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Tuina-focused integrative chinese medical therapies for inpatients with low back pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis



Objective. To evaluate the effectiveness of Tuina-focused integrative Chinese medical therapies (TICMT) on inpatients with low back pain (LBP). Methods. 6 English and Chinese databases were searched for randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of TICMT for in-patients with LBP. The methodological quality of the included RCTs was assessed based on PEDro scale. And the meta-analyses of TICMT for LBP on pain and functional status were conducted. Results. 20 RCTs were included. The methodological quality of the included RCTs was poor. The meta-analyses' results showed that TICMT had statistically significant effects on pain and functional status, especially Tuina plus Chinese herbal medicine (standardised mean difference, SMD: 1.17; 95% CI 0.75 to 1.60 on pain; SMD: 1.31; 95% CI 0.49 to 2.14 on functional status) and Tuina plus acupuncture (SMD: 0.94; 95% CI 0.38 to 1.50 on pain; SMD: 0.53; 95% CI 0.21 to 0.85 on functional status). But Tuina plus moxibustion or hot pack did not show significant improvements on pain. And the long-term evidence of TICMT was far from sufficient. Conclusions. The preliminary evidence from current studies suggests that TICMT might be effective complementary and alternative treatments for in-patients with LBP. However, the poor methodological quality of the included RCTs means that high-quality RCTs with long follow-up are warranted.

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