Update: Evidenced Based Medicine

Background

Osteopathic manipulation is used to treat musculoskeletal disorders for example back pain, neck pain and sports injuries. Manipulation relies on focussed attention to tight muscles, locked joint, strained muscle groups and general stiffness.

Correcting imbalances through manipulation of tissues allows the body to continue repairing and healing itself. The body’s healing potential is further encouraged through advice on stretching, diet, posture correction, sleeping positions, insole prescription, hot/cold compression, yoga and pilates exercises.

Osteopathic manipulation when used on its own or as part of a treatment package with exercise prescription, pain control, and postural advice has been shown to be very effective

Conclusions from Current Research

A comprehensive study was undertaken in 2004 in the UK with the conclusion drawn that relative to best care in the general practice manipulation followed by exercise achieved benefits to the patient both after three and twelve months, spinal manipulation on its own also achieved benefits at three and twelve months with exercise achieving a small benefit at three months but not at twelve months. (1)

It also showed that spinal manipulation is a cost effective addition to best care for back pain in general practice. The study further highlighted that manipulation alone gives better value for money than manipulation followed by exercise. (2)

Licciardone et al (3) conducted a review and meta-analysis to assess the effectiveness of osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain. The study concluded that osteopathic manipulative treatment …’significantly reduces low back pain. The level of pain reduction is greater than the expected from placebo effects alone and persists for at least three months”

1). UK BEAM Trial team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ19 2004 November: doi:10.1136/bmj.38282.669225.AE

2). UK BEAM Trial team. United Kingdom back pain exercise and manipulation (UK BEAM) randomised trial: effectiveness of physical treatments for back pain in primary care. BMJ19 2004 November: doi:10.1136/bmj.38282.607859.AE

3). Licciardone JC, Brimhall AK, King LN. Osteopathic manipulative treatment for low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis of randomised controlled trials. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders, 2005:4:43.

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