The effectiveness of manual therapy, physiotherapy, and treatment by the general practitioner for nonspecific back and neck complaints: A randomized clinical trial

B. W. Koes*, L. M. Bouter, H. Van Mameren, A. H. Essers, G. M. Verstegen, D. M. Hofhuizen, J. P. Houben, P. G. Knipschild

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

220 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In a randomized trial, the effectiveness of manual therapy, physiotherapy, continued treatment by the general practitioner, and placebo therapy (detuned ultrasound and detuned short-wave diathermy) were compared for patients (n = 256) with nonspecific back and neck complaints lasting for at least 6 weeks. The principle outcome measures were severity of the main complaint, global perceived effect, pain, and functional status. These are presented for 3, 6, and 12 weeks follow-up. Both physiotherapy and manual therapy decreased the severity of complaints more and had a higher global perceived effect compared to continued treatment by the general practitioner. Differences in effectiveness between physiotherapy and manual therapy could not be shown. A substantial part of the effect of manual therapy and physiotherapy appeared to be due to nonspecific (placebo) effects.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)28-35
Number of pages8
JournalSpine
Volume17
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 1992

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