In 2009, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics completed a randomized controlled trial comparing 2 types of spinal manipulation (low velocity and high velocity) with standard medical care for adults over 55 with low back pain.
They found that both types of manipulation were clinically superior to conservative medical care for sub-acute and chronic low back pain. In their own words, "“Participants who received either form of SM (spinal manipulation) were approximately 30% to 40% better on the average in functional status than those who received minimal conservative medical care".
This research is extremely important for two reasons. First, many studies examining the effectiveness of spinal adjusting focus on acute spine conditions. Historically, spinal adjusting has performed very well for acute conditions, and shown limited effectiveness for chronic spine complaints. This study is one of the first to show efficacy for sub-acute and chronic complaints. Additionally, with our aging population, many health care providers will begin to see a large increase in the amount of seniors who have spinal complaints. This study begins to show that spinal adjusting and chiropractic care is an effective treatment option for these patients.
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