Navigation Links
Hands-On Therapy May Spell Relief for Low Back Pain

By Denise Mann
HealthDay Reporter

MONDAY, March 18 (HealthDay News) -- Having an osteopath move your back muscles using techniques that include stretching, light pressure and resistance (called OMT) may trump ultrasound therapy for the relief of lower back pain, new research suggests.

According to the study, OMT was not only more effective than ultrasound for treating low back pain, but its use also allowed participants to cut down on the amount of medication they took to treat their lower back pain throughout the 12-week study. Nearly two-thirds of the individuals who received OMT had a 30 percent reduction in their pain level, and half of those patients had a 50 percent reduction in their pain level, the study showed.

"The main message from this research study is that hands-on treatment provided by an osteopathic physician is a viable option that can reduce pain and prescription-drug use," said study author Cathleen Kearns, of the Osteopathic Research Center at the University of North Texas Health Science Center in Fort Worth. "People who suffer from chronic low back pain are often treated with prescription drugs that are not always effective in controlling chronic low back pain, that may require higher doses over time and that have serious side effects."

For example, some people who take ibuprofen or other non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs to ease back pain may develop gastrointestinal issues such as bleeding ulcers.

During OMT, osteopathic doctors apply pressure with their hands to assess tenderness, asymmetry, range of motion and any noticeable changes in the lower back. "The osteopathic physician then applies several hands-on techniques designed to increase range of motion, reduce tenderness and restore the body to its optimal level of function," Kearns said.

By contrast, ultrasound therapy uses sound waves to warm the body's tissues and cause muscles to relax. "In our study, patients who received ultrasound therapy did not show a reduction in pain or in the prescription medications they took," Kearns said. "Based on these results, I would not recommend ultrasound therapy for low back pain."

The findings appear in the March/April issue of the journal Annals of Family Medicine.

Of the more than 450 people in the study with chronic low back pain, those who received OMT also were more likely to be satisfied with the results of their treatment than were their counterparts who received ultrasound therapy. That said, there were no differences seen for function, general health or work-related disability between the groups, the study showed.

Dr. Kenneth Johnson, executive dean of the Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, in Athens, is a fan of OMT for low back pain. The new study "validates some of the work we do on a day-to-day basis," he said. "I feel confident that OMT helps relieve back pain and, as a result, patients have to take less medication."

Less medication means fewer side effects, Johnson added.

Another expert noted that there are a lot more ways to treat lower back pain than just ultrasound and OMT.

The first step is to take a full history and do a physical exam to determine the cause of the back pain, said Dr. Michael Mizhiritsky, co-founder of New York Bone and Joint Specialists, in New York City. "Is it joint-related, disc-related or arthritis? Is there anything broken?" he asked.

Depending on what is causing the pain, there are a host of treatment options, including ice or heat, physical therapy, exercise, stretching, injections and, sometimes, surgery, Mizhiritsky said.

More information

Learn more about low back pain and its treatments at the U.S. National Institutes of Health.

SOURCES: Kenneth Johnson, D.O., executive dean, Ohio University Heritage College of Osteopathic Medicine, Athens; Cathleen Kearns, Osteopathic Research Center, University of North Texas Health Science Center, Fort Worth; Michael Mizhiritsky, co-founder, New York Bone and Joint Specialists, New York City; March/April 2013 Annals of Family Medicine

Copyright©2012 ScoutNews,LLC.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. UH students spent summer making a difference with hands-on research
2. A hands-on approach to treating patients with pulmonary disease
3. KRAS gene mutation and amplification status affects sensitivity to antifolate therapy
4. Antibody therapy prevents gastrointestinal damage following radiation exposure in mice
5. Chemotherapy proves life-saving for some leukemia patients who fail induction therapy
6. Immunotherapy for elderly cancer patients finds new promise in drug combination
7. Therapy exploits addiction of leukemia cells
8. Intensity Modulated Radiation Therapy optimal for localized prostate cancer
9. Adding drug to standard chemotherapy provides no survival benefit for older lung cancer patients
10. Study Casts Doubt on Value of Pricey Prostate Cancer Therapy
11. 19th century therapy for Parkinsons disease may help patients today
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Hands-On Therapy May Spell Relief for Low Back Pain
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... According to an article published ... Toronto and the University of British Columbia suggested that laws requiring bicyclists to wear ... explains that part of the reason for the controversial conclusion is that, while helmets ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... the toilets were," said an inventor from Hillside, N.J. "Many people catch diseases ... cover so that individuals will always be protected from germs." , He developed ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... , ... November 27, 2015 , ... ... of progress through sharing, the 2016 Building Better Radiology Marketing Programs ... will begin on Sunday, March 6, 2016, at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... CBD College is proud to ... Programs (CAAHEP) awarded accreditation to its Diagnostic Medical Sonography program. CBD College is honored ... one of twelve colleges and universities in the state of California make the cut. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , ... November 26, 2015 , ... ... abuse located in central Michigan, have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share ... video, available for viewing on the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/27/2015)... YORK , November 27, 2015 ... system is set to go online. The potential to ... processes is vast and far from fully exploited as ... to patient health records, either via mobile tablet or ... ) --> ) --> ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ) ... "2016 Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier ... Segment Forecasts, Innovative Technologies, Instrumentation Review, Competitive ... offering. --> ) has ... Global Tumor Marker Testing Market: Supplier Shares ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... Netherlands , November 26, 2015 ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... A new combination approach blends immunotherapy with Bremachlorin-photodynamic therapy ... Netherlands has found that immunotherapy can be ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: