Homeopathy as an effective treatment for low back pain
A prospective multi-centre observational study describes the details and effects of an individualized homeopathic treatment in patients with chronic low back pain in usual care. The results come from a sub-group analysis of patients suffering from low back pain that were part of a large prospective multi-centre observational study population carried out over an 8-year period. Consecutive patients beginning homeopathic treatment in primary care practices were evaluated over 2 years by using standardized questionnaires.
Diagnoses (ICD-9) and symptoms with severity, health-related quality of life (QoL), medical history, consultations, homeopathic and conventional treatments, and other health service use were recorded. The study included 129 adults, treated by 48 physicians. Nearly all the patients (91.3%) had been pretreated. The severity of the diagnoses and complaints showed marked and sustained improvements with large effect sizes (Cohen's d from 1.67 to 2.55) and quality of life improved accordingly. The use of conventional treatment and health services decreased markedly: the number of patients using low back pain-related drugs was half of the baseline.
The authors conclude that individualized homeopathic treatment represents an effective treatment for low back pain. It improves health-related quality of life and reduces the use of other healthcare services.
Witt CM, Lüdtke R, Baur R, Willich SN (2009) Homeopathic treatment of patients with chronic low back pain: A prospective observational study with 2 years' follow-up. Clinical Journal of Pain, 25:334-339.
[abstract at PubMed]