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J Acupunct Res > Volume 30(5); 2013 > Article
Park, Kim, Lee, Lee, Kim, and Cho: The Effect of Shinbaro and Bee Venom Pharmacopuncture in Treating Lumbar Disc Herniations



This study was performed to compare the effects of Shinbaro pharmacopuncture therapy and bee venom pharmacopuncture therapy in lumbar disc herniation


We compared treatment efficacy of 12 patients with Shinbaro pharmacopuncture therapy and 10 patients with bee venom pharmacopuncture therapy, all of whom were diagnosed with lumbar disc herniation using computed tomography(CT) or magnetic resonance imaging(MRI). We performed a retrospective comparison and analysis during the course of 21 days since admission. To evaluate the treatment efficacy, we recorded the temperatures of the opposite back, hip, and legs with visual analog scale(VAS, back and legs), pain rating scale(PRS), Oswestry disability index(ODI) and digital infrared thermal imaging(DITI) based on patients’ medical records.


Both treatments were effective in reducing pain and improving functions for lumbar disc herniation patients in terms of VAS, PRS, ODI, DITI. Shinbaro pharmacopuncture group showed slightly better results than the bee venom pharmacopuncture group, but the difference was not significant.


For the treatment of lumbar disc herniation, it is suggested that Shinbaro pharmacopuncture therapy is thought to be as effective as bee venom pharmacopuncture therapy without side effects, although further study would be necessary.

Fig. 1.
Changes on VAS of low back pain
Fig. 2.
Changes on VAS of sciatica
Fig. 3.
Changes on PRS
Fig. 4.
Changes on ODI
Fig. 5.
Changes on ΔT by DITI
Table 1.
General Characteristics between Group A and Group B
Group A* Group B p-value
Total 12 10
Gender Male 4 2 0.646
Female 8 8
Age(years) 44.42±14.65 48.10±10.69 0.628§
Symptom duraion Acute 5 5 0.870
Subacute 3 3
Chronic 4 2
Herniated type Bulging 4 2 0.813
Protrusion 5 5
Extrusion 2 1
Mixed 1 2
Scales at baseline VAS of low back pain 4.50±2.32 4.70±2.36 0.872§
VAS of sciatica 5.29±2.12 5.05±1.70 0.771§
PRS 71.67±24.34 80.90±26.99 0.674§
ODI 51.88±21.74 49.02±15.05 0.923§

Plus-minus values are means±SD.

*: treatment with Shinbaro pharmacopuncture.

† : treatment with Bee venom pharmacopuncture.

‡ : calculated by Fisher’s exact test.

§ : calculated by Mann-Whitney U test.

Table 2.
Changes on VAS, ODI, PRS, ΔT between Before and After in Group A*
Before After p-value
VAS of low back pain 4.50±2.32 1.51±1.47 0.001
VAS of Sciatica 5.29±2.12 1.23±1.20 0.000
PRS 71.67±24.34 26.08±20.27 0.000
ODI 51.88±21.74 27.41±19.51 0.000
ΔT of PSIS(by DITI) 0.48±0.26 0.16±0.19 0.006
ΔT of GB30(by DITI) 0.65±0.27 0.25±0.25 0.003
ΔT of leg(by DITI) 0.47±0.22 0.15±0.24 0.003

Plus-minus values are means±SD.

*: treatment with Shinbaro pharmacopuncture.

† : calculated by Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

‡ : n=11.

Table 3.
Changes on VAS, ODI, PRS, ΔT between Before and After in Group B*
Before After p-value
VAS of low back pain 4.70±2.36 1.90±1.31 0.004
VAS of Sciatica 5.05±1.70 2.01±1.75 0.002
PRS 80.90±26.99 37.70±22.41 0.002
ODI 49.02±15.05 29.28±13.44 0.002
ΔT of PSIS(by DITI) 0.24±0.46 0.06±0.35 0.212
ΔT of GB30(by DITI) 0.54±0.22 0.07±0.36 0.012
ΔT of leg(by DITI) 0.50±0.31 0.15±0.30 0.024

Plus-minus values are means±SD.

*: treatment with bee venom pharmacopuncture.

† : calculated by Wilcoxon signed ranks test.

Table 4.
Comparision on VAS, ODI, PRS, ΔT between Group A and Group B
Group A* Group B p-value
VAS of low back pain 2.99±2.05 2.80±1.42 0.974
VAS of Sciatica 4.06±1.89 3.04±1.10 0.180
PRS 45.58±20.68 43.2±21.41 0.314
ODI 24.46±10.12 19.74±7.55 0.872
ΔT of PSIS(by DITI)§ 0.32±0.27 0.18±0.41 0.282
ΔT of GB30(by DITI)§ 0.41±0.24 0.47±0.38 0.387
ΔT of leg(by DITI)§ 0.32±0.24 0.35±0.36 0.973

Plus-minus values are means±SD.

*: treatment with Shinbaro pharmacopuncture.

† : treatment with Bee venom pharmacopuncture.

‡ : calculated by Mann-Whitney U test.

§ : group A(n=11), group B(n=10).

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