Table 1

Study characteristics and the distribution of trials for each intervention providing data within 4 weeks, included patients on active treatment, Q-values from heterogeneity tests, mean methodological scores, mean age of patients and baseline pain on a 100 mm visual analogue scale (VAS). (*) One trial with electroacupuncture used too low electrical stimulation intensity according to optimal treatment criteria (Berman et al. 2004), and consequently was classified as manual acupuncture.

Type of intervention

Total number of trials

Total number of patients

Number of trials with optimal treatment

Number of patients receiving optimal treatment

Mean methodological quality [range] (max score 5)

Mean age (years)

Q-values and p-values in hetero-geneity tests

Mean baseline pain on 100 mm VAS †


TENS including IF

11

425

7

277

3.3 [1–5]

63.6

60.8 (p < 0.001)

63.8

Electro-acupuncture

3

242

3

242

3.6 [3–5]

62.9

1.1 (p = 0.58)

62.7

Manual acupuncture

4

691

4

691

3.9 [3–5]

66.1

4.5 (p = 0.34)

54.7

Low Level Laser therapy

8

343

5

222

3.5 [2–5]

66.9

36.4 (p < 0.001)

66.7

Pulsed electromagnetic fields

7

487

7

487

4.4 [3–5]

64.2

9 (p = 0.18)

63.3

Ultrasound

1

74

1

74

4

67.5

n.a.

53.0

Static magnets

2

172

2

172

4 [4]

65.6

1.9 (p = 0.22)

59.7

Total and means

36

2434

24

2165

3.8

65.1

62.9†


* = Mean † = Weighted mean

Bjordal et al. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2007 8:51   doi:10.1186/1471-2474-8-51

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