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J Pain Res. 2009 Jun 25;2:75-85.

Long-term outcomes of anthroposophic therapy for chronic low back pain: A two-year follow-up analysis.

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Institute for Applied Epistemology and Medical Methodology, Freiburg, Germany.



Anthroposophic treatment for chronic low back pain (LBP) includes special artistic and physical therapies and special medications. In a previously published prospective cohort study, anthroposophic treatment for chronic LBP was associated with improvements of pain, back function, and quality of life at 12-month follow-up. These improvements were at least comparable to improvements in a control group receiving conventional care. We conducted a two-year follow-up analysis of the anthroposophic therapy group with a larger sample size.


Seventy-five consecutive adult outpatients in Germany, starting anthroposophic treatment for discogenic or non-specific LBP of ≥6 weeks' duration participated in a prospective cohort study. Main outcomes were Hanover Functional Ability Questionnaire (HFAQ; 0-100), LBP Rating Scale Pain Score (LBPRS; 0-100), Symptom Score (0-10), and SF-36 after 24 months.


Eighty-five percent of patients were women. Mean age was 49.0 years. From baseline to 24-month follow-up all outcomes improved significantly; average improvements were: HFAQ 11.1 points (95% confidence interval [CI]: 5.5-16.6; p < 0.001), LBPRS 8.7 (95% CI: 4.4-13.0; p < 0.001), Symptom Score 2.0 (95% CI: 1.3-2.8; p < 0.001), SF-36 Physical Component Summary 6.0 (95% CI: 2.9-9.1; p < 0.001), and SF-36 Mental Component Summary 4.0 (95% CI: 1.1-6.8; p = 0.007).


Patients with chronic LBP receiving anthroposophic treatment had sustained improvements of symptoms, back function, and quality of life, suggesting that larger multicenter rigorous studies may be worthwhile.


anthroposophy; drug therapy; eurythmy therapy; follow-up studies; low back pain

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