Points - Recent Research
The Use of Wet Cupping for Persistent Nonspecific Low Back Pain
The Effectiveness of Electroacupuncture for Functional Constipation
Ginsenoside Rd Is Efficacious Against Acute Ischemic Stroke by Suppressing Microglial Proteasome-Mediated Inflammation

The Use of Wet Cupping for Persistent Nonspecific Low Back Pain

AlBedah A1, et al.

OBJECTIVES: To evaluate the effectiveness and safety of wet cupping therapy as a single treatment for persistent nonspecific low back pain (PNSLBP).
DESIGN: Randomized controlled trial comparing wet cupping versus no treatment in PNSLBP.
SETTING: Outpatient clinic in three secondary care hospitals in Saudi Arabia.
PATIENTS: Eighty eligible participants with PNSLBP for at least 3 months were randomly allocated to an intervention group (n=40) or to a control group (n=40).
INTERVENTIONS: Six wet cupping sessions within 2 weeks, each of which were done at two bladder meridian (BL) acupuncture points among BL23, BL24, and BL25. Only acetaminophen was allowed as a rescue treatment in both groups.
OUTCOME MEASURES: The Numeric Rating Scale (NRS), McGill Present Pain Intensity (PPI), and Oswestry Disability Questionnaire (ODQ) were used as outcome measures. Numbers of acetaminophen tablets taken were compared at 4 weeks from baseline. Adverse events were recorded.
RESULTS: At the end of the intervention, statistically significant differences in the three outcome measures favoring the wet cupping group compared with the control group were seen: NRS score, 29.2 (95% confidence interval [CI], 24.6-33.8) versus 57.9 (95% CI, 53.3-62.6), respectively; PPI score, 1.17 (95% CI, 0.96-1.4) versus 2.3 (95% CI, 2.1- 2.7); and ODQ score, 19.6 (95% CI, 16.5-22.7) versus 35.4 (95% CI, 32.3-38.5) (p=0.0001). This improvement continued for another 2 weeks after the end of the intervention. Acetaminophen was used less in the wet cupping group, but this difference was not statistically significant. No adverse events were reported.
CONCLUSIONS: Wet cupping is potentially effective in reducing pain and improving disability associated with PNSLBP at least for 2 weeks after the end of the wet cupping period. Placebo-controlled trials are needed.

J Altern Complement Med. 2015 Jun 12. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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The Effectiveness of Electroacupuncture for Functional Constipation

Da N1, et al.

Background. Electroacupuncture (EA) has been reported to treat functional constipation (FC). The aim of this study was to investigate the efficacy and safety of EA with different needle insertion method for FC. Methods. Sixty-seven participants were randomly assigned to control (EA with shallow puncture) and EA (with deep puncture) groups. Every patient received 5 treatments per week in the first two weeks, then 3 treatments per week during the following six weeks. Complete spontaneous bowel movements (CSBM), spontaneous bowel movements (SBM), Bristol stool scores (BSS), and Patient Assessment of Constipation Quality of Life (PAC-QOL) were assessed. Results. Both shallow and deep EA significantly increased CSBM frequency compared to the baseline. CSBM was increased from 0.50 ± 0.59/wk to 2.00 ± 1.67/wk with deep EA and from 0.48 ± 0.59/wk to 1.33 ± 1.09/wk with shallow EA (P < 0.05, resp.). Similar finding was noted in SBM. Deep EA was more potent than shallow EA (P < 0.05) during the treatment period. No difference was found on BSS and PAC-QOL between two groups. Conclusion. It is effective and safe with EA to treat FC. Studies with large sample size and long-term observation are needed for further investigation.

Evid Based Complement Alternat Med. 2015;2015:670963. doi: 10.1155/2015/670963. Epub 2015 May 3.

Source: PubMed

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Ginsenoside Rd Is Efficacious Against Acute Ischemic Stroke by Suppressing Microglial Proteasome-Mediated Inflammation

Zhang G1, et al.

A great deal of attention has been paid to neuroprotective therapies for cerebral ischemic stroke. Our two recent clinical trials showed that ginsenoside Rd (Rd), a kind of monomeric compound extracted from Chinese herbs, Panax ginseng and Panax notoginseng, was safe and efficacious for the treatment of ischemic stroke. In this study, we conducted a pooled analysis of the data from 199 patients with acute ischemic stroke in the first trial and 390 in the second to reanalyze the efficacy and safety of Rd. Moreover, animal stroke models were carried out to explore the possible molecular mechanisms underlying Rd neuroprotection. The pooled analysis showed that compared with placebo group, Rd could improve patients' disability as assessed by modified Rankin Scale (mRS) score on day 90 post-stroke and reduce neurologic deficits on day 15 or day 90 post-stroke as assessed by NIH Stroke Scale (NIHSS) and Barthel Index (BI) scores. For neuroprotective mechanisms, administration of Rd 4 h after stroke could inhibit ischemia-induced microglial activation, decrease the expression levels of various proinflammatory cytokines, and suppress nuclear factor of kappa light polypeptide gene enhancer in B cells inhibitor, alpha (IκBα) phosphorylation and nuclear factor kappa-light-chain-enhancer of activated B cells (NF-κB) nuclear translocation. An in vitro proteasome activity assay revealed a significant inhibitory effect of Rd on proteasome activity in microglia. Interestingly, Rd was showed to have less side effects than glucocorticoid. Therefore, our study demonstrated that Rd could safely improve the outcome of patients with ischemic stroke, and this therapeutic effect may result from its capability of suppressing microglial proteasome activity and sequential inflammation.

Mol Neurobiol.2015 Jun 17. [Epub ahead of print]

Source: PubMed

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