The authors carried out a single-blind, randomized controlled clinical trial of rotational manipulation for low-back pain of recent onset in 81 adults. Control treatments were minimal massage and low-level electrostimulation. Initial status and outcome were measured on scales quantifying symptoms, activities of dally life, mobility, tenderness to palpation, aggravation of pain by coughing or sneezing, limitation of motion on testing, and forward flexion. Both treated and control patients improved rapidly in the 2-3-week observation period. On retest there was no statistically significant difference between the improvement scores of the treated or control groups on any of the scales.