The Effects of Elgucare on Degenerated Intervertebral Disc-Induced Low Back Pain and Disc Regeneration: A Clinical Trial

Wen Cheng Lo, Yu Ting Chen, Chen Ching Chen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Citation (Scopus)


Introduction. Chronic low back pain (LBP) has a wide range of causes. However, most cases are induced by degeneration of the lumbar intervertebral discs (IVDs), and the aching caused by local compression of the affected region has considerable impacts on quality of life. This clinical trial investigated the use of Elgucare, a Chinese herbal formula, as a food supplement to reduce the pain of patients with LBP induced by degeneration of the lumbar IVDs. Methods. The study assessed patient subjective quality of life, functional limitations caused by LBP, and variations in pain. The assessment was done through the visual analogue scale (VAS) and effects on lumbar IVD thickness, water content, and bone mineral density (BMD). These parameters were evaluated before and after the administration of Elgucare or a placebo, one of which was taken by each participant for a 12-month period. Results. Elgucare reduced the patients' mean VAS pain score by 2.25 points and improved their mean LBP-hampered mobility as assessed by the Roland-Morris Questionnaire by 5.17 points. The results of another questionnaire indicated that Elgucare slowed the LBP-induced deterioration of patients' quality of life, while objective assessment indices obtained through X-ray and magnetic resonance imaging showed that the height and water retention of their IVDs were increased. However, the BMD results showed no improvements. Conclusions. Elgucare can increase the water retention and height of IVDs and reduce LBP, thereby enhancing quality of life. Therefore, Elgucare can potentially be used as a clinical supplement.

Original languageEnglish
Article number5824956
JournalComputational and Mathematical Methods in Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Modelling and Simulation
  • Biochemistry, Genetics and Molecular Biology(all)
  • Immunology and Microbiology(all)
  • Applied Mathematics


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