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Need help managing your low back pain (LBP)? Before you reach for that bottle of muscle relaxants, consider recent evidence that shows chiropractic care is more effective than drugs for pain.

A study compared chiropractic adjustments vs. muscle relaxants for the treatment of LBP. One hundred ninety-two patients with LBP were assigned to one of two intervention groups (adjustments with placebo medicine or muscle relaxants with sham adjustments) or to a control group (sham adjustments with placebo medicine). Chiropractic adjustments consisted of high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts to the lumbar, pelvic or sacral spinal region, performed with each subject in a prone or side-lying position on a drop table. The interventions were applied for two weeks (eight visits), followed by a final assessment visit two weeks later.

Results: After two weeks, chiropractic adjustments proved to be more effective than placebo in reducing pain, and more effective than muscle relaxants and placebo in reducing Global Impression of Severity scores. "This study identified a sample population of subacute low back pain sufferers for which chiropractic care provided an equally effective management to the conservative medical care of muscle relaxants," wrote the researchers.

If you suffer from LBP, make an appointment with your doctor of chiropractic today!


Hoiriis KT, Pfleger B, McDuffie FC, et al. A randomized clinical trial comparing chiropractic adjustments to muscle relaxants for subacute low back pain. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics July-August 2004;27(6):388-98.

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