Should you treat your aching back with a crack?
Spinal manipulation might make a small difference in your lower-back pain, but it's unlikely to have you doing backflips right away, according to an analysis published today in the Journal of the American Medical Association.
The research, which pooled 26 prior studies, found that spinal manipulation was linked to "modest improvements" in pain and function among people with short-term lower-back pain. Their pain improved an average of one point on a 10-point scale.
The analysis did not include people with chronic low back pain, which lasts much longer. A 2011 Cochrane review failed to find good evidence that spinal manipulation was any better or worse than other treatments for chronic low back pain.