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Complementary and Integrative Interventions for Arthritis and Back Pain 

Complementary and Integrative Interventions for Arthritis and Back Pain
Chapter:
Complementary and Integrative Interventions for Arthritis and Back Pain
Author(s):

Karen J. Sherman

and Michelle L. Dossett

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780199380862.003.0028
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date: 02 December 2020

Back pain and arthritis are among the most common reasons for complementary and integrative medicine (CIM) use in the Western world. For osteoarthritis, the CIM therapies with the strongest evidence include acupuncture, tai chi, massage, and prescription glucosamine sulfate. Effect sizes are similar to conventional therapies (i.e., low to moderate), with an apparently superior safety profile. For back pain, the CIM therapies with the strongest evidence include acupuncture, massage, spinal manipulation, and yoga. These therapies were also included in the clinical practice guidelines of the American Pain Society/American College of Physicians regarding non-pharmacological management of acute and chronic back pain. Effect sizes are typically similar to conventional therapies (i.e., moderate), with a safety profile that appears superior to conventional medications. Few studies on CIM therapies for back pain in elderly adults have been conducted, so additional research is needed to ensure these results can be translated to the elderly.

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