Teens with Back Pain: Manual Therapy Plus Exercise Most Effective

Teenagers with lower back pain (LBP) are more likely to develop chronic back pain as adults, studies suggest. Although there are treatments available for LBP in adolescents, there is little data on which treatment is the most effective.

In adults, the treatment of LBP has been extensively researched, and there is strong evidence for manual therapy and exercise in reducing pain and functional limitations in adults. However, it is not known whether such treatments have the same effect on younger patients.

Recent research has focused on investigating the effectiveness of physical therapy on back pain in children and teens. The research, a meta-analysis of previous studies, attempted to review the available evidence for exercise therapy as a treatment for LBP in children and teenagers.

The analysis included eight previously-conducted studies. After reviewing the results of all eight studies, the authors concluded that the combination of physical conditioning and manual therapy is the most effective physical-therapy treatment for LBP in children and adolescents. The results show that exercise therapy treatments, such as those utilized by chiropractors, appear to be effective for LBP in children and teens.


Calvo-Muñoz et al. Physical therapy treatments for low back pain in children and adolescents: a meta-analysis. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2013; 14 (55):1-11.