New research helps to explain why chiropractic is so effective for low-back pain. Using MRI scans, researchers were able to document the immediate benefits of chiropractic adjustments.
Patients with low-back pain have restricted mobility in the lumbar spine that results in degenerative changes and fibrous adhesions within the joints of the vertebrae.
Researchers hypothesized that chiropractic adjustments increase gapping between the joints of the vertebrae, which breaks up adhesions and allows the joints to move freely.
In a new study, 112 patients with low-back pain were randomly assigned to receive either chiropractic adjustments, side-posture positioning, or two control treatments.
Immediately after the treatment, they received an MRI scan that allowed researchers to analyze spinal gapping.
The chiropractic patients had the most substantial spinal gapping, and patients treated with a combination of chiropractic adjustments and side-posture positioning had the greatest reduction in pain.
This study shows how chiropractic can restore spinal health to decrease disability and pain.
Cramer GD, et al. Magnetic resonance imaging zygaphosphyseal joint space changes (gapping) in low back pain patients following spinal manipulation and side-posture positioning: a randomized controlled mechanisms trial with blinding. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2013; pii: S0161-4754(13)00055-9. doi: 10.1016/j.jmpt.2013.04.003.