In recent years, a growing number of primary care physicians have been practicing manual therapy techniques, including spinal manipulation. According to the results of this study, patients treated by these doctors experience only a "very modest benefit."
Investigators looked at the effectiveness of manual therapy performed by 31 generalists physicians (who completed a limited manual therapy training course) on 295 patients with back pain.
Findings showed that no differences were found between patients treated with manual therapy and controls in Roland Morris scores over time, mean functional days to recovery, days absent from work, or patient satisfaction. However, patients who received manual therapy did recover faster - especially those who underwent more intensive treatments.
Curtis P, Carey TS, Evans P, Rowane MP, Mills Garrett J, Jackman A. Spine 2000;25(22):2954-2961.