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Research Supporting Manual Therapy

“Manual techniques have usefulness, primarily as adjuncts to a comprehensive treatment program. Particularly, manual techniques are useful for painful conditions as a means to break the pain cycle and increase tolerance of exercise.”
Med Clin North Am 2002 Jan; 86(1):91-103

“A combination of manual physical therapy and supervised exercise yields functional benefits for patients with osteoarthritis of the knee and may delay or prevent the need for surgical intervention.”
Ann Intern Med 2000 Feb 1:132(3):173-81

Manual physical therapy applied by experienced physical therapists combined with supervised exercise in a brief clinical trial is better than exercise alone for increasing strength, decreasing pain and improving function in patients with shoulder impingement syndrome.
J Ortho Sports Phys Ther 2000 Mar:30(3):126-37

“Manual therapy showed significantly greater improvements than exercise therapy alone in patients with chronic low back pain. The effects were reflected on all outcome measures, both short and long-term follow-up.”
Spine 2003 Mar 15:28(6):525-31; discussion 531-2

Limited training in manual therapy techniques offers very modest benefit compared with high-quality (enhanced) care (advanced training in manual therapy) for acute low back pain.”
Spine 2000 Nov 15;25(22):2954-60; discussion 2960-1

The results demonstrate that patients with lumbar spinal stenosis can make significant gains in disability, symptoms, and function in relatively short periods of time (with manual and exercise therapy) and that these gains can be maintained for up to 18 months.
Phys Med Rehabil Clin N Am 2003 Feb;14(1):77-101, vi-vii

The sooner patients began PT (including manual therapy) for acute low back pain, the investigators found the sooner they could be released from the provider’s care and return to full-time work (number of therapy visits remaining constant)
Clinician Reviews 10(4):35-44, 2000

Patients who received manual therapy treatment versus exercise only for acute low back pain were found to be more satisfied with their treatment and with the explanation of their problem.
Eur Spine J 1998; 7(6):461-470

“Exercise and manual therapy demonstrated a 90% success rate in patients with osteoarthrosis of the temporomandibular joint.”
Cranio 2001 Jan:19(1):26-32

Long term follow-up of the previous study showed 76% of the patients with no impairment due to the disease three years after the cessation of their treatment.
Cranio 2002 Jan;20(1):23-7

“In daily practice, manual therapy is a favorable treatment for patients with neck pain (68.3% success) compared to physical therapy without manual therapy (50.8% success) or continued care by a general practitioner (35.8% success).”
Ann Intern Med 2002 May 21;136(10):713-22

“Manual therapy (spinal mobilization) is more effective and less costly for treating neck pain than physical therapy without manual therapy or care by a general practitioner. Manual therapy ($447); Physical therapy without manual therapy($1297); General practitioner care ($1379).”
BMJ 2003 Apr 26;326(7395):911

“Manual techniques have usefulness, primarily as adjuncts to a comprehensive treatment program. Particularly, manual techniques are useful for painful conditions as a means to break the pain cycle and increase tolerance of exercise.”
Med Clin North Am 2002 Jan;86(1):91-103