and objective biomechanical outcome measures. NCT00494065.
    Chiropractic and Manual Therapies 03/2011; 19(1):8. DOI:10.1186/2045-709X-19-8
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