Spinal manipulation as good as drugs for back pain

And it performed better than non-recommended interventions like light massage, shows study

Spinal manipulation therapy isn't routinely recommended as the initial treatment for low back pain, but a research review suggests this approach may work as well as interventions that doctors typically prescribe first.

The treatment eases lower back pain as much as exercise, NSAIDs and painkillers and appeared better for improving short-term function, the review shows. 

"At the moment, spinal manipulation is considered a second-line or adjunctive treatment option in international guidelines," says lead study author Dr Sidney Rubinstein (PhD) of the Vrije Universiteit Amsterdam.

"These results would suggest that spinal manipulation is certainly on par with these other recommended therapies and can be considered an option.”

Spinal manipulation works better for pain relief than non-recommended interventions like light tissue massage, according to the review of 47 randomised controlled