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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 309831, 8 pages
Research Article

Integrative TCM Conservative Therapy for Low Back Pain due to Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Randomized Controlled Clinical Trial

1Shuguang Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 201203, China
2Yueyang Integrative Traditional Chinese and Western Medicine Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Shanghai 200437, China
3Ruijin Hospital Affiliated to Shanghai Jiaotong University, Shanghai 200025, China

Received 10 April 2013; Revised 22 May 2013; Accepted 7 June 2013

Academic Editor: Wolfgang Weidenhammer

Copyright © 2013 Wei An Yuan 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.


Low back pain due to lumbar disc herniation (LDH) is very common in clinic. This randomized controlled trial was designed to investigate the effects of integrative TCM conservative therapy for low back pain due to LDH. A total of 408 patients with low back pain due to LDH were randomly assigned to an experimental group with integrative TCM therapy and a control group with normal conservative treatment by the ratio of 3 : 1. The primary outcome was the pain by the visual analogue scale (VAS). The secondary outcome was the low back functional activities by Chinese Short Form Oswestry Disability Index (C-SFODI). Immediately after treatment, patients in the experimental group experienced significant improvements in VAS and C-SFODI compared with the control group (between-group difference in mean change from baseline, −16.62 points, in VAS; −15.55 points, in C-SFODI). The difference remained at one-month followup, but it is only significant in C-SFODI at six-month followup (−7.68 points, ). No serious adverse events were observed. These findings suggest that integrative TCM therapy may be a beneficial complementary and alternative therapy for patients with low back pain due to LDH.