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Back pain: a randomized clinical trial of rotational manipulation of the trunk
  1. J. R. Glover,
  2. Jean G. Morris1,
  3. T. Khosla
  1. aWelsh National School of Medicine, Department of Social and Occupational Medicine, Heath Park, Cardiff CF4 4XN


    Glover, J. R., Morris, Jean G., and Khosla, T. (1974).British Journal of Industrial Medicine,31, 59-64. Back pain: a randomized clinical trial of rotational manipulation of the trunk. A therapeutic trial was conducted in a medium-sized engineering works on patients suffering from back pain with its accompanying tenderness and hyperaesthesia. The patients were randomly allocated to two treatment groups, (a) manipulation, and (b) de-tuned (i.e., simulated) short-wave diathermy, the latter acting as a placebo. The manipulated group were given one lumbar rotational manipulation session of 15 minutes or less and this was followed by four daily detuned short-wave diathermy sessions of 15 minutes. The control group were given five 15-minute daily sessions of detuned short-wave diathermy only. The patients' own subjective assessment of relief from pain was recorded in the range 0% (no relief) to 100% (complete relief). The responses were measured at three stages, (1) within 15 minutes, (2) three days after treatment, and (3) seven days after treatment. Although each of the two treatment groups showed progressive and marked improvement in the percentage of relief from pain during the seven-day period, there was no demonstrable difference between the two, except that at the 15-minute stage the relief from pain in the manipulated group was always greater than in the controls.

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    • 1 Radiographer and physiotherapist, late of Westinghouse Brake, and Signal Co. Ltd.