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In the UK, a government funded study on the effectiveness of manipulation on low back pain was conducted. This is to gauge the effectiveness of different manipulation techniques that different branches of practice offer. The goal of this study is to collate and interpret data about the effectiveness of interdisciplinary manipulation for back pain, what it really involves and the duration before an actual relief is experienced by the patients. In the United Kingdom, manipulation has been practiced for several years with chiropractic and osteopathy formally recognized in the 1990’s. Although these practices have generally different treatment approaches, similarities are undeniable but innumerable with Science’s current knowledge about these practices. The common practice in the UK is to refer patients experiencing back pain to physiotherapists most of which use passive mobilization techniques. Although, these practices seem to be different in philosophy and treatments undeniable anecdotal facts remain that some similarities are possible even with the differences in views. The goal is to define the borderline of these similarities and find out which one of these practices uses the best type of manipulation for back pain.


The study was started when patients with at least 4 weeks duration of low back pain were randomized in the12 trial sites established for this study. The goal of this study was to overcome interdisciplinary barriers to gauge the effectiveness of manipulation in all three practices and to treat or cure low back pain. The procedure commenced and two types of treatments, manual and non manual therapies were given to these randomized patients. The manual elements included were soft tissue techniques, articulatory techniques and thrust techniques. The non-manual elements included were exercises and advice. This excluded high velocity thrusts to the neck and giving out of printed educational materials. Although, there were 12 trial sites, treatments were still conducted in different premises as long as the location and treatments provided fit the study guidelines. Before the manipulations were introduced, patients were assessed and checked for fitness of the guidelines of the study. Every after treatments, all practitioners complete a treatment record documenting how the procedure was done and what were involved. The averaged data showed that each practitioners had at least 30 patients to treat in the 12 month duration of the study. The number of practitioners are as followed 12 osteopaths, 7 chiropractors and 9 physiotherapists with one or more back up, throughout the duration of the study.

This UKBEAM study collated the results and will try to gauge the effectiveness of the different types of manipulation being offered by different practices, the data collected will then be collated and interpreted by 2 independent representatives for the study conducted and the results will be published as a public document comparing the similarities of the mentioned studies and their “manipulation” effectiveness when it comes to back pain.


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