Landmark Study Shows Benefit of Maintenance Care

Senna, M.K. and Machaly, S.A. (2011) “Does maintained Chiropractic adjustments for chronic non-specific low back pain result in better long-term outcome?” Spine. Aug 15;36(18):1427-37.

Sixty patients, with chronic, non-specific Low Back Pain (LBP) lasting at least 6 months, were randomized to receive either (1) 12
treatments of sham adjustments (SMT) over a 1-month period, (2) 12 treatments, consisting of SMT over a 1-month period, but no
treatments for the subsequent 9 months, or (3) 12 treatments over a 1-month period, along with “maintenance spinal
adjustment” every 2 weeks for the following 9 months.”

Results:

Patients in the second and third groups experienced significantly lower pain and disability scores than first group at the
end of 1-month period. However, only the third group that was given spinal manipulations (SM) during the follow-up period showed more
improvement in pain and disability scores at the 10-month evaluation.
     In the non-maintained (no follow up adjustments) SMT group, however, the mean pain and disability scores returned back near to their pre-treatment level.
However, pain score in the maintained spinal manipulation therapy group continued improving.”

Conclusions:

Adjustments are effective for the treatment of chronic low back pain. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance adjustments after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.”