Original Article: PDF OnlyThe Effectiveness of Manual Therapy, Physiotherapy, and Treatment by the General Practitioner for Nonspecific Back and Neck Complaints: A Randomized Clinical TrialKOES, B. W., MA*; BOUTER, L. M., PhD*; van MAMEREN, H., PhD†; ESSERS, A. H.M.†; VERSTEGEN, G. M.J.R.§; HOFHUIZEN, D. M.¶; HOUBEN, J. P.§; KNIPSCHILD, P. G., PhD, MD*Author Information *Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics and the †Department of Anatomy and Embryology, University of Limburg, Maastricht, the Netherlands; the †Department of Physiotherapy, University Hospital Maastricht, Maastricht, the Netherlands; the §Department of Physiotherapy, Institute of Higher Education, Heerland, the Netherlands, and ¶Physiotherapy and manual therapy practice, Maastricht, the Netherlands. Spine: January 1992 - Volume 17 - Issue 1 - p 28-35 Buy Abstract In a randomized trial, the effectiveness of manual therapy, physiotherapy, continued treatment by the general practitioner, and placebo therapy (detuned ultrasound and detuned short-wave diathermy) were compared for patients (n = 256) with nonspecific back and neck complaints lasting for at least 6 weeks. The principle outcome measures were severity of the main complaint, global perceived effect, pain, and functional status. These are presented for 3, 6, and 12 weeks follow-up. Both physiotherapy and manual therapy decreased the severity of complaints more and had a higher global perceived effect compared to continued treatment by the general practitioner. Differences in effectiveness between physiotherapy and manual therapy could not be shown. A substantial part of the effect of manual therapy and physiotherapy appeared to be due to nonspecific (placebo) effects. © Lippincott-Raven Publishers.