Things to know about Complementary medicine for Chronic Low back pain

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Things to know about Complementary medicine for Chronic Low back pain

Many patients with chronic pain commonly use complementary medicines (CM). But, there is lack of information available on the use of CM in patients suffering from low back pain.  

Recently, Julie Dubois and colleagues performed a cross-sectional survey of 238 patients with chronic low back pain to investigate the frequency of CM use, patients' knowledge about CM, the recognized effects of CM and patient-physician communication regarding CM. The study was carried from November 2014 to February 2015. Physicians distributed a questionnaire to patients taking consultation at the Pain Center of Lausanne University Hospital, Switzerland for cLBP.  The Poisson regression model was used to examine patients' level of understanding about various CMs, and the logistic regression model was used to estimate CM use for cLBP.

A total 168 cLBP patients returned the questionnaire. The lifetime incidence of CM use for cLBP was found to be 77.3%. Osteopathy (48.8%), massage (45.2%) and acupuncture (31.6%) were the most regularly used therapies, and they were rated for their usefulness on a 0–10 scale. Osteopathy was the best-known CM treatment among patients followed by massage and acupuncture. 78% patients were ready to try CM as a treatment for cLBP on a recommendation by the doctor. Patients who were registered with CM health insurance were more inclined to use CM for cLBP. Also, the patients with cLBP for more than five years were more tending to use CM as compared to the patients with chronic low back pain for one year or less.

The results of this study demonstrated that more than three-four of cLBP patients in the study sample used CM therapy. The overall outcomes of this study highlight the significance of the development of pain centers where patients may receive information about CM treatments.


BMC Complementary and Alternative Medicine

Link to the source:

Original title of article:

Chronic low back pain patients’ use of, level of knowledge of and perceived benefits of complementary medicine: A cross-sectional study at an academic pain center



Julie Dubois ;Emmanuelle Scala; et al.

Exploratory, Back pain, Lower back, Chronic, Crossover study
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