Taegeuk Acupuncture for Patients with Chronic Musculoskeletal Pain: A Retrospective Analysis of Medical Records

Article information

Acupunct. 2014;31(2):145-152
Publication date (electronic) : 2014 June 20
doi : https://doi.org/10.13045/acupunct.2014032
1Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University
2Department of Korean Medicine, Graduate School, Pusan National University
3Department of Acupuncture & Moxibustion Medicine, Korean Medicine Hospital, Pusan National University
*Corresponding author : Division of Clinical Medicine, School of Korean Medicine, Pusan National University, 20, Geumo-ro, Mulgeum-eup, Yangsan-si, Gyeongsangnam-do, 626-770, Republic of Korea, Tel : +82-55-360-5946 E-mail : kjk@pnu.kr
Received 2014 May 09; Revised 2014 May 28; Accepted 2014 June 04.

Abstract

Objectives:

This study aimed to assess the effectiveness and safety of Taegeuk acupuncture for patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain.

Methods:

A retrospective analysis of the electronic medical records of Pusan National University Korean Medicine Hospital from March 2012 to March 2013 was performed. Eligible cases were outpatients who had received at least six sessions of Taegeuk acupuncture for their pain and had agreed to the use of their medical records for research purposes. Pain levels, heart rate variability, and patients’ perceptions of the safety of acupuncture were investigated through the medical records and follow-up telephone interviews.

Results:

Fifteen cases were selected for analysis. All had suffered from musculoskeletal pain for at least one year. After six sessions of Taegeuk acupuncture, the average score on the pain numeric rating scale decreased from 6.7±2.0 to 2.9±2.2(a 43 % reduction). Follow-up telephone interviews revealed that patients experienced no adverse event after Taegeuk acupuncture.

Conclusions:

Patients with chronic musculoskeletal pain showed a reduction of more than half of the baseline pain after six sessions of Taegeuk acupuncture. However, the beneficial effects observed in this retrospective analysis should be interpreted with caution due to selection and recall bias. Further randomized controlled trials of Taegeuk acupuncture for chronic musculoskeletal pain are warranted.

Fig. 1.

Areas of examination

Fig. 2.

Physical examination A

Tenderness on epigastric region.

Fig. 3.

Physical examination B

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on upper region.

Fig. 4.

Physical examination C

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on middle region.

Fig. 5.

Physical examination D

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on lower region.

Demographic characteristics of 15 patients

Time and Frequency Domain of the Heart Rate Variability at Baseline

Pain-related Outcomes at Baseline and Post-treatment

Notes

This work was supported by a 2-year research grant of Pusan National University

References

1. LEE JM. Donguisusebowon Seoul: Hanglim; 1970. 7p. 57.
2. Kim JK. Clinical opinion of Taegeuk acupuncture treatment by Sasang(4-type) constitutional medicine. Journal of Korean Acupuncture and Moxibustion Society 2011;28(2):69–73.
3. Poleshuck EL, Talbot NL, Moynihan JA, Chapman BP, Heffner KL. Depressive symptoms, pain, chronic medical morbidity, and Interleukin-6 among primary care patients. Pain Med 2013;14(5):686–91.
4. Kim JK, Chae H, Kim KH, Noh SH. Clinical observation on effectiveness of Taegeuk acupuncture for patients in sub-health status : a case series. Journal of Korean Acupuncture and Moxibustion Society 2011;28(4):111–7.
5. Seyd PTA, Ahamed VIT, Jacob J, Joseph KP. Time and frequency domain analysis of heart rate variability and their correlations in diabetes mellitus. International Journal of Biological and Life Sciences 2008;4(1):24–7.
6. Noh SH, Kim KH, Kim JK. Fibromyalgia treated with Taegeuk acupuncture: a case report. Journal of PNU Korean Medicine Hospital 2012;1(1):69–77.
7. Kim DH. Heart rate variability. Current practice in cardiology 2011;5(10):16–24.
8. Evans S, Seidman LC, Tsao JC, Lung KC, Zeltzer LK, Naliboff BD. Heart rate variability as a biomarker for autonomic nervous system response differences between children with chronic pain and healthy control children. J Pain Res 2013;6:449–57.
9. Anderson B, Nielsen A, McKee D, Jeffres A, Kligler B. Acupuncture and heart rate variability: a systems level approach to understanding mechanism. Explore(NY) 2012;8(2):99–106.
10. Matsubara T, Arai YC, Shiro Y, et al. Comparative effects of acupressure at local and distal acupuncture points on pain conditions and autonomic function in females with chronic neck pain. Evid Based Complement Alternat Med 2011;2011:pii. :543291.
11. Kim NS, Kim SJ, Ryu HJ, Nam SS, Kim YS. Effects of Taegeuk acupuncture on the autonomic nervous system by analyzing heart rate variability in Soyangin. Journal of Korean Acupuncture and Moxibustion Society 2012;29(3):81–8.
12. Lee JH, Seo EH, Ha JH, Choi AR, Woo CH, Goo DM. A study on the Sasang constitutional differences in heart rate variability. Journal of Sasang Constitutional Medicine 2007;19(3):176–87.
13. Ashburn MA, Staats PS. Management of chronic pain. Lancet 1999;353(9167):1865–9.

Article information Continued

Fig. 1.

Areas of examination

Fig. 2.

Physical examination A

Tenderness on epigastric region.

Fig. 3.

Physical examination B

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on upper region.

Fig. 4.

Physical examination C

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on middle region.

Fig. 5.

Physical examination D

Light percussion for the test hepatic dullness sound on lower region.

Table 1.

Demographic characteristics of 15 patients

Values
Age 56.2±9.9
Female 12(80 %)
Duration of symptoms(year) 6.9±4.9

Symptom classification Low back pain 6
Myofascial pain 6
Knee pain 2
Neck pain 1

Constitutional classification So-Yang 12
Tae-Eum 3
Tai-Yang 0
So-Eum 0

Comorbidity / past history Hypertension 2
Diabetes 2
Cancer 3

Present pain intensity Mild 3
Moderate 5
Severe 4
Very severe 3

SF-36 bodily pain(0∼100 %) 37.5±24.4 %

Values are presented as number(%), mean±standard deviation or median(range).

Table 2.

Time and Frequency Domain of the Heart Rate Variability at Baseline

Result(n=15) Reference values from the literature (diabetes)(n=16)5) Reference values from the literature (healthy control)(n=16)5)
Time domain Heart rate(bpm) 69.4(10.4) 84.3(7.29) 66.2(10.2)
SDNN(ms) 22.8(6.5) 15.3(14.7) 46.4(99.2)
RMSSD(ms) 18.6(8.7) 16.0(19.2) 41.43(22.0)

Frequency domain HF power(ms2) 64.1 [20.5, 320.6] 85.7(223.3) 260.7(237.2)
LF power(ms2) 68.2 [19.4, 258.9] 55.0(123.1) 476.4(307.2)
VLF power(ms2) 220.8 [45.3, 958.9] 49.2(85.3) 371.8(354.8)
Normalized LF 53.5(23.0) 50.6(18.7) 68.5(10.2)
Normalized HF 46.9(23.0) 49.3(18.7) 31.4(10.2)
LF/HF ratio 1.1 [0.2, 8.5] 1.4(1.4) 2.5(1.3)

Total power 445.2(286.5) - -

Values are presented as mean(standard deviation) or median[range] based on normality of distribution.

Table 3.

Pain-related Outcomes at Baseline and Post-treatment

Baseline (n=15) Post-treatment (n=15)
NRS 6.7±2.0 2.9±2.2
Hepatic dullness All areas presented -
Partially resolved - 10
Completely resolved - 4