Long-term effects of naprapathic therapy on back and neck pain

Researchers at the Karolinska Institutet, in Stockholm, Sweden, evaluated the long-term effects of naprapathic manual therapy on staying active in patients with non-specific back and/or neck pain.

Background on naprapathy is here.

First, the details.

  • 409 patients with non-specific pain/disability in the back and/or neck for at least 2 weeks were randomly assigned to a treatment group.
    • Naprapathic manual therapy such as spinal manipulation/mobilization, massage and stretching
    • Advice to stay active and on how to cope with pain, provided by a physician (Control Group)
  • Pain intensity, disability, and health status were measured using questionnaires.

And, the results.

  • 89% completed the 26-week follow-up and 85% the 52-week follow-up.
  • A higher proportion in the naprapathic manual therapy group had a clinically important decrease in pain and disability at both follow-ups.
  • The differences between the groups in pain and disability over 1 year were significant favoring naprapathy.
  • There were also significant differences in improvement in bodily pain and social function favoring the naprapathic manual therapy.

The bottom line?

The authors concluded, “Combined manual therapy, like naprapathy, is effective in the short- and in the long-term, and might be considered for patients with non-specific back and/or neck pain.”

This is the first study of the long-term effects of naprapathic therapy.

The authors acknowledge that the study wasn’t designed to evaluate the different components in the compared treatments. Rather, they compared a treatment with unknown effect (naprapathic manual therapy) to a treatment with a well known positive effect (advice and support on staying active). Accordingly they can’t tell what in the naprapathic manual therapy that has a positive effect.

Regardless, when taken as a whole, naprapathy was effective in Sweden. Now, where does one go for naprapathy in Asheville, North Carolina?

1/19/11 21:41 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.