METHODS: The Scientific Commission of the Council on Chiropractic Guidelines and Practice Parameters (CCGPP) was charged with developing literature syntheses, organized by anatomical region, to evaluate and report on the evidence base for chiropractic care. This article is the outcome of this charge. As part of the CCGPP process, preliminary drafts of these articles were posted on the CCGPP Web site www.ccgpp.org (2006-8) to allow for an open process and the broadest possible mechanism for stakeholder input. The Cumulative Index to Nursing and Allied Health Literature; PubMed; Manual, Alternative, and Natural Therapy Index System; Science Direct; and Index to Chiropractic Literature were searched from December 2006 to February 2008. Search terms included chiropractic, osteopathic, orthopedic, or physical therapy and MeSH terms for each region. Inclusion criteria required a diagnosis and manipulative therapy (mobilization and manipulation grades I-V) with or without adjunctive care. Exclusion criteria were pain referred from spinal sites (without diagnosis), referral for surgery, and conditions contraindicated for manipulative therapy. Clinical trials were assessed using a modified Scottish Intercollegiate Guidelines Network ranking system.
RESULTS: Of the total 389 citations captured, 39 were determined to be relevant. There is a level of C or limited evidence for manipulative therapy combined with multimodal or exercise therapy for hip osteoarthritis. There is a level of B or fair evidence for manipulative therapy of the knee and/or full kinetic chain, and of the ankle and/or foot, combined with multimodal or exercise therapy for knee osteoarthritis, patellofemoral pain syndrome, and ankle inversion sprain. There is also a level of C or limited evidence for manipulative therapy of the ankle and/or foot combined with multimodal or exercise therapy for plantar fasciitis, metatarsalgia, and hallux limitus/rigidus. There is also a level of I or insufficient evidence for manipulative therapy of the ankle and/or foot combined with multimodal or exercise therapy for hallux abducto valgus.
CONCLUSIONS: There are a growing number of peer-reviewed studies of manipulative therapy for lower extremity disorders.
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