The latest JMPT has a very interesting study examining the dosage effects of flexion-distraction technique for patients with lumbar stenosis. As we know from previous studies, flexion-distraction has been proven to decrease intradiscal pressure and relieve radicular complaints. Additionally, this chiropractic technique has proven to be a safe and effective treatment strategy for patients with lumbar stenosis. Currently, 60% of the chiropractic profession utilizes flexion-distraction.
The patients in the JMPT study were all over the age of 50 with MRI confirmed signs of Lumbar Stenosis. They were randomized to groups either received flexion-distraction, or placebo treatment. The researchers found that a "dosage" of 12 visits appears to produce the most clinical benefit while also retaining high adherence to schedule. Regardless of the treatment schedule they found that patients had positive trends of pain outcomes with treatment compared to placebo. Additionally, there were no adverse effects recorded for any of the patients receiving treatment.
Studies like this truly "set the stage" for future research. Using their dosage model, a future study will be able to closely examine clinical outcomes when measuring flexion distraction against other treatment options.
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