Not withstanding this void, the high prevalence of such therapies drives their integration into our health care systems.
Expert opinions on the use of complementary therapies for low back pain could therefore be helpful until more data from randomised, controlled trials become available.
A postal questionnaire survey was designed to generate opinion from a systematically identified expert panel on the clinical effectiveness of complementary therapies for low back pain.
Computerised searches were conducted to systematically identify by objective criteria 50 clinical experts on low back pain.
Each panel member received a questionnaire to assess the perceived clinical effectiveness of complementary therapies for 4 defined categories of low back pain.
For acute uncomplicated low back pain, Osteopathy was rated as effective by most experts.
For chronic uncomplicated low back pain, most experts considered acupuncture as effective.
Experts perceived homeopathy generally as ineffective for any type of low back pain. Clinical experience with herbalism as a treatment for low back pain was insufficient to form an opinion.
Experts’ opinion is in favour of the effectiveness of Osteopathy for acute uncomplicated low back pain.
Acupuncture is judged to be of some value for chronic, uncomplicated low back pain.
Homeopathy is perceived as ineffective for any type of low back pain.
Insufficient experience with herbalism as a treatment for low back pain prevents firm conclusions.
(Journal of Manipulative and Physioligical Therapeutics 1999;22:87–90)