Acupuncture effective for pain relief in Parkinson’s disease

Objective: To explore the effect of electroacupuncture on skeletal muscle pain in Parkinson’s disease (PD).

Methods: A single-center randomized controlled trial was conducted with sixty patients with Parkinson’s disease with skeletal muscle pain were randomly divided into electroacupuncture group and sham acupuncture control group with 30 patients each. The electric acupuncture group was treated with electric acupuncture, while the control group was treated with Park needle pseudoacupuncture. Both groups were treated 5 times a week for a total of 4 weeks, and both groups completed 20 treatments. King’s Parkinson’s Pain Scale (KPPS) and visual analog scale (VAS) were used before and after treatment to evaluate the pain degree of patients.

Real-time shear wave elastography (SWE) and modified Ashworth score (MAS) were used to evaluate the changes of muscle tone. Parkinson’s comprehensive Score Scale (MDS-UPDRS, including UPDRSⅡ and UPDRS Ⅲ) was used to evaluate exercise ability. Hamilton Depression Scale (HAMD) score was used to evaluate the emotional changes of patients. Spearman correlation analysis was used to explore the correlation between pain degree and muscle tone, exercise ability and emotion.

Results: During the study, one case fell off in the control group, and 30 cases were eventually included in the analysis and treatment group and 29 cases in the control group. After treatment, Young’s modulus of biceps and quadriceps and shear wave velocity of biceps were decreased in electroacupuncture group compared with before treatment, while KPPS score, VAS score, UPDRSⅡ, UPDRS Ⅲ and modified Ashworth score were decreased, with statistical significance (P < 0.05). There was no statistical significance in control group (P > 0.05).

After treatment, KPPS score, VAS score, UPDRSⅡ and UPDRS Ⅲ, MAS, HAMD score, Young’s modulus of biceps and shear wave velocity in electroacupuncture group were significantly lower than those in control group (P < 0.05). Spearman correlation analysis showed that KPPS score was positively correlated with UPDRS Ⅲ (r = 0.414, P < 0.05). KPPS score was positively correlated with HAMD score (r = 0.576, P < 0.01).

Conclusion: Electroacupuncture therapy can effectively improve skeletal muscle pain in patients with Parkinson’s disease, reduce the muscle hardness of patients, improve patients’ daily life ability, and improve patients’ emotional disorders. The degree of skeletal muscle pain in Parkinson’s diseas patients is correlated with motor ability and emotional disorders, but there is no significant correlation between the degree of skeletal muscle pain and the muscle tone of Parkinson’s diseas patients.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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