Chronic lower back pain is perhaps the most commonly reported workplace disability. Szczurko et al. conducted a randomized clinical trial of 75 postal service employees experiencing more than six weeks of chronic back pain, dividing them to receive Naturopathic care (n = 39) or standardized physiotherapy (n = 36) over a period of 12 weeks. The study was conducted in clinics on-site in postal outlets. Participants in the Naturopathic care group received dietary counseling, deep breathing relaxation techniques and acupuncture. The control intervention received education and instruction on physiotherapy exercises using an approved education booklet. The authors suggest that naturopathic care provided statistically significant greater improvement than physiotherapy advice.
The naturopathic route involved hands-on intervention (acupuncture), and there is this curious point suggesting some rather significant motivational differences:
Data was available on 100% (39) of the naturopathic care group at week 8 and 75% (27) of the control group at week 8. Complete data on participants at week 12 was available on 92% and 63% respectfully.