Function of auricular point acupressure in inducing changes in inflammatory cytokines during chronic low-back pain: A pilot study

Chao Hsing Yeh, Lung Chang Chien, Kathryn M. Albers, Dianxu Ren, Li Chun Huang, Baoxia Cheng, Leah Margolis, Richard Liu, Lorna Kwai Ping Suen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Background: Auricular therapy is a promising treatment for pain. However, the physiologic mechanisms of analgesic effects are not well-understood, which limits the scientific credibility of auricular therapy for pain management. Objectives: This prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted to determine whether or not the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines change in response to auricular point acupressure (APA) for chronic low-back pain (CLBP). Methods: Blood samples (10 mL) were collected in a vacutainer, based on standard phlebotomy procedures. Blood was drawn at the following timepoints: before APA treatment to measure the baseline; 30 minutes after the first APA treatment; weekly for 4 weeks; and within 1 month of a follow-up visit (a total of seven timepoints) for each subject). Results: Participants with CLBP reported a mean 70% reduction of pain intensity at the completion of the 4-week APA regimen. The participants also had changes in serum pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In particular, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, and IL-10 were decreased. IL-2, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were increased. In contrast, the participants who were in the sham APA group, with a 29% pain reduction, had a different profile. In particular, I-L2, IL-4, and TNF-α were decreased. IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 were increased. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10 levels were associated with the worst pain intensity score, suggesting that these cytokines had an important role in mediating the APA effect on CLBP. Conclusions: The changes in cytokine levels in response to APA treatment suggested that APA could influence the level of circulating cytokines in patients with CLBP.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)31-39
Number of pages9
JournalMedical Acupuncture
Volume26
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 1 2014
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Acupressure
Low Back Pain
Cytokines
Interleukin-1
Interleukin-10
Pain
Interleukin-6
Interleukin-4
Interleukin-2
Anti-Inflammatory Agents
Therapeutics
Tumor Necrosis Factor-alpha
Phlebotomy
Pain Management
Analgesics
Randomized Controlled Trials

Keywords

  • Auricular Therapy
  • Chronic Low Back Pain
  • Cytokine

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine

Cite this

Function of auricular point acupressure in inducing changes in inflammatory cytokines during chronic low-back pain : A pilot study. / Yeh, Chao Hsing; Chien, Lung Chang; Albers, Kathryn M.; Ren, Dianxu; Huang, Li Chun; Cheng, Baoxia; Margolis, Leah; Liu, Richard; Suen, Lorna Kwai Ping.

In: Medical Acupuncture, Vol. 26, No. 1, 01.02.2014, p. 31-39.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Yeh, Chao Hsing ; Chien, Lung Chang ; Albers, Kathryn M. ; Ren, Dianxu ; Huang, Li Chun ; Cheng, Baoxia ; Margolis, Leah ; Liu, Richard ; Suen, Lorna Kwai Ping. / Function of auricular point acupressure in inducing changes in inflammatory cytokines during chronic low-back pain : A pilot study. In: Medical Acupuncture. 2014 ; Vol. 26, No. 1. pp. 31-39.
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abstract = "Background: Auricular therapy is a promising treatment for pain. However, the physiologic mechanisms of analgesic effects are not well-understood, which limits the scientific credibility of auricular therapy for pain management. Objectives: This prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted to determine whether or not the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines change in response to auricular point acupressure (APA) for chronic low-back pain (CLBP). Methods: Blood samples (10 mL) were collected in a vacutainer, based on standard phlebotomy procedures. Blood was drawn at the following timepoints: before APA treatment to measure the baseline; 30 minutes after the first APA treatment; weekly for 4 weeks; and within 1 month of a follow-up visit (a total of seven timepoints) for each subject). Results: Participants with CLBP reported a mean 70{\%} reduction of pain intensity at the completion of the 4-week APA regimen. The participants also had changes in serum pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In particular, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, and IL-10 were decreased. IL-2, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were increased. In contrast, the participants who were in the sham APA group, with a 29{\%} pain reduction, had a different profile. In particular, I-L2, IL-4, and TNF-α were decreased. IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 were increased. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10 levels were associated with the worst pain intensity score, suggesting that these cytokines had an important role in mediating the APA effect on CLBP. Conclusions: The changes in cytokine levels in response to APA treatment suggested that APA could influence the level of circulating cytokines in patients with CLBP.",
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T1 - Function of auricular point acupressure in inducing changes in inflammatory cytokines during chronic low-back pain

T2 - A pilot study

AU - Yeh, Chao Hsing

AU - Chien, Lung Chang

AU - Albers, Kathryn M.

AU - Ren, Dianxu

AU - Huang, Li Chun

AU - Cheng, Baoxia

AU - Margolis, Leah

AU - Liu, Richard

AU - Suen, Lorna Kwai Ping

PY - 2014/2/1

Y1 - 2014/2/1

N2 - Background: Auricular therapy is a promising treatment for pain. However, the physiologic mechanisms of analgesic effects are not well-understood, which limits the scientific credibility of auricular therapy for pain management. Objectives: This prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted to determine whether or not the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines change in response to auricular point acupressure (APA) for chronic low-back pain (CLBP). Methods: Blood samples (10 mL) were collected in a vacutainer, based on standard phlebotomy procedures. Blood was drawn at the following timepoints: before APA treatment to measure the baseline; 30 minutes after the first APA treatment; weekly for 4 weeks; and within 1 month of a follow-up visit (a total of seven timepoints) for each subject). Results: Participants with CLBP reported a mean 70% reduction of pain intensity at the completion of the 4-week APA regimen. The participants also had changes in serum pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In particular, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, and IL-10 were decreased. IL-2, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were increased. In contrast, the participants who were in the sham APA group, with a 29% pain reduction, had a different profile. In particular, I-L2, IL-4, and TNF-α were decreased. IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 were increased. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10 levels were associated with the worst pain intensity score, suggesting that these cytokines had an important role in mediating the APA effect on CLBP. Conclusions: The changes in cytokine levels in response to APA treatment suggested that APA could influence the level of circulating cytokines in patients with CLBP.

AB - Background: Auricular therapy is a promising treatment for pain. However, the physiologic mechanisms of analgesic effects are not well-understood, which limits the scientific credibility of auricular therapy for pain management. Objectives: This prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) was conducted to determine whether or not the levels of pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines change in response to auricular point acupressure (APA) for chronic low-back pain (CLBP). Methods: Blood samples (10 mL) were collected in a vacutainer, based on standard phlebotomy procedures. Blood was drawn at the following timepoints: before APA treatment to measure the baseline; 30 minutes after the first APA treatment; weekly for 4 weeks; and within 1 month of a follow-up visit (a total of seven timepoints) for each subject). Results: Participants with CLBP reported a mean 70% reduction of pain intensity at the completion of the 4-week APA regimen. The participants also had changes in serum pro- and anti-inflammatory cytokines. In particular, interleukin (IL)-1β, IL-4, and IL-10 were decreased. IL-2, IL-6, and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)-α were increased. In contrast, the participants who were in the sham APA group, with a 29% pain reduction, had a different profile. In particular, I-L2, IL-4, and TNF-α were decreased. IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-10 were increased. IL-1β, IL-2, IL-6, and IL-10 levels were associated with the worst pain intensity score, suggesting that these cytokines had an important role in mediating the APA effect on CLBP. Conclusions: The changes in cytokine levels in response to APA treatment suggested that APA could influence the level of circulating cytokines in patients with CLBP.

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