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Manual Chiropractic Treatment Versus Activator Methods

A study of the different effects of manual Chiropractic treatment versus Activator methods versus usual medical care.

This recent study (2014) compared the effects of 2 types of chiropractic care and medical treatment for lower back pain. The patients recruited had either acute or sub-acute pain in their lower back. These 2 treatment types are among the most common treatments used by Chiropractors worldwide. The is no research showing which type of treatment gives the best results. This study hopes to determine which of these 2 techniques is more effective in treating lower back pain. In addition they wanted to compare these results to standard medical treatment for lower back problems.

Over 100 patients took part in the trial. These acute and subacute lower back pain patients were randomized into 1 of three groups, activator, manual therapy or medical care. The numbers recorded were Oswald disability index and a pain diagram between 1 and 10.


When the results were analyzed, manual care was significantly better than activator care when looking at both pain and disability. In addition, manual treatments were significantly better than the medical approach in both pain and disability. When the activator technique was compared to the medical approach there was no difference between it and medicine in pain reduction or reduction of disability.


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