Effectiveness of Chinese massage therapy Tui Na for chronic low back pain: study protocol for a randomized controlled trialReport as inadecuate

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, 15:418

First Online: 29 October 2014Received: 20 June 2014Accepted: 15 October 2014DOI: 10.1186-1745-6215-15-418

Cite this article as: Yang, M., Feng, Y., Pei, H. et al. Trials 2014 15: 418. doi:10.1186-1745-6215-15-418


BackgroundLow back pain is a common, disabling musculoskeletal disorder in both developing and developed countries. Although often recommended, the potential efficacy of massage therapy in general, and Chinese massage tuina in particular, for relief of chronic low back pain CLBP has not been fully established due to inadequate sample sizes, low methodological quality, and subclinical dosing regimens of trials to date. Thus, the purpose of this randomized controlled trial RCT is to evaluate the comparative effectiveness of tuina massage therapy versus conventional analgesics for CLBP.

Methods-DesignThe present study is a single center, two-arm, open-label RCT. A total of 150 eligible CLBP patients will be randomly assigned to either a tuina treatment group or a conventional drug control group in a 1:1 ratio. Patients in the tuina group receive a 20 minutes, 4-step treatment protocol which includes both structural and relaxation massage, administered in 20 sessions over a period of 4 weeks. Patients in the conventional drug control group are instructed to take a specific daily dose of ibuprofen. The primary outcome measure is the change from baseline back pain and function, measured by Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire, at two months. Secondary outcome measures include the visual analogue scale, Japanese orthopedic association score JOAS, and McGill pain questionnaire.

DiscussionThe design and methodological rigor of this trial will allow for collection of valuable data to evaluate the efficacy of a specific tuina protocol for treating CLBP. This trial will therefore contribute to providing a solid foundation for clinical treatment of CLBP, as well as future research in massage therapy.

Trial registrationThis trial was registered with ClinicalTrials.gov of the National Institute of Health on 22 October 2013 http:-NCT01973010.

KeywordsChronic low back pain Effectiveness Randomized controlled trial Tuina Chinese massage therapy AbbreviationsCLBPChronic Low Back Pain

CTComputed tomography

JOASJapanese Orthopedic Association Score

MRIMagnetic resonance imaging

NSAIDsNonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs

TCMTraditional Chinese Medicine

VASVisual Analogue Scale


Electronic supplementary materialThe online version of this article doi:10.1186-1745-6215-15-418 contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.

Mingxiao Yang, Yue Feng contributed equally to this work.

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Author: Mingxiao Yang - Yue Feng - Hong Pei - Shufang Deng - Minyu Wang - Xianjun Xiao - Hui Zheng - Zhenhong Lai - Jiao Chen - X

Source: https://link.springer.com/

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