Table 1: Randomized controlled trials evaluating the effect of Tuina-focused integrative Chinese medical therapies (TICMT) for low back pain (LBP).

First authors, yrMean duration of LBPSample size, mean age (yr)Duration weeksFollow-up weeksMain outcome assessmentsTICMT group (EG) intervention*Control group (CG) intervention*Main conclusion (mean improvements)

Tuina plus Chinese herbal medicine

Liang (2005) [13]4–36 mo49
44–65
824Pain VAS (0–10)
ODI
Tuina
(24 sessions)
plus CHM
(3/56 sessions)
Tuina
(24 sessions)
VAS: EG (3.65) > CG (2.65)
ODI: EG (12.40) > CG (7.10)
Huang (2008) [14]1–13 days100
42
3Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(25 min/21 sessions)
plus CHM
(1/21 sessions)
Tuina
(25 min/21 sessions)
EG (5.78) > CG (4.79)
Su (2008) [15]NR120
40
3 daysPain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(30 min/3 sessions)
plus CHM
(1/3 sessions)
Tuina
(30 min/3 sessions)
EG (4.90) > CG (0.55)
Cai (2010) [16]NR96
>16
4Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(30 min/24 sessions)
plus CHM
(2/24 sessions)
CHM
(2/24 sessions)
plus traction
(15 min/24 sessions)
EG (8.15) > CG (5.99)
Wen (2010) [17]4–20 days120
NR
3Pain VAS (0–100)Tuina plus CHM
(NR)
(1) Tuina (NR)
(2) CHM (NR)
EG (21.40) > CG1 (12.20)
EG (21.40) > CG2 (11.10)
Zhang (2011) [18]36 mo184
58
5ODITuina
(28 sessions)
plus injection CHM
(1/28 sessions)
Tuina
(28 sessions)
EG (51.20) > CG (28.20)
You (2012) [19]34.8 h240
30
1Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(7 sessions)
plus CHM
(1/7 sessions)
Tuina
(7 sessions)
EG (7.86) > CG (6.32)

Tuina plus acupuncture

Pang (2006) [20]9.3 mo120
45
2Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(20 min/14 sessions)
plus electroacupuncture
(4 AP/14 sessions)
Tuina
(20 min/14 sessions)
EG (5.51) > CG (4.45)
Chen (2007) [21]15.9 mo60
37
2JOA (0–29)Tuina
(25 min/7 sessions)
plus acupuncture
(3–8 AP/8 sessions)
Traction plus infrared radiation
(30 min /14 sessions)
EG (10.83) > CG (8.16)
Liu (2008) [22]2 days105
41
14Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(7 sessions)
plus acupuncture
(1 AP/7 sessions)
(1) Tuina (7 sessions)
(2) Acupuncture (1 AP/7 sessions)
EG (4.84) > CG1 (4.32)
EG (8.74) > CG2 (4.11)
He (2010) [23]1 day–10 yr180
38
2Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(6 sessions)
plus electroacupuncture
(10 AP/10 sessions)
Electroacupuncture
(10 AP/10sessions)
EG (3.65) > CG (3.17)
Ke (2011) [24]>7 days60
20–65
7 daysPain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(7 sessions)
plus electroacupuncture
(4–6 AP/7 sessions)
Traction
(7 sessions)
EG (4.53) > CG (3.14)
Yang (2011) [25]5 yr100
41
15 daysPain VAS (0-10)Tuina
(30 min/15 sessions)
plus electroacupuncture
(3–5 AP/7 sessions)
Electromagnetic therapy
(20 min/1 sessions) plus Chinese herbal hot pack
(25 min/15 sessions)
EG (4.70) > CG (1.70)
Zeng (2012) [26]2.9 yr100
49
2-312JOA (0–29)Tuina
(20 min/14–21 sessions)
plus acupuncture
(8-9 AP/14–21 sessions)
Acupuncture
(8-9 AP/14–21 sessions)
EG (12.70) > CG (10.60)

Tuina plus hot pack

Rong (2010) [27]10.2 mo40
52
20 daysJOA (0–29)Tuina
(20 sessions)
plus Chinese herbal hot pack
(30 min/40 sessions)
Tuina
(20 sessions)
EG (11.32) > CG2 (5.23)
Yuan (2010) [28]>6 mo120
38
20 daysPain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(20 sessions)
plus hot pack
(360 min/20 sessions)
Tuina
(20 sessions)
EG (3.65) < CG (4.85)

Tuina plus moxibustion

Liu (2010) [29]1.2 yr90
31
4Pain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(30 sessions)
plus moxibustion
(3 AP/30 sessions)
(1) Tuina
(30 sessions)
(2) Moxibustion
(3 AP/30 sessions)
EG (3.51) > CG1 (3.21)
EG (3.51) > CG2 (1.79)

Tuina plus more than one Chinese medical therapy

Zhou (2009) [30]3 days–10 yr100
44
10 daysJOA (0–29)Tuina
(10 sessions)
plus traction
(30–60 min/20 sessions)
and Chinese herbal
hot pack
(30–45 min/20 sessions)
Traction
(30–60/20 sessions) plus Chinese herbal hot
Pack
(30–45 min/20 sessions)
EG (19.82) > CG2 (9.46)
Wang (2011) [31]1.2 yr60
45
30 daysPain VAS (0–10)Tuina
(30 sessions)
plus acupuncture
(7 AP/30 sessions)
and CHM (NR)
Tuina
(30 sessions)
EG (5.98) > CG (3.40)
Chen (2012) [32]103
6JOA (0–29)Tuina
(30 min/42 sessions) plus acupuncture
(10 AP/42 sessions)
and moxibustion
(3/42 sessions)
Tuina
(30 min/42 sessions)
EG (11.1) > CG2 (4)

VAS: Visual analog scale; ODI: the oswestry disability index; CHM: Chinese herbal medicine; NR: no reported; JOA: Japanese orthopaedic association score for low back pain; yr: year; mo: month; h: hour; AP: acupuncture point.
*Intervention dose: number of intervention time/number of sessions, number of acupuncture points/number of sessions, or number of Chinese herbal medicine every day/number of sessions.