Acupuncture Treatment of Lateral Elbow Pain: A Nonrandomized Pilot Study

Yan Song Liu, Marcus Gadau, Guo Xue Zhang, Hao Liu, Fu Chun Wang*, Christopher Zaslawski, Tie Li, Yuan Sheng Tan, Christine Berle, Wei Hong Li, Sergio Bangrazi, Stefano Liguori, Shi Ping ZHANG

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalJournal articlepeer-review

11 Citations (Scopus)
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In planning for a large-scale multicenter trial to evaluate the effect of acupuncture for the treatment of lateral elbow pain, a pilot study was conducted. This was a prospective, investigator- and patient-blinded, nonrandomized, placebo controlled trial. Subjects were evaluated at baseline, before fourth, seventh, and ninth treatment, and at a two-week posttreatment follow-up. The treatment group received unilateral acupuncture at LI 10 and LI 11 at the affected side with manual needle manipulation; the control group received sham-laser acupuncture at the same acupoints. Measures included (i) disabilities of the arm, shoulder, and hand (DASH) questionnaire, (ii) pain-free grip strength (PFGS), and (iii) a visual analogue scale (VAS) for pain. Significant differences in DASH score, PFGS, and VAS between treatment and control group were found at the ninth treatment (n = 20 for each group, P < 0.05). Only DASH showed significant differences compared to the control for all the measurement time points after treatment commenced and appears to be a sensitive and appropriate primary outcome measure for the future multisite trial. Results from this pilot study provided relevant information about treatment efficacy, credibility of control treatment, and sensitivity of different outcome measures for the planning of the future trial.

Original languageEnglish
Article number8182071
JournalEvidence-based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Publication statusPublished - 2016

Scopus Subject Areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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