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Comparisons of the effectiveness and safety of Tuina, acupuncture, traction, and Chinese herbs for lumbar disc herniation: a systematic review and network meta-analysis
Mo Z, Li D, Zhang R, Chang M, Yang B, Tang S
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine 2019;(6821310):Epub
systematic review

BACKGROUND: Tuina, acupuncture, traction, and Chinese herbs play an important role in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation. However, the comparative effectiveness and safety of the four commonly utilized treatment modalities are still unclear. OBJECTIVE: To compare the effectiveness and safety of the four interventions for lumbar disc herniation. METHODS: Randomized controlled trials comparing any two of the four interventions in the treatment of lumbar disc herniation were identified using the following databases: PubMed, the Cochrane Library, Embase, Web of Science, the China National Knowledge Infrastructure, Chinese Science and Technology Periodical Database, and Wanfang data, and network meta-analysis was performed using STATA 14.0. RESULTS: One hundred and twenty-one studies involving a total of 13,075 patients were included. In all the outcome measurements, traction demonstrated a worst effectiveness, and Tuina and acupuncture demonstrated a best effectiveness, but no significant differences were found between Tuina and acupuncture. Compared with Tuina or acupuncture, Chinese herbs showed a similar effectiveness in Visual Analogue Score and Japanese Orthopedic Association Scores, but an inferior effectiveness in invalid rate and cure rate. CONCLUSIONS: In the treatment of lumbar disc herniation, Tuina and acupuncture were superior to traction or Chinese herbs, and the effectiveness of traction was the worst. However, considering the limitations of this review, more high-quality trials, especially those comparing Chinese herbs with the other three interventions, should be carried out in the future to further confirm the current findings.

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