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J Acupunct Res > Volume 32(4); 2015 > Article
Kim, Kim, Hong, Kim, Park, Kim, Seo, Lee, Seo, Kim, and Kim: Effects of Integrative Korean Medical Treatment for a Failed Epidural Steroid Injections to L-spine Disk Herniation: A Retrospective Case Series
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The purpose of this study was to assess the effectiveness of integrative Korean Medical treatments for patients with L-spine disk herniation that showed no response to Epidural Steroid Injections (ESI)


In this study, we reviewed the medical records of ten patients who showed no improvement or relapsed after ESI. The patients each received more than three weeks of integrative treatments at Mokhuri Neck&Back Hospital. The Visual Analog Scale (VAS) and Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was measured before and after treatment A statistical analysis to compare before and after treatments was assessed using paired t-test the SPSS 12.0 Windows program


After three weeks of treatment, patients showed a significant decrease in VAS and ODI scores compared to before receiving treatment. VAS scores decreased from 5.3±1.25 to 1.9±0.99 (p<0.001) and ODI scores decreased from 59.8±22.2 to 32.7±14.11 (p<0 001).


Complex Korean Medical treatment showed effectiveness in the treatment of L-spine HIVD patients that showed no response to ESI, and more objective research is needed.

Fig. 1
Changes of VAS (Visual Analog Scale)
*: There is significant stastically significance between average VAS score of PAD 1 and PAD 22. (P<0.001)
Fig. 2
Changes of ODI (Oswestry Disability Index)
*: There is significant stastically significance between average ODI score of PAD 1 and PAD 22. (P<0.001)
Table 1
Composition of Gangchuctang Used in This Study
Scientific name Amounts (g)
Geranii herba 8
Sorbus commixta 8
Archyranthes radix 4
Cibotii rhizoma 4
Acanthopanax sessiliflorum seeman 4
Ledebouriella seseloides 4
Eucommia ulmoides Oliver 4
Atractylodes macrocephala Koidzumi 4
Aralia continentalis Kitagawa 4
Rehmannia glutinosa for hueichingensis 4
Carthamus tinctorius 1.5
Total 49.5
Table 2
Characteristics of Subjects
age sex Diagnosis Hospitalization Period(days) the number of injection
patient 1 37 M HIVD* of L4/5 23 4
patient 2 34 F HIVD of L5/S1 25 3
patient 3 33 M HIVD of L4/5 22 1
patient 4 24 M HIVD of L4/5 31 2
patient 5 49 M HIVD of L4/5 22 2
patient 6 54 F HIVD of L5/S1 34 2
patient 7 20 M HIVD of L4/5 23 3
patient 8 60 F HIVD of L4/5 24 1
patient 9 53 F HIVD of L4/5 22 1
patient 10 32 F HIVD of L4/5, L5/S1 23 2

* HIVD: Herniated InterVertebral Disk.

Table 3
Changes of VAS and ODI average score before and after Korean Medical Conbination Treatments
PAD 1§ PAD 22 PAD 1 PAD 8 PAD 15 PAD 22
patient 1 36 18 4 3 3 1
patient 2 82 54 5 4 3 2
patient 3 92 44 6 4 3 2
patient 4 26 18 5 3 2 1
patient 5 40 18 6 5 4 3
patient 6 74 44 8 6 5 4
patient 7 50 20 4 3 2 1
patient 8 50 25 4 2 2 1
patient 9 76 42 6 5 4 2
patient 10 72 44 5 4 3 2
mean 59.8±22.2 32.7±14.11 5.3±1.25 3.9±1.20 3.1±0.99 1.9±0.99
p-value* 0.000018 0.00000000637

* : p-value by paired t-test in before and after treatment (p<0 05)

ODI: Oswestry Disability Index,

VAS: Visual Analog Scale.

§ PAD: Post Administration Date.



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