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Massage, Meditation, and Tai Chi for Chronic Lower Back Pain

This study has been completed.
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Information provided by:
Group Health Cooperative Identifier:
First received: October 9, 2003
Last updated: June 28, 2011
Last verified: June 2011
This clinical trial is a preliminary study designed to prepare for a full-scale, randomized clinical trial of the effectiveness of tai chi, mediation, and therapeutic massage for chronic lower back pain in adults.

Condition Intervention
Low Back Pain
Behavioral: Tai chi
Behavioral: Mindfulness-based Stress Reduction program
Procedure: Therapeutic massage

Study Type: Interventional
Study Design: Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Factorial Assignment
Masking: Single Blind
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Relaxation-Related CAM Therapies for Chronic Back Pain

Resource links provided by NLM:

Further study details as provided by Group Health Cooperative:

Estimated Enrollment: 120
Study Start Date: September 2000
Estimated Study Completion Date: June 2003
Detailed Description:

Despite the common use of complementary and alternative therapies for back pain, little is known about how such therapies compare with each other or with conventional medical therapies in terms of effectiveness and cost. This study will lay the groundwork for a full-scale trial that will evaluate the relative effectiveness and costs of three promising relaxation-related techniques (massage, tai chi, and meditation) that are appropriate for both younger and older adults with chronic lower back pain. The pilot study will identify and resolve unanticipated problems and estimate the sample sizes required for an adequately-powered, full-scale trial.

Participants with chronic lower back pain will be randomly assigned to one of the following groups: tai chi, massage, meditation, or continued usual care (control group). The participants assigned to each intervention will be divided equally between persons under and over age 65.


Ages Eligible for Study:   20 Years to 64 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria

  • Chronic lower back pain
  Contacts and Locations
Choosing to participate in a study is an important personal decision. Talk with your doctor and family members or friends about deciding to join a study. To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the Contacts provided below. For general information, see Learn About Clinical Studies.

Please refer to this study by its identifier: NCT00070915

Sponsors and Collaborators
Group Health Cooperative
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Daniel C. Cherkin Center for Health Studies
  More Information Identifier: NCT00070915     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: R01AT000606-01 ( US NIH Grant/Contract Award Number )
Study First Received: October 9, 2003
Last Updated: June 28, 2011

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Back Pain
Low Back Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms processed this record on March 24, 2017