Effect of Auricular Point Acupressure on Axial Neck Pain After Anterior Cervical Discectomy and Fusion: A Randomized Controlled Trial

Bingjiang Xia, Yiping Xie, Songfeng Hu, Taotao Xu, Peijian Tong
Pain Medicine 2018 January 1, 19 (1): 193-201

Objectives: To evaluate the effect of auricular point acupressure (APA) on axial neck pain after anterior cervical discectomy and fusion (ACDF) surgery.

Design: A prospective randomized controlled trial was performed.

Subjects and setting: Twenty-nine participants were randomly divided into two groups, real or sham APA. Participants were enrolled from Shaoxing Hospital of Traditional Chinese Medicine, affiliated with Zhejiang Chinese Medical University.

Methods: Eligible participants received a four-week real or sham APA treatment according to their assigned groups. The clinical outcomes were assessed by the criteria of Hosono et al., the Brief Pain Inventory Short Form (BPI), and the 36-item Short Form Health Survey (SF-36). In addition, plasma interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were analyzed.

Results: Patients with severe or moderate axial neck pain accounted for 28.6% and 35.7% in the real APA group at the end of treatment and one-month follow-up. BPI scores were decreased in the real APA group at the end of treatment and one-month follow-up. The total mean score of SF-36 was improved in the real APA group and significantly higher than in the sham APA group. Additional, the levels of IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α were decreased in the real APA group.

Conclusions: The findings supported the therapeutic effect of APA treatment on axial neck pain after ACDF surgery, and they exert the possible therapeutic effect on downregulating the levels of plasma IL-1β, IL-6, and TNF-α.

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