Immediate analgesic effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture for acute lumbago (Low Back Pain): a randomized controlled trial.
To assess the immediate analgesic effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture on acute lumbago and the relationship between the analgesic effect and the expectation of patients.
A randomized, single-blind, sham-controlled trial was designed. Sixty cases of acute lumbago were randomly divided into two groups, 30 cases in each one. In observation group, wrist-ankle acupuncture was adopted to the Lower 5 and Lower 6 bilaterally, no requirement of Deqi (arrival of qi). In control group, sham acupuncture was adopted. The treatment was applied once in either group, with the needles retained for 30 min. The Short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire (SF-MPQ) and the Modified-Modified Schober (MMS) test were used to assess the motion related pain and the situation of spinal flexion in 3 min before treatment and 5 min, 10 min, 15 min, during treatment and 30 min (needle removed), respectively. The Expectation and Treatment Credibility Scale (ETCS) was applied to analyze the relationship between the expectation of patients and the analgesic effect. The adverse reaction was recorded.
There were no statistically significant differences in SF-MPQ, MMS and ETCS before treatment between two groups (all P>0.05). In 5 min after needles insertion, the scores of the items in SF-MPQ in observation group were lower than those in control group (P<0.05, P<0.01). In 10 min after needles insertion, the scores of SF-MPQ in observation group were lower than those in control group and the scores of MMS were higher than those in control group (P<0.05). In 15 min after needles insertion, except the sensory pain rating index, the scores of the rest items in SF-MPQ in observation group were all lower than those in control group (P<0.05, P<0.01). In 30 min (needles removed), the scores of affective pain rating index of SF-MPQ and Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) in observation group were lower than those in control group (P<0.05, P<0.01). The expectation before treatment was negatively correlated with VAS scores in 5 min, 10 min, 15 min and 30 min after needle insertion separately in observation group (P<0.05), while the correlation was not found in control group (P>0.05). No adverse reaction was reported.
Wrist-ankle acupuncture can reduce acute lumbago immediately and significantly. The higher the expectation on the analgesic effect of wrist-ankle acupuncture the patients have, the better the analgesic effect will be. This therapy is highly safe in the treatment.