In UK lot of people turn for help towards chiropractors and osteopaths to treat their neck and back pain. But researchers say that spinal manipulation is of no or little help to solve these problems.
The study was conducted by experts from Peninsula Medical School in Devon. The results are published in the journal of the Royal Society of Medicine. The researchers team said that the data gave little evidence of effectiveness. But on the other side the chiropractors point out that the team had focused on negative studies which supported the researchers' views. The researchers evaluated benefits of spinal manipulation for period pain, colic, asthma, allergy and dizziness, back and neck pain up to 2005.
In the end the results showed that the data did not show spinal manipulation was effective for any condition except for back pain. But here again it is not better than conventional treatments. The researchers also said that spinal manipulation is linked to mild side effects in 50% of the patients. The side effects include temporary stiffness and in minor cases to strokes. The research team suggested to the authorities that the existing guidelines need to be re-evaluated.
Professor Edzard Ernst, who led the study, said that the results are very concerning as chiropractors and osteopaths are regulated by statute in the UK. Patients also think that the treatment is very useful but the findings proved the opposite. Hence to set the situation right rigorous clinical trials have to be conducted to test the efficacy of spinal manipulation. But the British Chiropractic Association said it was disappointed by the study's conclusions and was mainly based on negative research.