TRUNK EXERCISE COMBINED WITH SPINAL MANIPULATIVE OR NSAID THERAPY FOR CHRONIC LOW BACK PAIN: A RANDOMIZED, OBSERVER-BLINDED CLINICAL TRIAL
 
   

Trunk Exercise Combined with Spinal Manipulative
or NSAID Therapy for Chronic Low Back Pain:
A Randomized, Observer-blinded Clinical Trial

This section is compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
Send all comments or additions to:
    Frankp@chiro.org
 
   

FROM:   J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 1996 (Nov);   19 (9):   570582

Bronfort G, Goldsmith CH, Nelson CF, Boline PD, Anderson AV.

Northwestern College of Chiropractic,
Department of Research,
Bloomington, Minnesota, USA.


OBJECTIVES:   To study the relative efficacy of three different treatment for chronic low back pain (CLBP). Two preplanned comparisons were made: (a) Spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) combined with trunk strengthening exercises (TSE) vs. SMT combined with trunk stretching exercises, and (b) SMT combined with TSE vs. nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy combined with TSE.

STUDY DESIGN:   Interdisciplinary, prospective, observer-blinded, randomized clinical trial with a 1-yr follow-up period. The trial evaluated therapies in combination only and was not designed to test the individual treatment components.

SETTING:   Primary contact, college out-patient clinic.

PATIENTS:   In total, 174 patients aged 20-60 yr were admitted to the study.

MAIN OUTCOME MEASURES:   Patient-rated low back pain, disability, and functional health status at 5 and 11 wk.

INTERVENTIONS:   Five weeks of SMT or NSAID therapy in combination with supervised trunk exercise, followed by and additional 6 wk of supervised exercise alone.

RESULTS:   Individual group comparisons after 5 and 11 wk of intervention on all three main outcome measures did not reveal any clear clinically important or statistically significant differences. There seemed to be a sustained reduction in medication use at the 1-yr follow-up. in the SMT/TSE group. Continuance of exercise during the follow-up year, regardless of type, was associated with a better outcome.

CONCLUSION:   Each of the three therapeutic regimens was associated with similar and clinically important improvement over time that was considered superior to the expected natural history of long-standing CLBP. For the management of CLBP, trunk exercise in combination with SMT or NSAID therapy seemed to be beneficial and worthwhile. The magnitude of nonspecific therapeutic (placebo) effects, cost-effectiveness and relative risks of side effects associated with these types of therapy need to be addressed in future studies.

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