Conservative Treatment of Acute and Chronic Nonspecific Low Back Pain

Monday, May 12th, 2014

A systematic review of randomized controlled trials of the most common interventions.

This endeavor was carried out by van Tulder MW, et al. and was published inSpine in September 1997 on pages 2128-56.

Now Spine sounds like a chiropractic thing but it’s not. It’s a highly respected journal for professions such as orthopedic surgeons, neurologists, etc.

The reason for the research was to attempt to find out, through a review of previously performed research, how effective the more common conservative means of treatment are for acute and chronic low back pain, and how to best refer the patient suffering from those conditions. 

Here’s how it went:

  • A rating system was devised to assess the quality of the research abstracts reviewed based on the quality, the outcome measures, and the consistency of the results
  • Of the abstracts reviewed, only 28 (35%) of the studies on acute low back pain were considered high quality
  • Of the abstracts reviewed, only 20 (25%) of the studies on chronic low back pain were considered high quality


  • Strong evidence was found in favor of manipulation and exercise therapy in chronic low back pain
  • Strong evidence was found in favor of muscle relaxants and anti-inflammatory drugs (ibuprofen, tylenol, etc..) in the case of acute low back pain.
  • Exercise therapy was shown to be mostly ineffective in acute low back pain.

So, again….chiropractic and spinal manipulation came out exactly where it was expected to be. 

I’m still building that case for chiropractic. Stick with me. I have lots more to share. And, honestly, as I search for more and more research to help me build my case in these blog posts, I find more and more. Honestly, I don’t know how long it goes but it’s looking like I have plenty of material to keep you all entertained for quite some time!

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think.

And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!   We cannot make a difference without your help.

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

Choose several options to schedule your appointment: call (806) 355-3000 or click the button below for our contact info.
by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Amarillo Chiropractor