Wang SM, Punjala M, Weiss D, Anderson K, Kain ZN. J Altern Complement Med. 2007 Mar;13(2):241-6 Department of Anesthesiology, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, CT 06520-8041, USA.

shu-ming.wang@yale.edu

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OBJECTIVE

To determine whether a combination of auricular and body acupuncture is effective as an adjunct for the preprocedural anxiety and pain management in patients undergoing lithotripsy procedures.

DESIGN

Randomised controlled trial.

SETTING

The community centre, Old-Aged Home and Women Workers Association, Hong Kong. Intervention: 8-session relaxation acupoint stimulation followed by acupressure with lavender oil over a 3-week period. The control group received usual care only.

OUTCOME MEASURES

Changes from baseline to the end of treatment were assessed in pain intensity (by Visual Analogue Scale) and duration; lateral fingertip-to-ground distance in centimetres; walking time and interference on daily activities.

RESULTS

The baseline VAS scores for the intervention and control groups were 6.38 (S.E.M. = 0.22) and 5.70 (S.E.M. = 0.37) out of 10, respectively ( P=0.24 ). One week after the end of treatment, the intervention group had 39% greater reduction in VAS pain intensity than the control group ( P=0.0001 ), improved walking time ( P=0.05 ) and greater lateral spine flexion range ( P=0.01 ).

CONCLUSIONS

Our results show that 8-sessions of acupoint stimulation followed by acupressure with aromatic lavender oil were an effective method for short-term LBP relief. No adverse effects were reported. To complement mainstream medical treatment for sub-acute LBP, the combined therapy of acupoint stimulation followed by acupressure with aromatic lavender oil may be one of the choices as an add-on therapy for short-term reduction of LBP.