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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2012 (2012), Article ID 695726, 8 pages
http://dx.doi.org/10.1155/2012/695726
Research Article

Chinese Massage Combined with Herbal Ointment for Athletes with Nonspecific Low Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Yueyang Hospital of Integrated Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China
2Research Institute of Tuina, Shanghai Academy of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
3Department of Orthopedics, Shuguang Hospital, Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
4Department of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Songjiang People Hospital of Shanghai, Shanghai 201699, China

Received 3 August 2012; Accepted 16 October 2012

Academic Editor: Edourad Hnawia

Copyright © 2012 Ling Jun Kong et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

Abstract

Non-specific low back pain (NLBP) is an increasing health problem for athletes. This randomized controlled trial was designed to investigate the effects of Chinese massage combined with herbal ointment for NLBP. 110 athletes with NLBP were randomly assigned to experimental group with Chinese massage combined with herbal ointment or control group with simple massage therapy. The primary outcome was pain by Chinese Short Form McGill Pain Questionnaire (C-SFMPQ). The secondary outcome was local muscle stiffness by Myotonometer. After 4 weeks, the experimental group experienced significant improvements in C-SFMPQ and in local muscle stiffness compared with control group (between-group difference in mean change from baseline, −1.24 points, in sensory scores; −3.14 points, in affective scores; −4.39 points, in total scores; −0.64 points, in VAS; −1.04 points, in local muscle stiffness during relaxation state). The difference remained at one month followup, but it was only significant in affective scores (−2.83 points, ) at three months followup. No adverse events were observed. These findings suggest that Chinese massage combined with herbal ointment may be a beneficial complementary and alternative therapy for athletes with NLBP.