Hands On or Hands Off? A Tour of Current Issues Impacting Spinal Manipulative Therapy for Spinal Pain

Author: Steven Z. George

Manual therapy has long been used to treat spinal pain. Spinal manipulative therapy, in particular, has received special emphasis as many providers use it as a featured part of their practice. It has a favorable side effect profile, but there continues to be healthy debate on whether it is an effective option for pain relief compared to other treatment options. This presentation will review key aspects of the debate by differentiating between spinal manipulative therapy's ability to modulate nociception (largely through mechanistic studies) and having an impact on outcomes for those with acute or chronic spine pain (largely through clinical trials). A primary goal is to provide attendees with a better understanding of key components perpetuating this debate. The second half of the presentation will highlight future practice and research priorities that if implemented may lead to better defined information on how spinal manipulative therapy could be used to effectively provide pain relief. (Recorded at PAINWeek 2016)

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