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Spinal manipulation benefits debated

23rd March 2006

Spinal manipulation has little effect on the treatment of neck and back pain, according to a new report.

Scientists from the Peninsula Medical School in Devon claim in the Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine that there is little evidence to point to spinal manipulation being effective for any condition.

The researchers investigated 26 studies from the past six years on back and neck pain as well as colic, asthma, allergy and period pain, found that manipulation had no benefit over conventional treatments.

Lead author Professor Edzard Ernst commented: "The findings are of concern because chiropractors and osteopaths are regulated by statute in the UK.

"Patients and the public at large perceive regulation as proof of the usefulness of treatment."

However, the British Chiropractic Association (BCA) said that Mr Ernst had based his findings on out of date research.

"Recent clinical trials funded by the Medical Research Council show that manipulation is effective and cost-effective", the BCA said.