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Home > Newsletters > January 2009 > Recent Research

Points - Recent Research

Intramuscular and Periosteal Acupuncture in Patients Suffering from Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Standardized Transcutaneous Electric Acupoint Stimulation for Relieving Tobacco Urges in Dependent Smokers

Astragalus Membranaceus and Angelica Sinensis in Treating Renal Microvascular Lesions

Intramuscular and Periosteal Acupuncture in Patients Suffering from Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain

Hansson Y, Carlsson C, Olsson E.

BACKGROUND: Periosteal acupuncture has shown promising results in clinical practice. The aim was to compare three patient groups: one with intramuscular acupuncture, one with periosteal acupuncture, and a third information control group, with respect to clinically relevant pain relief, physical functioning and intake of analgesics in patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain in the neck or low back or both. We reported the psychological changes in these patients in a previous issue of this journal. METHODS: 144 consecutive patients with nociceptive pain for >3 months, aged 18-70 years were alternately allocated to: intramuscular acupuncture (n=59); periosteal acupuncture (n=55); or control group with information only (n=30). All patients were encouraged to stay active. Acupuncture was administered with eight treatments during five weeks, and two optional additional treatments after one month. Pain was estimated with a daily VAS in a pain diary and with an average weekly pain score. Clinically relevant pain relief was defined as at least a 30% decrease from the initial value. Physical functioning was evaluated with Disability Rating Index. All estimations were performed prior to treatment, one week after, and one, three and six months after treatment. RESULTS: There were no differences between the effects of the two acupuncture methods. There were differences between each of the two acupuncture groups compared with the control group on all test occasions up to one month after treatment with respect to the pain diary and one week after treatment with respect to pain last week (P<0.05). Pain relief as measured by a pain diary was obtained in 29 patients in the intramuscular acupuncture group, 25 in the periosteal acupuncture group, and 5 patients in the control group. Six months after treatment, 46% of the intramuscular acupuncture patients and 45% of the periosteal acupuncture patients had obtained pain relief in terms of the pain diary. The corresponding figure for pain last week was 29% in each group. CONCLUSIONS: Periosteal pecking was no more effective than standard intramuscular acupuncture, but both were more effective than information only.

Acupunct Med. 2008 Dec;26(4):214-23

Source: PubMed


Standardized Transcutaneous Electric Acupoint Stimulation for Relieving Tobacco Urges in Dependent Smokers

Lambert C, et al. Neuroscience Research Institute, Peking University, 38 Xue Yuan Road, Beijing 100083, China.

The efficacy of acupuncture in smoking cessation, and its effect on the urge to smoke are unclear. We evaluated the effect of a standardized protocol of transcutaneous electric acupoint stimulations (TEAS) on alleviating the urge to smoke. Ninety-eight smokers were recruited in two double-blind studies. Participants abstained from smoking for 26 h, and were randomized to receive TEAS alternating between 2 and 100 Hz at four acupoints (LI4 and PC8, PC6 and TE5) at four different intensities (10, 5, Intermittent 5 or 0 mA). The urge to smoke was assessed by the Questionnaire of Smoking Urges (QSU-Brief). In Experiment 1, the 10 mA group (n = 20) was compared with the 5 mA group (n = 20); the increase in smoking urges did not differ significantly. Considering the possibility that 5 mA may be an active intervention, in Experiment 2, a true placebo (0 mA), and a proxy of placebo [Intermittent 5 mA (i5 mA)] were compared with 10 mA TEAS. In this experiment, 10 mA (n = 20) TEAS showed a tendency to alleviate smoking urges compared with 0 mA (n = 16), and i5 mA (n = 19) TEAS. Only when the data of smokers with Fagerstöm Test for Nicotine Dependence score >/=5 were analyzed that the difference between the 10 mA group and the control group (0 and i5 mA) became significant. Based on these preliminary findings, we conclude that TEAS applied on the skin may antagonize the increase in urge to smoke in abstinent-dependent smokers. It seems warranted to assess the efficacy of TEAS in smoking cessation clinical trials involving a larger population of dependent smokers.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2008 Dec 10.

Source: PubMed


Astragalus Membranaceus and Angelica Sinensis in Treating Renal Microvascular Lesions

Song JY, et al. Department of Nephrology, First Hospital of Peking University, Beijing.

It has been known that the renal microvasular lesions could aggravate the progress of glomerular sclerosis and tubulo-interstitial fibrosis in chronic kidney diseases. Modern pharmacological studies indicated that the two traditional Chinese herbs, Astragalus membranaceus and Angelica sinensis, could improve micorvascular lesions through multiple mechanisms, including increasing local renal blood flow to lessen the hypoxic renal injury, promoting the recovery of renal blood flow and glomerular filtration rate after ischemia-reperfusion, modulating the imbalance of vaso-activators such as nitric oxide and angiotensin, increasing the expression of vascular epithelial growth factor and inhibiting the release of the intracellular calcium ion and promoting DNA synthesis in endothelial cells to improve the function of endothelial cells. These evidences suggest that Astragalus membranaceus and Angelica sinensis may retard the progress of renal diseases through the above-mentioned mechanisms.

Zhongguo Zhong Xi Yi Jie He Za Zhi. 2008 Sep;28(9):859-61

Source: PubMed


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