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The use of ‘maintenance’ or ‘preventative treatment’. 2011

This is the first study of its type directed at evaluating whether ongoing, preventative or maintenance, treatment is worthwhile for patients suffering low back pain. It seeks to determine whether this type of treatment delivers long term benefit by continuing manipulative treatment beyond the acute, or initial, phase of the problem.

The researchers attempted this by selecting 60 patients suffering more than 6 months low back pain and randomly dividing them into 3 groups.
1) Receiving 12 treatments of hands on ‘sham’ manipulation. That is treatment which mimicks manipulation
2) Receiving 12 treatments of manipulation for a month and then nothing for 9 months.
3) Receiving 12 treatments for a month and then ‘maintenance spinal manipulation’ every 2 weeks for 9 months.
To determine any difference among therapies, researchers measured pain and disability scores, generic health status, and back-specific patient satisfaction at the outset and at 1-month, 4-month, 7-month and 10-month intervals.
Results showed that patients in second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores than first group at the end of 1-month period (P = 0.0027 and 0.0029 respectively). However, only the third group that was given spinal manipulations during the follow-up period showed more improvement in pain and disability scores at the 10-month evaluation.

This paper supports the use of maintenance or preventative treatment for patients suffering low back pain.

Reference:- Does maintained Spinal manipulation therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain result in better long term outcome?

Senna MK, Machaly SA.

Rheumatology and Rehabilitation Department, Mansoura Faculty of Medicine, Mansoura University. 


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