Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations
A ChiroSecure Research Update
Abstract: Randomized double-blind trial comparing active and simulated manipulations in rehabilitation medical centers in Rome and suburbs. To assess the short- and long-term effects of spinal manipulations on acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.
Discussion: 102 ambulatory patients with at least moderate pain on a visual analog scale for local pain (VAS1) and/or radiating pain (VAS2).
Pain-free patients at end of treatment; treatment failure (proportion of patients stopping the assigned treatment for lack of effect on pain); number of days with no, mild, moderate, or severe pain; quality of life; number of days on nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs; number of drug prescriptions; VAS1 and VAS2 scores; quality of life and psychosocial findings; and reduction of disc protrusion on magnetic resonance imaging.
Manipulations or simulated manipulations were done 5 days per week by experienced chiropractors, with a number of sessions which depended on pain relief or up to a maximum of 20, using a rapid thrust technique. Patients were assessed at admission and at 15, 30, 45, 90, and 180 days. At each visit, all indicators of pain relief were used.
Manipulations appeared more effective on the basis of the percentage of pain-free cases (local pain 28 vs. 6%; p<.005; radiating pain 55 vs. 20%; p<.0001), number of days with pain (23.6 vs. 27.4; p<.005), and number of days with moderate or severe pain (13.9 vs. 17.9; p<.05). Patients receiving manipulations had lower mean VAS1 (p<.0001) and VAS2 scores (p<.001). A significant interaction was found between therapeutic arm and time. here were no significant differences in quality of life and psychosocial scores. There were only two treatment failures (manipulation 1; simulated manipulation 1) and no adverse events.
Conclusion: Active manipulations have more effect than simulated manipulations on pain relief for acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion.
Reference: Santilli V, Beghi E, Finucci S. Chiropractic manipulation in the treatment of acute back pain and sciatica with disc protrusion: a randomized double-blind clinical trial of active and simulated spinal manipulations. Spine J. 2006 Mar-Apr;6(2):131-7. doi: 10.1016/j.spinee.2005.08.001. Epub 2006 Feb 3. PMID: 16517383. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/16517383/