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CAM and Conv Medical Care Work Together to Improve Treatment of Lower-Back Pain

A study, published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, concludes that many patients suffering from lower back pain, might benefit significantly from an individualised, multidisciplinary, team-based model of care that includes access to licensed complementary care practitioners (e.g. chiropractors, massage therapists and acupuncturists). In an interesting collaboration between researchers from Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s Hospital (Boston, Massachusetts), Group Health Research Institute (Seattle, Washington) and Brown University (Providence, Rhode Island), compared the outcomes of “usual care” type treatments (conventional therapy) against those from a combination of an integrated program of complementary and alternative medical (CAM) therapies as well as “usual care”. They concluded that there were significant differences between the two patient groups. These differences were measurable across a number of outcomes, including measures of pain and physical performance. The Complementary Medical therapies used included: acupuncture, chiropractic, massage therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy, mind-body techniques and nutritional counseling.

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