Dr. Scott Kinkade from University of Texas Southwestern Medical School in Dallas has reviewed all the options in American Family Physician.

Here’s a summary of his conclusions as they relate to CAM.

  • Acupuncture: Limited evidence
  • Back exercises: Not helpful
  • Bed rest: No benefit
  • Heat or ice: Minimal evidence for cold therapy, while heat reduces pain and increases function
  • Manipulation: Evidence for short-term improvement in pain
  • Massage: Insufficient evidence
  • Patient education booklets: Small additional benefits compared to physical therapy and chiropractic care
  • Physical therapy: The McKenzie method is superior to other treatments regarding short-term pain relief and disability

Finally, he says, “There is strong evidence that several psychosocial factors correlate with the development of chronic back pain. However, strategies aimed at screening for and addressing these risk factors have not been well studied.”

5/6/07 11:40 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.