Friday, September 12, 2014

Study Spotlight: Adjustments vs. Injection for Lumbar Disk Pain

This article looked that a comparison between spinal manipulative therapy and nerve root injections in the treatment in lumbar disc herniation injuries.  They found no significant difference in self-reported pain or improvement between each treatment (Relief at 76.5% and 62.7% respectively).

In a previous article we looked at, Chiropractic adjustment relieves pain in 90.5% of people.  While the numbers for this study are lower (76.5%) there is still good evidence that chiropractic adjustment would be a solid option of treatment to help with pain relief when it comes to lumbar disc herniations.

What I found most interesting in this is that the difference in pain levels were not significant between the two treatment options.  The article also looked at the cost of the two and they came out fairly similar with spinal manipulation being slightly cheaper.  Depending on insurance and preference these costs could change but I think it shows there are good options for lumbar disc herniation treatment if certain things don't work.

Spinal manipulation is becoming more commonly place across professions and isn't just reserved to chiropractors.  Along with adding adjustment to the list of things that can help doing your own soft tissue work through rolling and even possibly some basic "self-manipulations" using a double lacrosse ball, foam roller or other special mobilization tools.

Personally I have never had a lumbar nerve root injection but having worked with some athletes that have and hearing their stories of the intensity of the shot and the on again off again results I think spinal manipulation in addition to rehabilitative exercises and self soft tissue rolling is the way to go.

If there are any questions on what you can work on to help you low back pain please contact us at

Symptomatic Magnetic Resonance Imaging Confirmed Lumbar Disk Herniation Patients
A comparative effectiveness prospective observational study of 2 age and sex matched cohorts treated with either high velocity low amplitude spinal manipulative therapy or imaging guided lumbar nerve root injections
Cynthia Peterson

Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Vol. 36, No. 4.

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