Methods: A total of 104 patients with rheumatoid arthritis were randomized into and an observation group (52 cases, 1 case dropped off) and a control group (52 cases, 3 cases dropped off). In the control group, methotrexate tablets were prescribed for oral administration, 5 mg each time, once a week. In the observation group, on the base of the treatment as the control group, Bo‘s abdominal acupuncture was combined. The acupoints included Zhongwan (CV 12), Xiawan (CV 10), Guanyuan (CV 4), Qihai (CV 6), Huaroumen (ST 24), Wailing (ST 26), etc. The treatment was given once every two days, 3 times weekly. Totally 12 weeks were required in the two groups. Before and after treatment, the score of TCM symptoms (including joint pain, the range of motion, joint swelling and morning stiffness), and the levels of erythrocyte sedimentation rate (ESR), rheumatoid factor (RF) and C-reactive protein (CRP) were observed and the clinical therapeutic effect was assessed in the two groups.
Results: After treatment, the total effective rate was 88.2% (45/51) in the observation group, higher than 73.5% (36/49) in the control group (P<0.05). The score of each TCM symptom and the total scores after treatment were all lower than those before treatment in the two groups (P<0.05), and these scores in the observation group were lower than the control group (P<0.05). After treatment, the levels of ESR, RF and CRP were all lower than those before treatment in the two groups (P<0.05), while the levels of those indexes in the observation group were lower than the control group (P<0.05).
Conclusion: Bo‘s abdominal acupuncture for “guiding qi to the source” plus “opening four gates on the abdomen” as the adjunctive therapy effectively relieves the clinical symptoms in the patients with rheumatoid arthritis, which is related to the reduction of ESR, RF and CRP in mechanism.