Efficacy of a Short-Term Low-Calorie Diet in Overweight and Obese Patients with Chronic Sciatica: A Randomized Controlled Trial

J Altern Complement Med. 2020 Jun;26(6):508-514. doi: 10.1089/acm.2019.0360. Epub 2020 May 20.

Abstract

Objectives: Chronic sciatica is a common condition. According to Traditional Persian Medicine and recent studies, calorie reduction is thought to be helpful for this condition. The purpose of this work is to evaluate a short-term low-calorie diet (LCD) for ameliorating chronic sciatica in the context of pain relief and reduced disability for patients. Design: In this randomized controlled trial, 96 candidates for the nonsurgical treatment of chronic sciatica were randomly assigned to two groups to receive a 1-month LCD (intervention) or ordinary diet (control), both in combination with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). Afterward, patients were visited at baseline and on days 15, 30, and 60 after treatment. Pain and disability were evaluated using the short-form McGill pain questionnaire (SFMPQ) and the Roland-Morris disability questionnaire (RMDQ), respectively. Results: Both mean RMDQ scores and SFMPQ scores decreased significantly in the LCD group compared to the control group. SFMPQ descriptor scale scores at baseline and on days 15, 30, and 60 in the LCD group were 7.71 ± 1.69, 6.63 ± 1.61, 5.54 ± 1.87, and 4.96 ± 2.02, respectively, and in the control group were 6.63 ± 1.44, 6.69 ± 1.32, 6.64 ± 1.98, and 6.62 ± 2.53, respectively (p = 0.001). RMDQ scores at baseline and on days 15, 30, and 60 in LCD group were 11.17 ± 3.90, 8.60 ± 1.97, 7.50 ± 2.71, and 6.77 ± 3.06, respectively, and in the control group, 10.00 ± 2.20, 9.98 ± 2.29, 9.94 ± 2.94, and 9.85 ± 3.32, respectively (p < 0.001). Conclusion: A short-term (1-month) LCD is effective in decreasing pain and disability in candidates for nonsurgical treatment of chronic sciatica.

Keywords: Traditional Persian Medicine; chronic sciatica; low back pain; low-calorie diet.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Caloric Restriction*
  • Disability Evaluation
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Overweight / diet therapy*
  • Overweight / drug therapy
  • Pain Measurement
  • Sciatica / diet therapy*
  • Sciatica / drug therapy

Substances

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal