Bone-setting, manipulation and massage is one of the five traditional branches of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Bone-setting in short is the manipulation or "setting" of fractured bones, ruptured sinews and muscles in order to alleviate the injury.
Bone-setting" is a type of traditional manipulative therapy utilized by Chinese Medicine Practitioners from China. This form of therapy is considered the basis for the development of modern chiropractic and osteopathy. Researchers recently sought to find out if this predecessor to chiropractic is as valid as modern manipulative therapy.

In a study, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, over 100 patients who had suffered back pain for at least seven weeks were divided into three groups, based on the treatment they received: bone-setting (by four traditional healers), physiotherapy, orlight exercise. Up to 10 treatment sessions were allowed over a six-week period. Disability scores were calculated at the end of the treatment and three, six, and 12 months later.

The bone-setting group showed the highest improvement in disability scores (each time scores were taken); an analysis of the additional therapies showed a smaller subgroup experienced an even more enhanced effect from bone-setting. The physiotherapy patients showed a decrease in health-center visits for their back pain, however, unlike the other two groups.

Bone-setting may be more effective than light exercise or physiotherapy for back pain. The simple fact that this form of therapy has survived so long suggests that it offers valuable health benefits, which will come as no surprise to chiropractors and their patients.


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