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Sustained acoustic medicine treatment of discogenic chronic low back pain: A randomized, multisite, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

BACKGROUND: Sustained acoustic medicine (SAM) is a noninvasive long-term treatment that provides essential mechanical and thermal stimulus to accelerate soft tissue healing, alleviate pain, and improve physical activity. SAM increases localized deep tissue temperature, blood flow, cellular proliferation, migration, and nutrition exchange, resulting in reduced inflammation and an increased rate of tissue regeneration.

OBJECTIVE: To assess the efficacy of SAM treatment of discogenic back pain in the lower spinal column to reduce pain, improve quality of life, and lower pharmacotherapy use.

METHODS: Sixty-five subjects with chronic low back pain were randomly assigned to SAM (N= 33) or placebo (N= 32) groups. Subjects self-applied SAM device bilaterality on the lower lumbar region for 4 hours daily for 8 weeks and completed daily pain diaries before, during, and after treatment. Subjects recorded pain reduction using a numeric rating scale (NRS), medication use, and physical activity using the Global Rating of Change (GROC) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI).

RESULTS: SAM treatment significantly reduced chronic lower back pain from baseline relative to placebo treatment (p< 0.0001). SAM treated subjects reported significantly lower back pain at 4 weeks, with the highest pain reduction (-2.58 points NRS, p< 0.0001) reported at 8 weeks. Similar trends were observed in improved physical activity (3.48 GROC, p< 0.0001, 69-88% ODI, p< 0.0001) and 22.5% (15.2 morphine milligram equivalent) reduction in the use of opioid medication from baseline to 8 weeks.

CONCLUSION: Daily, home-use SAM treatment significantly improves the clinical symptoms of chronic lower back pain, improves physical mobility, and reduces daily medication use. SAM treatment is well-tolerated by patients and may be considered a safe, non-invasive treatment option for chronic discogenic, lower back pain.

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