Chiro Tx Helps Back-Related Leg Pain
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Thursday, September 18, 2014 07:07 PM

Patients with back-related leg pain who received spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) plus home exercise and advice (HEA) had less leg pain, lower back pain, and disability after 12 weeks than patients who received home exercise and advice alone, researchers reported.  At 1 year, those differences were no longer significant, but patients experienced more global improvement, higher satisfaction, and lower medication use, the researchers reported.

The findings suggest that SMT in addition to HEA could be a safe and effective conservative, short-term treatment approach for back-related leg pain, the authors said.  

"Prior to this study, SMT was considered a viable treatment option of what is known as 'uncomplicated low back pain,' which is low back pain without radiating pain to the leg. This study shows that for patients without progressive neurological deficits and serious identifiable causes (e.g., spinal fracture, etc.) SMT, coupled with home exercise and advice, may be helpful, and should be considered," they added.

"If we can find less invasive means to get relief and avoid surgery, that's always a good thing," David Geier, MD, an orthopedic surgeon in Charleston, S.C.

"The strongest medical literature out there that has been repeated decade after decade is to try to keep patients as active as possible," Malanga said. "If these measures help to facilitate that, great. But patients should not be placed in a prolonged course of treatments that are passive in nature." 

At 52 weeks, the SMT group sustained better global improvement and satisfaction. A total of 42% of patients in the SMT group were using medication for leg or back pain, compared with 66% of the HEA group.