Warm type acupuncture with tuina is effective for chronic nonspecific lower back pain

Objective: To compare the clinical efficacy and possible mechanism of warming acupuncture combined with “three steps and seven methods” of tuina and simple “three steps and seven methods” of tuina in treatment of chronic nonspecific low back pain of yang deficiency and cold-dampness blockage.

Methods: A total of 138 patients were randomized into an observation group (69 cases, 5 cases dropped off) and a control group (69 cases, 7 cases dropped off). In the control group, “three steps and seven methods” of tuina was applied. On the basis of the treatment in the control group, warming acupuncture was applied at Shenshu (BL 23), Yaoyangguan (GV 3), Mingmen (GV 4), Weizhong (BL 40) and ashi points. The treatment was given once a day, 6 times a week for 3 weeks in both groups.

Before and after treatment, the short form of McGill pain questionnaire (SF-MPQ) score, Oswestry disability index (ODI) score, finger-to-floor distance (FFD), Schober test distance, fear-avoidance beliefs questionnaire (FABQ) score and yang deficiency and cold-dampness blockage score were observed, the serum levels of tumor necrosis factor-α (TNF-α), interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6 and thromboxane B2 (TXB2) were detected in both groups. The recurrence rate was evaluated in follow-up of 6 months after treatment.

Results: After treatment, the scores of PRI, PPI, VAS, ODI, FABQ and FFD, yang deficiency and cold-dampness blockage scores were decreased compared before treatment in both groups (P<0.01), and those in the observation group were lower than the control group (P<0.01); the Schober test distances were increased compared before treatment in both groups (P<0.01), and that in the observation group was larger than the control group (P<0.01).

After treatment, the serum levels of TNF-α, IL-1β, IL-6 and TXB2 were decreased compared before treatment in both groups (P<0.01), and those in the observation group were lower than the control group (P<0.01). In follow-up, the recurrence rate was 12.8% (6/47) in the observation group, which was lower than 34.3% (12/35) in the control group (P<0.05).

Conclusion: Warming acupuncture combined with “three steps and seven methods” of tuina can effectively alleviate pain in patients with chronic chronic nonspecific low back pain of yang deficiency and cold-dampness blockage, improve activity and dysfunction of waist, the clinical efficacy is superior to simple “three steps and seven methods” of tuina, its mechanism may be relate to the inhibition of inflammatory reaction.

Reference: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/35543940/

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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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