New research (2019 participants) shows manual therapy does not work

We talk so much about exercise because exercise is awesome. It empowers pain suffers to take charge of their own recovery. It allows you to be independent and not have to dependent someone for the rest of your life.

Quite often manual therapy such as chiropractic adjustments and massage are said to be good for short-term pain relief. And that it can give patients the relief they need to kick start exercise.

Well, it may not entirely be true.

What is the placebo effect?

When it comes to pain treatments, the placebo effect is something that frequently comes up.

Essentially, it refers to a patient feeling better or experiencing some kind of positive benefit from an inert treatment.

Because manual therapy (and even orthopaedic surgery) doesn’t allow a sugar pill as a placebo, sham procedures are designed to act as a placebo.

To determine if a treatment is independently effective, researchers would compare a fake treatment with the real deal. The extra benefits experienced by those who received the real deal are considered to be the effects specific to the treatment.

Manual therapy has no real benefit.

jesse cai giving paul foster a chiropractic adjustment
Theres huge demand for chiropractic adjustments in Singapore However that doesnt work it works Sometimes good marketing is just good marketing

A study published this year found that manual therapy (physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy, massage, kinesiology and reflexology) had no benefits compared to sham treatments.

This mean a person who received the real chiropractic adjustment did not respond better than the person who received a fake chiropractic adjustment. Mind blowing, huh?

Some could argue that if they both experienced some benefits, then chiropractic adjustments could still be a viable treatment option.

Well, this study went a step further to show that the results are comparable to NO TREATMENT! This means that a person who received chiropractic adjustment responded similarly to someone who did nothing about their pain.

Mind you, this is not a small study. The researchers looked at 2019 back pain sufferers!

This really supports our position that “hands on” treatments are a waste of money.

Why do people feel better then?

It has to do with the natural history of back pain.

Research has shown that 90% of back pain patients recover in six weeks, even without any treatment.

If you are a person who swears by acupuncture, it could be possible that you are getting better simply cos you are getting better. Acupuncture or not!

This is why evidence-based chiropractic is important.

square one active recovery timeline
<a href=httpschiropractor singaporecomsgresourcesif exercise is so wonderful why is it not good enough>Exercise plus education<a> is the best approach to <a href=httpschiropractor singaporecomsgresourceswhy you should care more about your chronic pain and take action now>chronic pain management<a> It is the only true long term solution that always keeps giving

As an evidence-based chiropractor, I use the latest research to guide my clinical decision making. At this point in time, it’s plenty clear that exercise is the superior approach to pain management.

Not only does science tell us it works, it can also help you save money cos you don’t have to keep coming back!


Frustrated by the lack of results-driven and ethical chiropractic clinics in Singapore, Chiropractor Jesse Cai found Square One Active Recovery to deliver meaningful and sustainable pain solutions.

Our goal? To make our own services redundant to you.

*We do not offer temporary pain relief such as chiropractic adjustments, dry needling, or any form of soft tissue therapy.