A double blinded, placebo controlled study to determine the influence of the clinical ritual in instrument assisted adjusting during the management of mechanical low back pain
Dugmore, Belinda Rose
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Health care practitioners have known for some time that patients benefit from specific manual intervention effects, but also from the manner in which these are presented. The latter at times having as much impact on patient health as the former. Thus the purpose of this study was to determine the effect of the clinical ritual during instrument assisted adjusting whilst managing mechanical lower back pain. The study was a randomized prospective study comprising of sixty participants aged 18-59. These individuals were randomly allocated into two groups of thirty and then further stratified to control for gender. Both Groups were diagnosed according to the Activator Methods Chiropractic Technique (AMCT), however the tension was set at maximum for group A, whilst the device was set to the minimum tension for group B. Each patient received three treatments and one follow up visit over a two-week period. Subjective data was collected at the first, third and follow up visit. Subjective data was recorded using the Visual Analogue Scale, the Numerical Pain Rating Scale, the Roland Morris Questionnaire and the Short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire. Outcomes were analysed through with the SPSS statistical package at a 95% level of confidence. After analysis of the collected data it was found that there was no statistical difference between the groups, but there was a non-specific trend suggesting a better outcome in the full tension activator group (Group A). Thus, the research indicated that patients perceptions, the patient-practitioner relationship, and the assumption of an outcome of success as well as the power of placebo or non-specific effects play a large role in the managing of lower back pain in a chiropractic environment.