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bibliography * The PainScience Bibliography contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers and others sources, like a specialized blog. This page is about a single scientific paper in the bibliography, Zaproudina 2007.

Effectiveness of traditional bone setting in chronic neck pain: randomized clinical trial

updated
Zaproudina N, Hänninen OO, Airaksinen O. Effectiveness of traditional bone setting in chronic neck pain: randomized clinical trial. Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics. 2007;30(6):432–7. PubMed #17693333.
Tags: chiropractic, neck, manual therapy, treatment, controversy, debunkery, spine, head/neck

PainSci summary of Zaproudina 2007?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★☆☆☆?2-star ratings are for studies with flaws, bias, and/or conflict of interest; published in lesser journals. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This seems to a straightforward “thumbs up” study showing that “traditional bone setting” (chiropractic adjustment, spinal manipulative therapy) has a good effect on chronic neck pain. I admit to being skeptical for no clear reasons (meaning, I see no obvious flaws with the paper). The conclusions seem too strong, too much at odds with a lot of other very mixed evidence on this topic. I can’t reject it outright, but I suspect the risk of researcher bias is high, and a careful reading of the whole paper would probably turn up concerns.

original abstract

OBJECTIVE: This study evaluates the effectiveness of traditional bone setting (TBS) in chronic neck pain (cNP) compared with conventional physiotherapy (PT) and massage (M).

METHODS: This was a randomized clinical trial. Working-aged employed subjects with cNP (n = 105; 37 men and 68 women; mean age, 41.5 years) were randomized into TBS, PT, and M groups. Follow-up times were 1, 6, and 12 months after the treatments. Neck pain intensity (visual analog scale), perceived disability (Neck Disability Index [NDI]), and neck spine mobility measurements were used as outcomes. Global assessment was evaluated by the subjects (scale from -1 to +10). Data were analyzed using time (pre and post) by group (TBS, PT and M), 2- way analysis of variance for repeated measures.

RESULTS: Neck pain decreased and NDI scores improved in all groups 1 month after the treatment (P < .001). The improvement of NDI and persons' satisfaction were significantly better after TBS. Neck spine mobility in rotation movements tended to improve significantly better and the frons-knee distance improved more after TBS. One year later, both NDI and neck pain were significantly better after TBS than in reference groups. A significant improvement was reported by 40% to 45.5% of subjects in the PT and M groups and by 68.6% in the TBS group. Bone setters' ability to communicate and to interact with patients was evaluated significantly higher. In the TBS group, the number of sick days was minimal as was the use of painkillers during 1-year follow-up compared to that in the reference groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Traditional bone setting, which is a soft manual mobilization technique focusing on the muscles, joints, and ligaments, appears to be effective in cNP. Two thirds of subjects experienced it as beneficial, and it seems to be able to improve disability and pain in patients with cNP. Subjective and partially objective benefits of TBS were found in those patients more than after other interventions, and the effects lasted at least for 1 year.

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This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog.