Spinal manipulation therapy (SMT) for low back pain*

Patient groupsOutcomesComparisonsNumber of studiesHedges g effect size (95% CI)
*GP  =  general practice; PT  =  physical therapy. Effect sizes calculated using meta-regression. Positive effect sizes favour SMT. All effect sizes are statistically non-significant.
Acute low back pain (<3 wk)Long term painGP care/analgesics2−2 (−9 to 5)
PT/exercise3−1 (−8 to 5)
Back school1−3 (−16 to 10)
Long term functionGP care/analgesics33.6 (−1.9 to 9.2)
PT/exercise3−1.5 (−6.9 to 3.8)
Chronic low back pain (>13 wk)Long term painGP care/analgesics40 (−6 to 7)
PT/exercise31 (−5 to 7)
Back school11 (−13 to 12)
Long term functionGP care/analgesics30.8 (−4.6 to 6.1)
PT/exercise3−4.4 (−9.7 to 0.9)