Back pain and sciatica: controlled trials of manipulation, traction, sclerosant and epidural injections

J A Mathews, S B Mills, V M Jenkins, S M Grimes, M J Morkel, W Mathews, C M Scott, Y Sittampalam
British Journal of Rheumatology 1987, 26 (6): 416-23
Four treatment regimens for patients with specified combinations of low back pain and sciatica were evaluated. The largest group studied had low back pain with limited straight-leg raising (SLR) and in them the beneficial effect of manipulation in hastening pain relief was highly significant. In similar patients without limitation of SLR, the effect was of borderline significance. In all the other groups, treated patients also recovered more quickly than their controls. Traction, for patients with low back pain and sciatica, and epidural injections when a root palsy was present also produced some significant pain relief. The effect of sclerosants for back pain was less clear.

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