Comparing the analgesic efficacy between 100 Hz and 2 Hz electroacupuncture on patients with lumbar osteoarthritis

Original Research

Abstract

Background and Objective: Chronic low back pain (CLBP) represents one of the major causes of increasing disability worldwide. Electroacupuncture with different frequencies at the Hua Tuo Jia Ji acupoints has been used to treat CLBP in patients with lumbar osteoarthritis. Basic studies demonstrate that 100 Hz or 2 Hz electroacupuncture has pain-relief effects on CLBP; however clinical evidence for choosing which frequency is still limited. Thus, our study aims to compare the effects of 100 Hz to 2 Hz electroacupuncture for CLBP on patients with lumbar osteoarthritis.

Methods: A randomized controlled trial of 124 patients with lumbar osteoarthritis at the Traditional Medicine Hospital at Ho Chi Minh City from September 2018 to July 2019. Patients were randomly allocated to either intervention group (n = 62) with 100 Hz electroacupuncture or control group (n = 62) with 2 Hz electroacupuncture at the L2-S1 Hua Tuo Jia Ji acupoints for 14 days. Du Huo Ji Sheng Tang decoction was also administered in both groups. Primary trial outcomes were QDSA score and the proportion of patients who achieved pain relief thresholds.

Results: After 14 days of treatment, QDSA score in intervention group decreased significantly compared to control group. 87% of patients in intervention group had pain relief of ≥70%, and only 45% patients in control group had such result. Lumbar flexion range of motion in 100 Hz group tended to be better than in 2 Hz group.

Conclusion: 100 Hz electroacupuncture had superior analgesic effects on lumbar osteoarthritis to 2 Hz electroacupuncture.

Graphical abstract

Effect of auricular acupuncture on exam anxiety in first-year medical students

Original Research

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Exam anxiety is a commonly seen problem among medical students. Auricular acupuncture has been shown to have an anxiety-reducing effect, however, data on exam anxiety is limited. Research in dental and preoperative anxiety has indicated that anxiety level could be reduced by using ear acupoints on the non-dominant side. Therefore, this study aims to determine whether needling at acupoints on the non-dominant side can reduce exam anxiety in medical students.

Method: This is a prospective observational study on 32 students at The Faculty of Traditional Medicine, Ho Chi Minh City University of Medicine and Pharmacy. Eligible students received auricular acupuncture on the non-dominant side at the Master cerebral, Tranquilizer and Relaxation points. Levels of anxiety were measured using a visual analogue scale before and after the intervention as well as before the exam. The State-Trait Anxiety Inventory, heart rate, exam performance and adverse events occurring during the study were also collected.

Results: Exam anxiety level and heart rate decreased 30 minutes after auricular acupuncture (p<0.05). Before the exam, exam anxiety level and heart rate increased significantly compared to after the intervention but still lower than baseline (p<0.05). The exam anxiety level with heart rate at each time point did not differ significantly in gender and trait anxiety levels (p>0.05). No adverse events from auricular acupuncture were observed.

Conclusion: Auricular acupuncture at the Master cerebral, Tranquillizer and Relaxation points on the non-dominant side is effective in reducing exam anxiety in medical students.

Graphical abstract

The efficiency of combining modified acupuncture and motor relearning method on post-stroke patients

Original Research

Abstract

Background and Objectives: Combining modern medicine and traditional medicine in the rehabilitation of post-stroke motor deficit has shown interesting results. Many studies on modified acupuncture, a combination of modern and traditional techniques, have proven its effectiveness in motor rehabilitation in post-stroke patients. Furthermore, the effectiveness of the motor relearning method in the treatment of post-stroke paralysis has been elucidated. Therefore, our study aims to determine whether the combination between modified acupuncture and motor relearning method can improve treatment outcomes.

Method: Multicenter randomized controlled trial (Traditional Medicine Hospital of Ho Chi Minh City, General Hospital of Soc Trang Province, and People Military Hospital of Soc Trang Province) from July 2014 to July 2015. 66 post-stroke patients were divided into two groups: The control group received modified acupuncture combined with Bobath method and the trial group received modified acupuncture combined with motor relearning method. After six weeks, patients were evaluated according to the Barthel score, the 10-hole test, and the ability to walk.

Results: The trial group showed better results than the control group. There was a significant difference between the two groups in the Barthel score and the ability to walk, excluding the 10-hole test. After treatment, 77.42% of patients in the trial group showed improvement compared to only 51.61% in the control group (P < 0.05).

Conclusion: The combination of modified acupuncture and motor relearning method is more effective than the combination of modified acupuncture and Bobath method in the rehabilitation of motor deficit after stroke.

Graphical abstract

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