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October 2022

Phys Ther. 1986 Jan; 66(1): 51-4.

Clinical assessment of manipulation and mobilization of the lumbar spine. A critical review of the literature.

Di Fabio RP.

The widespread use of manual therapy techniques suggests some degree of success in their application. In this article, I review the applied clinical research on the effectiveness of using manipulation or mobilization of the lumbar spine. The literature reviewed indicates highly equivocal results when the goal of therapy was to decrease pain and increase motion. Because of a high incidence of spontaneous recovery from low back syndromes, performance measures may appear to improve significantly when proper controls are not used. Evaluation of the therapeutic effects of manual therapy is complicated by potentially confounding variables when used with other physical therapy procedures. I discuss the need for further, well-designed studies.

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