Complementary and alternative medicine in the treatment of low back pain: a systematic review

Quinn, Fionnuala; Hughes, Ciara; Baxter, G. David

The aim of this review was to summarise and evaluate the available literature on the effectiveness of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) for the management of low back pain (LBP). Papers were included in the literature search if they were randomised controlled trials (RCTs) assessing the effectiveness of a CAM in the treatment of LBP.  Recent systematic reviews carried out investigating chiropractic, osteopathy, acupuncture, and massage have found them to be useful therapies in the management of LBP, and papers in these areas were, therefore, excluded from this review.  While RCTs for those therapies which were investigated produced encouraging results, including yoga, homeopathy, herbal therapies, and hypnotherathy. The available literature suggests that these forms of CAM are worth investigating as an approach to relieving LBP. Future work should be to increase the evidence base of these therapies through larger, well-designed RCTs.

Physical Therapy Reviews, Volume 11, Number 2, June 2006, pp. 107-116(10)

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