An article in the February 2011 issue of the journal Spine, titled Does maintained spinal manipulation therapy for chronic non-specific low back pain result in better long term outcome?, offers evidece for chiropractic mainenance care.
This study showed that chronic LBP patients who received maintenance care over a 10-month period of time following their initial treatment had better results regarding post-treatment pain and disability levels than patients who stopped treatment after 1 month of care. The maintenance care patients also had improved lumbar mobility and better perceptions of their general health than their no maintenance counterparts.
In this day of instant gratification, it is sometimes hard to wait for results. In this study, both groups experienced improvement after that first month, but the level of improvement was maintained with continued care. The group that ceased treatment after one month reverted back to their initial pain level by the tenth month.
It is important to note that this study did not include the use of therapeutic exercises. In previous studies, manipulation with exercise has been shown to have better outcomes than manipulation alone. Exercise is a necessary complonent in th etreatment of lower back pain.