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Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2017;2017:8218139. doi: 10.1155/2017/8218139. Epub 2017 Dec 26.

Chuna (or Tuina) Manual Therapy for Musculoskeletal Disorders: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials.

Author information

1
School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.
2
Korean Medicine Clinical Research Center, Korean Medicine Hospital, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.
3
Department of Korean Rehabilitation Medicine, Kyung Hee University, Seoul 02447, Republic of Korea.
4
Jaseng Spine and Joint Research Institute, Jaseng Medical Foundation, Seoul 06017, Republic of Korea.
5
Clinical Research Division, Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea.
6
Korean Medicine Life Science, University of Science & Technology (UST), Campus of Korea Institute of Oriental Medicine, Daejeon 34054, Republic of Korea.
7
Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.
8
Spine & Joint Center, Korean Medicine Hospital, Pusan National University, Yangsan 50612, Republic of Korea.

Abstract

Objective:

To review the literature and systematically evaluate the effectiveness of Chuna (or Tuina) manual therapy (C[T]MT) on pain and function for musculoskeletal disorders.

Methods:

We searched 15 English, Chinese, Japanese, and Korean databases using relevant keywords. All randomized controlled trials (RCTs) of C(T)MT for musculoskeletal disorders were considered, and we limited analyses to studies with a low-risk bias for randomization and/or allocation concealment.

Results:

Sixty-six RCTs with 6,170 participants were included. One sham-controlled RCT showed that C(T)MT relieved pain more effectively than a sham control (SMD -3.09 [-3.59, -2.59]). For active-controlled RCTs, pooled meta-analysis showed that C(T)MT had statistically significant effects on pain reduction, especially compared to traction (P < 0.00001), drugs (P = 0.04), and physical therapies (P < 0.0001). For functional improvement, combined effects of C(T)MT with drugs (P = 0.04) and traction (P = 0.05) also showed similar positive effects.

Conclusions:

This systematic review suggests that C(T)MT is safe and effective for pain reduction and functional improvement for musculoskeletal diseases; however, the evidence for functional improvement was not as strong as for pain reduction. For future studies, high-quality RCTs such as sham-controlled studies with standardized interventions are needed to provide sufficient evidence on the effects of C(T)MT for musculoskeletal diseases. Protocol registration number is CRD42016038307 04/07/2016.

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