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Low Back Pain


The COST B13 Working Group produced European evidence-based guidelines for the management of low back pain.


In cases of acute low back pain (present for less than 6 weeks) they recommend spinal manipulation for patients who are failing to return to normal activities.


They also recommend a short course of spinal manipulation/mobilisation as a treatment option for chronic low back pain (persisting for 12 weeks or more).


Acupuncture for Low Back Pain

The German Acupuncture Trials for chronic low back pain concluded that low back pain improved after a course of acupuncture treatment and that the effectiveness of acupuncture was almost twice that of conventional treatment.


Vickers et al (2012) analysed the results of multiple high quality trials of acupuncture treatment for chronic back and neck pain (as well as osteoarthritis, headache and shoulder pain). It concluded that acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic pain.



Neck Pain


The Bone and Joint Decade 2000-2010 Task Force on Neck Pain and Its Associated Disorders provides a comprehensive review of the literature for treatment of neck pain. They concluded that manual therapy and exercise are more effective than alternative strategies for patients with neck pain.


A study by Walker et al compared manual therapy and exercise to advice to stay active and placebo ultrasound. The manual therapy group reported less pain (in the short term) and more improvement and less disability (in the long term) than the placebo group.,f1000m,isrctn


Acupuncture for Neck Pain. A large study in Germany concluded that treatment with acupuncture added to routine care in patients with chronic neck pain was associated with improvements in neck pain and disability compared to treatment with routine care alone.



Other Conditions


The General Chiropractic Council commissioned a review of clinical trials investigating the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment for a wide range of conditions.

The Bronfort Report concluded that chiropractic treatment is effective for:

  • Neck pain
  • Low back pain
  • Migraine headache
  • Cervicogenic headache
  • Cervicogenic dizziness
  • Shoulder girdle pain/dysfunction
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Tennis elbow
  • Hip osteoarthritis
  • Knee osteoarthritis
  • Patellofemoral (knee) pain syndrome
  • Plantar fasciitis



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