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Naturopathic Care and Low Back Pain

affeine consumption).

The control group received a treatment protocol that has previously been published in the British Medical Journal. They received basic exercise and lifestyle counseling and a booklet of general information about lower back pain. Visits with the control group were made every two weeks to offer additional lifestyle advice, counseling, or to answer any questions.

Three measures were given to participants: The Oswestry (low back pain questionnaire), Roland & Morris (low back pain questionnaire used to back up the Oswestry), and the Short Form (SF)-36 (general qualify of life questionnaire) survey. Information from these surveys was used to assess baseline back health and quality of life. Pain medication, adjunctive therapies, and lumbar flexion (functional measure) were also established at baseline. Oswestry, Roland & Morris, SF-36, and forward lumbar flexion were recorded at 4, 8, and 12 weeks. Medication and therapy use was recorded at each visit.

Results After 12 weeks, the investigators observed the following:

§ Scores for those with specific low back pain decreased by 20.0 percent in the naturopathic care group vs. an increase of 8.8 percent for control (p< 0.0001), per the Roland & Morris survey.

§ Scores for general low back pain decreased by 11.1 percent among the naturopathic group vs. an increase of 1.7 percent in the control (p< 0.0001), per the Oswestry questionnaires.

§ There was improvement in all of the eight categories that make up the overall quality of life survey (SF-36) among those receiving naturopathic care. By contrast, only two categories improved slightly among those in the control group while the remaining six remained the same or dropped below baseline.

§ Patients in the naturopathic study section had more limber measurements in the spine, increasing from 29.55 to 33.85 cm vs. a decrease in the control group from 31.58 to 30.28 cm (p< 0
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