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Research Increasingly Supports Manual Therapy

Those of us who work with motion via joints, fascia or muscle, and who use chiropractic, muscle therapy, IASTM, FAKTR or a host of other interventions know through experience that we help people.

It’s good to see science agrees.

The challenge researchers face is designing sound studies on small budgets; however, there is still mounting evidence that supports manual therapy as a way to help people to move, feel, and be well.

One recent study was a follow-up to the Bronfort UK Evidence report that was published in 20101. After looking at 178 additional studies, they found:

“…limited high quality evidence for the effectiveness of manual therapy. Most reviewed evidence was of low to moderate quality and inconsistent due to substantial methodological and clinical diversity.”

Another study looked at low back pain and chiropractic2, and even though strict evaluation showed weak evidence, they found:

“Chronic pain seemed to respond to SMT, whereas whole systems of clinical management did not,” and that among other benefits of chiropractic spinal manipulation, “treatments reduce medicalization and augment self-care. Exercise with authoritative support is an effective strategy for acute and chronic low back pain.”

This is why all chiropractors and manual therapy providers should be incorporating exercise. And the best place to start is with a strong base. In other words, posture stabilization exercise.


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1- Clar, C, Tsertsvadze, A, Court, R, Hundt, G, Clarke, A, and Sutcliffe, P (2014). “Clinical Effectiveness of Manual Therapy for the Management of Musculoskeletal and Non-musculoskeletal Conditions: Systematic Review and Update of UK Evidence Report.” Chiropractic & Manual Therapies. Retrieved from

2 – Menke, J Michael (2014). “Do Manual Therapies Help Low Back Pain? A Comparative Effectiveness Meta-analysis.” Spine. Retrieved from


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