Effects of visceral manipulation on low back pain
Although a broad body of literature exists, which investigated low back pain (LBP) treatments, recommended interventions resulted in only small beneficial effects. This study aimed to investigate if additional new treatments, such as visceral manipulation, may improve outcomes in LBP. This study would suggest that visceral manipulation as a treatment is not needed in the early stages of LBP, but may be considered in patients who are not recovering appropriately in the first few weeks.
Visceral manipulation is a manual therapeutic technique directed to improve motion abnormalities of the internal organs.
64 patients with LBP were included and were randomized into two blinded groups. 32 patients received a standard physiotherapy treatment plus visceral manipulation and 32 patients received the standard physiotherapy treatment plus a placebo visceral manipulation over a period of 6 weeks. The placebo therapy was performed on abdominal areas which are not involved in any sense to any visceral issues.
After 6 weeks of intervention no differences in pain could be identified. At the 52-week follow-up the group which receiving additionally visceral manipulation had 1.69 points less pain on the 10 numeric pain rating scale. No improvements in disability and function after visceral manipulation could be identified at any time point.