Clinical Effectiveness of “Long Snake Moxibustion” for Cold-Dampness Type Chronic Non-Specific Low Back Pain Patients With Negative Emotions

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Main idea: Both ginger-separated long snake moxibustion and Ashi-point moxibustion can relieve low back pain, cold-damp syndrome and reduce cortisol level in cold-dampness type chronic non-specific low back pain patients. The therapeutic efficacy of long snake moxibustion is obviously better.

Abstract in English, Chinese

The objective of the study was to observe the clinical efficacy of long snake moxibustion and Ashi-point moxibustion in the treatment of cold-dampness type chronic non-specific low back pain (CNLBP) patients.

Methods: A total of 120 cold-dampness type chronic non-specific low back painĀ  patients who signed the informed consent were randomly and equally divided into control, long snake moxibustion, and Ashi-point moxibustion groups. Ginger-separated moxibustion was applied to the region between Dazhui (GV14) and Yaoshu (GV2) for patients of the long-snake moxibustion group, or to the tenderness spot of the waist for patients of the Ashi-point moxibustion group. The treatment was conducted for 40 min each time, once every other day for a total of 8 sessions. Patients of the control group did not receive any intervention. The Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) was employed to assess ten aspects of patients’ daily-life activities (pain intensity, personal care, lifting, walking, sitting, standing, sleeping, sex life, social life, and traveling). The cold-damp syndrome scores (pain property, symptoms, ranges of motion, waist palpation, tongue, and pulse condition) were achieved by consulting the textbook “Differential Diagnostics of Traditional Chinese Medicine Syndromes”.

Results: Before treatment, there were no significant differences among the three groups in the levels of all the indexes. After moxibustion, the VAS scores during rest and movement, ODI score, cold-damp syndrome score and anxiety score in both long snake moxibustion and Ashi-point moxibustion groups, and the depression score and plasma cortisol content in the long snake moxibustion group were significantly reduced compared with their own pre-treatment assessment. The difference values between pre- and post-treatment of spine back scores during rest and movement, The Oswestry Disability Index score, cold-damp syndrome score, anxiety score, depression score, and cortisol content were obviously higher in the long snake moxibustion and Ashi-point moxibustion groups than those in the control group. The difference values between pre- and post-treatment of spinal pain scores during rest and movement, ODI score, cold-damp syndrome score, anxiety score, depression score and cortisol content were obviously higher in the long snake moxibustion group than in the Ashi-point group.

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