STUDY DESIGN: Prospective cohort study of 68 chronic low-back pain patients.
METHODS: Outcomes were measured using the 1998 Version 2.0 American Association of Orthopaedic Surgeons/Council of Musculoskeletal Specialty Societies/Council of Spine Societies Outcomes Data Collection Instruments. The primary outcome variable was change in pain and disability. All patients received an initial 4- to 6-week trial of spinal manipulation therapy (SMT), after which 42 patients received supplemental intervention with MAM and the remaining 26 patients continued with SMT.
RESULTS: Low back pain and disability measures favored the MAM group over the SMT-only group at 3 months (adjusted mean difference of 4.4 points on a 100-point scale, 95% confidence interval [CI] -2.2 to 11.0). This difference attenuated at 1 year (adjusted mean difference of 0.3 points, 95% CI -8.6 to 9.2). The relative odds of experiencing a 10-point improvement in pain and disability favored the MAM group at 3 months (odds ratio 4.1, 95% CI 1.3-13.6) and at 1 year (odds ratio 1.9, 95% CI 0.6-6.5).
CONCLUSION: Medication-assisted manipulation appears to offer some patients increased improvement in low back pain and disability. Further investigation of these apparent benefits in a randomized clinical trial is warranted.
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