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Chiropractic Care can Treat Leg Pain

Update Date: Sep 16, 2014 01:23 PM EDT
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A new study is reporting that people could benefit from chiropractic care for their back-related leg pain. The researchers discovered that when chiropractic care was combined with exercise and advice as opposed to just exercise and advice, people experienced pain relief.

In this study, the researchers set out to examine the effective of using low-risk treatments for back-related leg pain, such as sciatica. Typically, back-related leg pain is treated with prescription drugs, injections and even surgery. The team recruited 192 adults suffering from back pain that caused radiating pain in the leg. The leg pain lasted for at least four weeks.

The participants were divided into two groups. The first group received advice on at-home exercise routines that can help with pain management as well as access to a chiropractor. For the first 12 weeks, the participants in this group went to the chiropractor up to 20 times for a 10 to 20 minute session of spinal manipulation therapy. The second group also received advice on exercises and pain management. The participants had access to a chiropractor, exercise therapist or personal trainer for the first 12 weeks, but did not undergo spinal manipulation therapy.

The researchers collected pain measurements at the beginning, at 12 weeks and at the end of the study. At 12 weeks, the researchers found that 37 percent of the people from group one stated that their pain levels fell by at least 75 percent. In the second group, pain levels were only reduced by 19 percent. At the one-year follow-up, the team found that both groups had the reported similar reductions in their pain levels. However, the spinal manipulation therapy group had higher levels of satisfaction and overall improvement.

"Spinal manipulation combined with home exercise may be worth trying for those with back-related leg pain that has lasted more than four weeks," researcher Gert Bronfort with the Integrative Health and Wellbeing Research Program at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis told Reuters Health according to FOX News. "This combination resulted in advantages in pain reduction, disability, global improvement, satisfaction, medication use and general physical health status after 12 weeks."

The study, "Spinal Manipulation and Home Exercise With Advice for Subacute and Chronic Back-Related Leg Pain: A Trial With Adaptive Allocation," was published in the Annals of Internal Medicine.

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