Do Clinicians Base CAM Recommendations to Patients on Evidence of Efficacy?

Désirée A. Lie, MD, MSEd


February 28, 2014

What Would You Do?

A 50-year-old man with a body mass index in the normal range presents to your office stating that he would like to be more active in outdoor sports, but he is unable to participate because of chronic low back pain. Vertebral disc prolapse had been excluded by earlier imaging, which was notable for mild osteoarthritis of the lumbar spine. In the past, physical therapy has been of limited help, although he continues to do back stretches daily. He spends 2-4 hours commuting by car to work each day and runs or walks 2-3 times a week, 30-40 minutes at a time.

The patient is asking for your recommendation for a complementary or alternative medicine (CAM) option that would improve his functioning and ability to participate in more vigorous physical activity. He does not wish to take anti-inflammatory agents because of reflux esophagitis.


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