Controlled Trial: Spinal HVLA-Manipulation in Acute Nonspecific LBP

I recently read about a randomized double blinded placebo-controlled parallel trial with three arms. The objective of this study was to investigate in acute non-specific low back pain (LBP) the effectiveness of spinal high-velocity-low-amplitude (HVLA) manipulation compared with the non-steroidal anti- inflammatory drug (NSAID) diclofenac and with placebo.

Spinal HVLA Manipulation is a specific form of manipulation or “adjustments” provided by chiropractors. HVLA stands for High Velocity Low Amplitude. The following research abstract looks at the effectiveness of specific chiropractic manipulative therapy of the spine for non-specific acute low back pain and compares it to other treatment methods.

The ultimate conclusion of the study is that, “in a subgroup of patients with acute non-specific low back pain, spinal manipulation was significantly better than NSAID Diclofenac and clinically superior to placebo.”
NSAID’s for those who are not familiar with this term, stands for Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs. Advil, Motrin, Midol, and Naproxen are some commonly used and better known types of NSAID’s.

The concern of many physicians is that the long term use of NSAID’s leads to side effects such as stomach upset, heartburn, ulcers and skin rashes for example.