Naturopathic Care for Chronic Low Back Pain: A Randomized Trial

An important finding from this trial was the effectiveness of theNaturopathic care. We expected to see an effect on quality of life as the Naturopathic care group received treatment aimed at relaxation and improved nutrition. Quality of life appears to be linked to chronic back pain[1] and so our finding on quality of life improvement suggests that further research on the long-term effects of Naturopathic care would be of interest to patients.
Further to this, we observed a significant decrease in the weight and BMI of participants in the Naturopathic care group compared to the control group, with a relative decrease of 1.46 Kgs (95% CI, 22.60, 20.32) between groups (P= 0.0052) and a mean decrease of 0.52 (20.96, 20.08) BMI between groups (P for difference=0.01).
Many patients access complementary therapy providers over physicians or more traditionally regulated professions due to the perception that CAM practitioners provide a more holistic treatment package, which examines physical complaints along with mental and emotional concerns, and indeed sometimes spiritual concerns[17]. Our study did not aim to determine participant contentment with Naturopathic care over other therapies, but we did receive systematic feedback in the form of optional comments on the forms that the participants in the Naturopathic care group increased their interest in seeking CAM care and developed an increased appreciation for Naturopathic care. The results from this first randomized trial evaluating naturopathic care for chronic low back pain suggest that further research is warranted to determine the generalizability of this intervention, the specific contribution of individual treatment components, and the cost benefit associated with this therapy.

Orest Szczurko1, Kieran Cooley1, Jason W. Busse2, Dugald Seely1, Bob Bernhardt1, Gordon H. Guyatt2, Qi Zhou2, Edward J. Mills2*
1 Division of Clinical Epidemiology, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, 2 Department of Clinical Epidemiology and
Biostatistics, McMaster University, Hamilton, Ontario, Canada

Neural protection by naturopathic compounds—an example of tetramethylpyrazine from retina to brain

Par zhiqun Tan

These results suggest a promising prospect for TMP to be used as a treatment of specific neurodegenerative diseases.

Abstract Given the advantages of being stable in the ambient environment, being permeable to the blood–brain and/or blood–eye barriers and being convenient for administration, naturopathic compounds have growingly become promising therapeutic candidates for neural protection. Extracted from one of the most common Chinese herbal medicines, tetramethylpyrazine (TMP), also designated as ligustrazine, has been suggested to be neuroprotective in the central nervous system as well as the peripheral nerve network. Although the detailed molecular mechanisms of its efficacy for neural protection are understood limitedly, accumulating evidence suggests that antioxidative stress, antagonism for calcium, and suppression of pro-inflammatory factors contribute significantly to its neuroprotection. In animal studies, systemic administration of TMP (subcutaneous injection, 50 mg/kg) significantly blocked neuronal degeneration in hippocampus as well as the other vulnerable regions in brains of Sprague–Dawley rats following kainate-induced prolonged seizures. Results from us and others also demonstrated potent neuroprotective efficacy of TMP for retinal cells and robust benefits for brain in Alzheimer’s disease or other brain injury. Given the assessment of the distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity information that is already available on most neuroprotective naturopathic compounds such as TMP, it would not take much preclinical data to justify bringing such therapeutic compounds to clinical trials in humans.

Department of Neurology, University of California Irvine School of Medicine, ZOT 4275, 100 Irvine Hall, Irvine, CA 92697, USA