SMT Has an Immediate Effect on Thermal Pain Sensitivity in People With Low Back Pain
Written by Editor   
Wednesday, June 14, 2017 11:28 AM

Current evidence suggests that spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) is effective in the treatment of people with low back pain (LBP). The primary purpose of this study was to assess the immediate effects of SMT on thermal pain perception in people with LBP. A secondary purpose was to determine whether the resulting hypoalgesia was a local effect and whether psychological influences were associated with changes in pain perception.

This study was a randomized controlled trial of a sample of convenience was recruited from community and outpatient clinics. Thirty-six people (10 men, 26 women) currently experiencing LBP participated. 

Comparisons indicated significant hypoalgesia in participants who received SMT, but not in those who rode a stationary bicycle or performed low back extension exercises. Psychological factors did not significantly correlate with changes in temporal summation in participants who received SMT.

Only immediate effects of SMT were measured, so the authors are unable to comment on whether the inhibition of temporal summation is a lasting effect. Furthermore, the authors are unable to comment on the relationship between their findings and changes in clinical pain.

The authors concluded that inhibition of A-delta fiber-mediated pain perception was similar for all groups. However, inhibition of temporal summation was observed only in participants receiving SMT, suggesting a modulation of dorsal horn excitability that was observed primarily in the lumbar innervated area.