PainSci summary of Itoh 2007?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★☆☆3-star ratings are for typical studies with no more (or less) than the usual common problems. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.
The evidence is overwhelming that acupuncture is not generally useful for treating neck pain, or any other kind of pain (see Does Acupuncture Work for Pain?). However, to the extent that it sometimes seems to have some minor benefits, it may be due to the extent that acupuncture involves needling of trigger points, either accidentally or deliberately. Although this study was small and its evidence is weak, that is precisely what this study seems to show: a few acupuncture patients got better results when the acupuncture was directed at trigger points.
original abstract†Abstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.
INTRODUCTION: There is some evidence for the efficacy of acupuncture in chronic neck pain (CNP) treatment, but it remains unclear which acupuncture modes are most effective. Objective was to evaluate the effects of trigger point acupuncture on pain and quality of life (QOL) in CNP patients compared to three other acupuncture treatments (acupoints, non-trigger point and sham treatment).
METHODS: Forty out-patients (29 women, 11 men; age range: 47-80 years) from the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery, Meiji University of Oriental Medicine, with non-radiating CNP for at least 6 months and normal neurological examination were randomised to one of four groups over 13 weeks. Each group received two phases of acupuncture treatment with an interval between them. The acupoint group (standard acupuncture; SA, n=10) received treatment at traditional acupoints for neck pain, the trigger point (TrP, n=10) and non-trigger point (non-TrP, n=10) groups received treatment at tenderness points for the same muscle, while the other acupuncture group received sham treatments on the trigger point (SH, n=10). Outcome measures were pain intensity (visual analogue scale; VAS 0-100mm) and disease specific questionnaire (neck disability index; NDI, 60-point scale).
RESULTS: After treatment, the TrP group reported less pain intensity and improved QOL compared to the SA or non-TrP group. There was significant reduction in pain intensity between the treatment and the interval for the TrP group (p<0.01, Dunnett's multiple test), but not for the SA or non-TrP group.
CONCLUSION: These results suggest that trigger point acupuncture therapy may be more effective on chronic neck pain in aged patients than the standard acupuncture therapy.
One article on PainScience.com cites Itoh 2007 as a source:
- PS Trigger Points & Myofascial Pain Syndrome — A guide to the unfinished science of muscle pain, with reviews of every theory and self-treatment and therapy option
This page is part of the PainScience BIBLIOGRAPHY, which contains plain language summaries of thousands of scientific papers & others sources. It’s like a highly specialized blog. A few highlights:
- Effectiveness of customised foot orthoses for Achilles tendinopathy: a randomised controlled trial. Munteanu 2015 Br J Sports Med.
- A Bayesian model-averaged meta-analysis of the power pose effect with informed and default priors: the case of felt power. Gronau 2017 Comprehensive Results in Social Psychology.
- The neck and headaches. Bogduk 2014 Neurol Clin.
- Agreement of self-reported items and clinically assessed nerve root involvement (or sciatica) in a primary care setting. Konstantinou 2012 Eur Spine J.
- Effect of NSAIDs on Recovery From Acute Skeletal Muscle Injury: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Morelli 2017 Am J Sports Med.