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  • Case Report2022-06-30

    Warm Cupping of the Posterior Thorax in Combination with Standard Conventional Therapy for ARDS in COVID-19 Patients in ICU: a Case Series

    Mehrdad Karimi1, Amir Hooman Kazemi1,2, Asma Asadi3, Azadeh Zarei1, Arman Zargaran4, Seyed Ali Al-hadi Moravej5, Seyede Ferdos Jazayeri5, Omid Nabavian6, Seyedeh Aida Ahmadi6, Reihane Alipour1,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 194-200 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.194
    Abstract

    Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is commonly found in critically ill patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). As a non-pharmacological treatment of complementary and alternative medicine (CAM), cupping has been clinically used for respiratory symptoms. We sequentially identified a series of patients with COVID-19 with ARDS who were admitted to the intensive care unit (ICU). Warm cupping of the posterior thorax was performed for seven days. We collected longitudinal severity scores on cough, breathlessness, chest tightness, type of oxygen therapy, and oxygen saturation (SpO2). We hereby report the changes in the severity scores in a series of eight patients who received 21 sessions of cupping in addition to conventional treatments. All patients reported improvement in symptom scores that was matched by an increase in SpO2 by as much as 3.16%. All patients were discharged and did not require the use of a mechanical ventilator. The results suggest that combining cupping with conventional treatment may provide a good prognosis for patients with COVID-19 with ARDS.

  • Review Article2022-08-31
    Abstract

    Currently, acupressure is widely accepted as a non-pharmacological therapy for managing pain, nausea and vomiting, and mental health conditions. Since acupressure can be self-administered, clinicians and researchers’ interest in information and communication technologies (ICTs) for disseminating acupressure to manage symptoms has increased. This mini review was conducted to examine clinical studies of acupressure using ICTs, with a particular focus on self-acupressure. Through a search of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and CENTRAL, all studies of self-acupressure using ICTs published before December 31, 2021 were collected. Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. More than half of the studies published since 2020 (4/7, 54.14%) were described as being related to COVID-19. As target conditions, musculoskeletal injuries or pain, cancer-related symptoms, dysmenorrhea, mental health issues, and obesity were considered. The most frequently used acupoints were LI4, LR3, and Shenmen. Moreover, smartphone applications were the most commonly used ICT method to support self-acupressure. In addition to the basic information of self-acupressure, other tools such as timers, reminders, and schedule checkers to facilitate its implementations have been incorporated into the smartphone applications. Recently, there have been some attempts to combine acupressure and ICTs. Although these studies mainly focus on musculoskeletal pain or injuries, recent studies related to mental health have emerged in relation to COVID-19. However, few studies have been conducted to date, making it difficult to fully grasp the trends in this field. Therefore, more studies are needed to evaluate the feasibility and efficacy of combining self-acupressure and ICTs in more diverse clinical areas.

  • Research Article2022-10-31

    Effect of Acupressure on Dental Anxiety in Children: a Pilot Study for a Randomized Clinical Trial

    Maria Eliza Consolação Soares1,*, Alessandra de Souza Araújo1, Isabela Carvalhaes Lagares Pinto1, Luiza Silveira Araújo Barbosa1, Maria Cristina Borsatto2, Rodrigo Galo3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(5): 307-313 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.5.307
    Abstract

    Background: Anxiety is an important problem in children in dental clinics. Acupressure may be a useful tool to assist in dental procedures in anxious children.Objectives: This pilot study was performed to examine the effects of acupressure on dental anxiety in children undergoing restorative procedures.Methods: Fourteen children aged 7-10 years and with at least one primary molar with caries on the dentine were included in the study. The participants also needed to score at least one point on the modified Venham Picture Test (VPTm) for the determination of anxiety. The children were randomly allocated to two groups: group A — non-documented points for the reduction of anxiety and induction of relaxation; group B — documented points (EX-HN3, Shen Men of auricular acupuncture). The anxiety scale was administered on three occasions: prior to the application of acupressure; immediately after sitting in the dental chair to undergo restorative treatment; and after removal of acupressure at the end of the restorative procedure. Heart rate (HR) was measured when each child sat in the dental chair, after the removal of carious tissue, and after the removal of acupressure.Results: After the procedure, HR (as an indicator of anxiety) was statistically significantly lower in group B than group A (p = 0.02). However, there was no significant difference between the groups regarding anxiety before and during the restorative procedure (VPTm and HR: p > 0.05).Conclusion: The children who received acupressure on documented points for the reduction of anxiety had a significantly lower HR after the restorative procedure. No significant between-group difference was found regarding anxiety measured using a psychometric evaluation (VPTm).

  • Research Article2022-04-30

    Link Between Electroacupuncture Stimulation near the Sympathetic Trunk and Heart Rate Variability

    Kazufumi Takahashi2,3,*, Xiaoming Wang2,3, Daiyu Shinohara1, Kenji Imai2,3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 114-120 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.114
    Abstract

    Background: The cardiovascular system and airway smooth muscles are regulated by the autonomic nervous system.Objectives: This study investigated the effect of electrical acupuncture stimulation near the cervical sympathetic ganglia on heart rate variability and respiratory function.Methods: This prospective, single-center study at Teikyo Heisei University recruited 24 healthy adults randomly assigned to no-stimulation and electroacupuncture (EA) groups in a crossover trial with a 2-week washout period. After 5 min of rest, a 5-min rest or acupuncture stimulus was delivered, followed by a further 5 min of rest for both groups. EA, at 2-Hz (level of no pain), was delivered near the left cervical ganglia at the level of the sixth cervical vertebra in the EA group.Results: The high-frequency component of the heart rate variability was significantly higher in the EA group than that in the no-stimulation group. Further, there was a significant increase in the high-frequency component of the heart rate in the EA group during the stimulation compared to before and after stimulation. Heart rate decreased significantly during EA compared to before stimulation in the EA group. Regarding respiratory function, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak flow significantly increased in the EA group compared with the no-stimulation group, and after stimulation compared with before stimulation.Conclusion: Stimulation with 2-Hz EA near the cervical sympathetic trunk increased parasympathetic nerve activity and reduced heart rate. However, the respiratory function was activated via increased sympathetic nerve activity. Therefore, 2-Hz EA may be effective for autonomic nerve regulation in bronchial stenosis.

  • Research Article2023-06-30

    Effect of Acupressure at PC6 on Nausea and Vomiting During Pregnancy: a Randomized Controlled Trial

    Melike Pündük Yılmaz1,*, Saadet Yazıcı2, İsmail Yılmaz3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(3): 89-94 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.3.89
    Abstract

    Background: Nausea and vomiting are among the most common medical problems during pregnancy, affecting 80% of mothers.Objectives: This study was conducted as a randomized controlled experimental study to determine the effect of acupressure applied by a wristband to the pericardium 6 (PC6) point on nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.Methods: The study population consisted of 74 pregnant women between 6-14 weeks of gestation who were experiencing nausea and vomiting. The study data was collected with personal information from the Pregnancy-Unique Quantification of Emesis Scale (PUQE). Experimental and control groups were selected by a simple random method. The experimental group wore acupressure wristbands for one week, while the control group did not use any method to alleviate nausea and vomiting. One week later, the PUQE scale was applied to both groups.Results: The acupressure wristbands decreased the nausea and vomiting scores of the pregnant women in the experimental group without statistical significance but did not change the nausea and vomiting scores of the pregnant women in the control group.Conclusion: Acupressure wristbands can be used to prevent nausea and vomiting during pregnancy.

  • Research Article2022-06-30

    Postoperative Acupuncture is as Effective as Preoperative Acupuncture or Meloxicam in Dogs Undergoing Ovariohysterectomy: a Blind Randomized Study

    Ana Carla Zago Basilio Ferro1, Caroline Cannolas2, Juliana Cristianini Reginato2, Stelio Pacca Loureiro Luna1,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 181-188 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.181
    Abstract

    Background: Acupuncture has the same analgesic effect as non-steroidal antiinflammatory drugs and opioids. It is challenging to perform preoperative acupuncture in unmanageable animals, while the residual postoperative anesthetic effect facilitates the performance of acupuncture postoperatively.Objectives: To compare preoperative acupuncture or meloxicam versus postoperative acupuncture for postoperative analgesia after ovariohysterectomy.Methods: This is a horizontal prospective positive control blind randomized experimental study. Thirty-six dogs were randomly divided into three groups: GA (preemptive acupuncture), GPA (postoperative acupuncture), and GM (meloxicam 0.2 mg/kg IV preoperatively). After sedation with acepromazine (0.05 mg/kg IM), anesthesia was induced with propofol (5.3 ± 0.3 mg/kg) and maintained with isoflurane/O2. Fentanyl (2 μg/kg, IV) was administered immediately before surgery. Bilateral acupuncture was performed at acupoints Large intestine 4, Spleen 6, and Stomach 36 for 20 minutes, before (GA) or immediately after surgery (GPA). Pain was evaluated by an observer blind to the treatment using the Glasgow scale before and for 24 hours after ovariohysterectomy. Dogs with a score ≥ 6 received rescue analgesia with morphine (0.5 mg/kg IM). Nonparametric data were analyzed by the Kruskal–Wallis test, followed by Dunn’s test and parametric data by ANOVA followed by Tukey’s test.Results: Two GA and one GPA dogs received rescue analgesia once. Two GM dogs received rescue analgesia and one of those was treated again twice. There were no differences in the number of dogs receiving rescue analgesia between groups (p = 0.80).Conclusion: Postoperative acupuncture was as effective as preoperative acupuncture or meloxicam in female dogs undergoing ovariohysterectomy.

  • Research Article2022-08-31

    The Adjunctive Effects of Acupuncture for Hospitalized COVID-19 Patients: a Single-Blinded Randomized Clinical Study

    Dwi Rachma Helianthi1, Atikah C. Barasila1,2, Salim Harris3, Robert Sinto4, Yordan Khaedir2, Irman1,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 247-254 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.247
    Abstract

    Background: Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is an infectious disease caused by a coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2) that can induce cytokine storm. To this point, no specific drug has been effective for curing COVID-19.Objectives: The aim of this study was to determine the effects of a combination of acupuncture intervention and pharmacologic treatment in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild-moderate symptoms.Methods: A single-blinded randomized controlled clinical trial of hospitalized COVID-19 patients confirmed by RT-PCR examination with mild-moderate symptoms was conducted from August to September 2020. Participants were assigned to the treatment group (receiving pharmacologic treatment and manual acupuncture intervention) or the control group (receiving only pharmacologic treatment). Laboratory outcomes, including complete blood count, C-reactive protein (CRP) and ferritin levels, and erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), were measured before and after the intervention. For clinical outcomes, we evaluated the duration of the cough symptom.Results: We found that participants in the treatment group had a shorter duration of the cough symptom compared to the control group, and the difference was statistically significant. In the treatment group, we found an increase in the percentage of lymphocyte count and ESR, while in the control group, both parameters were decreased; however, the differences were not statistically significant. There was a decrease in the mean of CRP and ferritin levels in both groups, and the differences were not statistically significant.Conclusion: Our study has shown promising results for the effects of combined treatment of acupuncture and pharmacologic treatment on the duration of the cough symptom in hospitalized COVID-19 patients with mild-moderate symptoms. Further large-scale studies with rigorous design are needed to examine these preliminary results.

  • Research Article2022-12-31
    Abstract

    Background: Acupuncture is a non-pharmacological therapy used clinically for mood disorders. Relief of physical symptoms with acupuncture treatment may lead to relief of depressive symptoms and improvement of quality of life (QoL). Few studies have examined the effect of acupuncture on the physical symptoms and QoL of patients with mood disorders.Objectives: To examine the effect of acupuncture on physical symptoms and QoL of patients with treatment-resistant major depressive disorder (MDD) and bipolar disorder (BD).Methods: This prospective, single-arm, longitudinal study included patients with MDD and BD from an outpatient psychiatric clinic. Acupuncture was performed weekly for 12 weeks in combination with regular treatment, with fixed acupoints and individualized treatment for each patient. Psychiatric symptoms were evaluated using the Himorogi Self-Rating Depression Scale (HSDS) and Himorogi Self-Rating Anxiety Scale (HSAS). Physical symptoms such as physical pain, gastrointestinal symptoms, and sleep disorders were evaluated using the Japanese version of the Somatic Symptom Scale-8 (SSS-8) and Visual Analog Scale (VAS). QoL was evaluated using the 8-item Short-Form (SF-8) Health Survey.Results: A total of 36 patients (15 MDD and 21 BD patients) were analyzed. After 12 weeks of acupuncture, HSDS and HSAS scores significantly decreased (p < 0.05). Physical symptoms evaluated using SSS-8 and VAS scores also significantly improved (p < 0.05). In particular, neck pain and insomnia improved at an early stage. Among the SF-8 subscales, scores of bodily pain, general health perception, role limitations due to emotional problems, and mental health significantly increased (p < 0.05).Conclusion: Acupuncture may improve not only psychiatric symptoms but also physical symptoms and QoL in patients with treatment-resistant mood disorders. Further studies are required for confirmation of the preliminary data collected thus far.

  • Abstract

    Depression is a common illness worldwide. Acupuncture is used as an alternative to non-pharmacological therapy. This study aimed to identify the development and global trends in the study of acupuncture therapy for depression over the past two decades using a bibliometric analysis. Articles published between 2001 and 2020 on acupuncture for depression were retrieved from the Web of Science database. Extracted information included authors, organizations, countries, keywords, and journals. The VOSviewer program was used to visualize the impacts and network hubs of the keywords, authors, and affiliations. Analyses of 871 original and review articles revealed that the number of publications has continually increased over the past 20 years. China has published the maximum number of articles, followed by the United States and South Korea. As for research areas, integrative complementary medicine was most well represented in terms of the number of articles. Co-occurrence analysis of keywords indicated that each five sub-group cluster (including “pain related to depressive symptoms,” “CAM therapies of depression,” “comorbid disease or symptoms of depression,” “clinical trials of depression,” and “mechanism of acupuncture on depression”) has its own impact keyword. The most recent keywords were “protocol” and “systematic review,” whereas early keywords were “acupuncture analgesia” and “St john’s wort.” Co-authorship analysis of authors and organizations revealed 4 influential authors and 2 organizations in the field of acupuncture for depression. The present study provided influential keywords that show comorbid symptoms, treatments, and mechanism. Additionally, it revealed the influential persons or groups related to acupuncture therapy for depression.

  • Brief Report2022-12-31
    Abstract

    A patient with bradycardia and an idioventricular rhythm was observed. According to cardiologists, there is no reliable drug treatment for bradycardia with an idioventricular rhythm; instead, the sole treatment is a pacemaker. In the course of this case, it was shown that acupuncture can restore the heart rhythm from bradycardia to normocardia, and from idioventricular with third-degree atrioventricular node block and an average heart rate of 34 BPM, to normal sinus rhythm with a heart rate of 71 BPM. Additionally, at the end of the treatment, the patient’s number of episodes of ventricular extrasystole decreased 36 times (3289 versus 91 episodes). These results show that research on this technique should be continued.

Journal Info

JOURNAL OF MICROBIOLOGY AND BIOTECHNOLOGY
Vol.16 No.6
December, 2023

pISSN 2005-2901
eISSN 2093-8152

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  • Research Article2022-08-31

    Effects of Acupuncture in the Treatment of Dogs with Neurological Sequels of Distemper Virus

    Bianca P. C. R. Santos1, Jean G. F. Joaquim2, Renata Navarro Cassu3,*, José C. F. Pantoja1, Stelio Pacca Loureiro Luna1
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(4): 238-246 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.4.238
    Abstract

    Background: Acupuncture (AP) has been empirically used to relieve post-canine distemper virus (CDV) infection neurological signs in veterinary clinics.Objectives: This clinical study aimed to investigate the effects of AP combined with electroacupuncture (EA) on neurological function in dogs infected by CDV.Methods: Twenty-four CDV-infected dogs with neurological sequelae were recruited to receive weekly AP/EA sections for 24 weeks. Neurological improvements were assessed before each AP/EA session using a modified scoring system. Data were analyzed using the McNemar test, Friedman test, Fisher's exact test, and Kaplan-Meier curves (p < 0.05).Results: Neurological scores improved from seven to 24 weeks after AP/EA treatment compared with pretreatment scores (p < 0.001). Significant improvements were recorded over time for functional limb recovery, cranial nerve deficits, mental status (p = 0.025 – 0.014), and urinary function (p < 0.001). Myoclonus was improved and entirely reversed in 75% and 25% of the dogs, respectively. At the end of treatment, the proportion of dogs with normal proprioception, posture, hopping (p < 0.001), and superficial pain sensation responses (p = 0.004) was greater than pretreatment values.Conclusion: AP/EA therapy promoted significant neurological recovery in CDV-infected dogs and may be considered within the chronic phase of the disease to improve motor and sensory rehabilitation. However, these results are preliminary and must be confirmed by further investigations.

  • Research Article2022-04-30

    Link Between Electroacupuncture Stimulation near the Sympathetic Trunk and Heart Rate Variability

    Kazufumi Takahashi2,3,*, Xiaoming Wang2,3, Daiyu Shinohara1, Kenji Imai2,3
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(2): 114-120 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.2.114
    Abstract

    Background: The cardiovascular system and airway smooth muscles are regulated by the autonomic nervous system.Objectives: This study investigated the effect of electrical acupuncture stimulation near the cervical sympathetic ganglia on heart rate variability and respiratory function.Methods: This prospective, single-center study at Teikyo Heisei University recruited 24 healthy adults randomly assigned to no-stimulation and electroacupuncture (EA) groups in a crossover trial with a 2-week washout period. After 5 min of rest, a 5-min rest or acupuncture stimulus was delivered, followed by a further 5 min of rest for both groups. EA, at 2-Hz (level of no pain), was delivered near the left cervical ganglia at the level of the sixth cervical vertebra in the EA group.Results: The high-frequency component of the heart rate variability was significantly higher in the EA group than that in the no-stimulation group. Further, there was a significant increase in the high-frequency component of the heart rate in the EA group during the stimulation compared to before and after stimulation. Heart rate decreased significantly during EA compared to before stimulation in the EA group. Regarding respiratory function, forced vital capacity, forced expiratory volume in 1 s, and peak flow significantly increased in the EA group compared with the no-stimulation group, and after stimulation compared with before stimulation.Conclusion: Stimulation with 2-Hz EA near the cervical sympathetic trunk increased parasympathetic nerve activity and reduced heart rate. However, the respiratory function was activated via increased sympathetic nerve activity. Therefore, 2-Hz EA may be effective for autonomic nerve regulation in bronchial stenosis.

  • Research Article2022-02-28

    GB20 Pharmacopuncture As a Potential Method for Brain Drug Delivery via the Perivascular Spaces

    Oxana Semyachkina-Glushkovskaya1,2,*, Inna Blokhina2, Nikita Navolokin2,3, Arina Evsukova2, Georgy Karandin2, Alexander Khorovodov2, Andrey Terskov2, Ivan Fedosov2, Alexander Dubrovsky2, Maria Tzoy2, Vasily Ageev2, Ilana Agranovich2, Valeria Telnova2, Anna Tsven2, Jürgen Kurths1,2,4
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(1): 43-49 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.1.43
    Abstract

    Background: The development of new methods of drug brain delivery is a crucial step for the effective therapy of the brain diseases. Pharma- and acupuncture are the forms of alternative therapy of the brain pathology, including an increase in the permeability of blood-brain barrier. However, the mechanisms of pharma- and acupuncture-mediated effects on the brain physiology remain not fully understood. Results: This pilot study on healthy mice clearly demonstrates the Evans Blue spreading in the mouse head and in the brain via the perivascular spaces (PVSs) of the trigeminal structure and the cribriform plate after the dye injection into the Feng Chi point (Galbladder 20, GB20). Conclusion: These results suggest that pharmacopuncture at GB20 can be a perspective method for brain drug delivery via PVSs.

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  • Review Article2022-06-30

    Exploring Acupuncture Actions in the Body and Brain

    In-Seon Lee, Younbyoung Chae*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(3): 157-162 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.3.157
    Abstract

    Acupuncture’s actions have been explained by biomedical research. However, the meridian system used in acupuncture needs further clarification. This review describes how acupuncture affects the body and brain. From the perspective of traditional East Asian medicine, the meridian system is closely connected with acupuncture’s treatment effects. In the body, the indications of acupoints, primarily established based on the meridian system, have spatial symptom patterns. Spatial patterns of acupoint indications are distant from the stimulated sites and strongly associated with the corresponding meridian’s route. Understanding how acupuncture works based on the original meridian system is important. From a neuroscience perspective, an acupuncture-induced sensation originates from the bottom-up action of simple needling in the peripheral receptor and the reciprocal interaction with top-down brain modulation. In the brain, enhanced bodily attention triggered by acupuncture stimulation can activate the salience network and deactivate the default mode network regardless of the actual stimulation. The application of data science technology to acupuncture research may provide new tools to uncover the principles of acupoint selection and enhance the clinical efficacy of acupuncture treatment in various diseases.

  • Research Article2023-06-30

    Ziwuliuzhu Acupuncture Modulates Clock mRNA, Bmal1 mRNA and Melatonin in Insomnia Rats

    Ao Huang1, Gefang Xiao2, Yiliu Chen1, Zuying Hu1, Pin-Hsuan Lee1, Yusen Huang1, Zifeng Zhuang1, Yuling Zhang1, Peng Qing2,*, Canghuan Zhao2,*
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2023; 16(3): 109-118 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2023.16.3.109
    Abstract

    Background: In clinics, Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture is widely considered an effective method of treating insomnia; however, there is currently limited information available regarding its possible mechanisms. Although the method of Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture possesses a unique rhythmic pattern.Objectives: In this study, we have creatively combined the traditional Chinese medicine of Ziwuliuzhu with a modern biological rhythm to investigate the internal mechanism of insomnia.Methods: Pathological tissue from the hypothalamus was analyzed using hematoxylin–eosin staining. The level of TNF (tumor necrosis factor)-α in the SCN (suprachiasmatic nucleus) area of the hypothalamus was detected in situ using the TUNEL fluorescence staining assay. The concentration of hypothalamic melatonin was detected using the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The mRNA expression of Clock and Bmal1 was measured using RT-qPCR.Results: In the Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture groups, the structural damage in the hypothalamic neurons was alleviated compared to the model group and the expression of inflammatory factors was reduced. The mRNA expression levels of Clock and Bmal1 were significantly increased (p < 0.05). The concentration of melatonin was significantly increased (p < 0.001). Although there were no significant differences between the treatment groups (diazepam group, Nazi group, Najia group, and routine group) (p > 0.05).Conclusion: Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture alleviated neuronal damage and modulated the inflammatory reaction in the hypothalamus of rats with insomnia. Moreover, Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture increased the expression levels of Clock and Bmal1 mRNA, and MT content. This study has potentially highlighted one of the mechanisms through which Ziwuliuzhu acupuncture can be used to treat insomnia.

  • Research Article2022-12-31

    Comparison of the Effects of Myofascial Meridian Stretching Exercises and Acupuncture in Patients with Low Back Pain

    Dilek Eker Büyükşireci1,*, Nesrin Demirsoy1, Setenay Mit2, Ersel Geçioğlu2, İlknur Onurlu1, Zafer Günendi1
    J Acupunct Meridian Stud 2022; 15(6): 347-355 https://doi.org/10.51507/j.jams.2022.15.6.347
    Abstract

    Background: Acupuncture and myofascial meridians show great anatomical and clinical compatibility.Objectives: We aimed to compare the effects of myofascial meridian stretching exercises and acupuncture in patients with low back pain.Methods: We randomized 81 subjects with acute/subacute low back pain into three groups: an acupuncture (A) group, a myofascial meridian stretching (MMS) group, and a control (C) group. We recorded the Numerical Rating Scale (NRS) and Roland- Morris Disability Questionnaire (RMQ) scores at baseline and weeks two and six. We evaluated posterior pelvic tilt and transversus abdominis muscle strenghth with a pressure biofeedback unit, back extensor muscle strength by the Sorenson test, and lumbar range of motion (ROM) with an inclinometer. Group A received acupuncture (BL 57 and BL 62 acupoints) and stretching exercises according to the posterior superficial line were applied to the MMS group.Results: Improvements in the NRS score were more prominent in group A than in group C (p = 0.004). The RMQ score improvement between baseline and weeks two and six was more prominent in groups A and MMS (p < 0.001, p = 0.001, respectively). The Sorenson test showed significant improvement between the baseline and week two in groups A and MMS (p = 0.004, p < 0.001, respectively). The increase in lumbar ROM measurement in the MMS group between baseline and week two was significantly higher than in groups A and C (p = 0.009, p < 0.001, respectively).Conclusion: Stretching exercises according to the myofascial meridian system and acupuncture contributed to improved symptoms in the first two weeks in patients with acute/subacute low-back pain.

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