Integrative treatment package for degenerative disc disease in the lumbar spine: A retrospective case series

Yeoncheol Park, Bonhyuk Goo, Sanghun Lee, Yonghyeon Baek, Sangsoo Nam, Donghwan Kim, Daejean Jo, Kitack Kim, Sungmin Kim, Byungkwan Seo

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Introduction: This is a retrospective case series exploring the therapeutic benefits of acupuncture-related modalities in combination with standard care (integrative treatment) for people with degenerative disc disease (DDD) with axial low back pain. Methods: The medical records of 24 patients with DDD were retrospectively reviewed and their demographic and clinical characteristics recorded. They were grouped into two according to the therapeutic intervention. The disability and pain intensity of the low back were measured using Oswestry Disability Index (ODI) and Numeric Rating Scale (NRS). The rate of improvement was studied retrospectively to evaluate the feasibility of acupuncture-related modalities as part of combination therapy. Result: Of the 24 patients who met the eligibility criteria, 11 (45.8%) received integrative treatment. There were significant reductions in the disability and pain intensity in 11 patients who received an integrative package care (P < 0.05). Additionally, clinically relevant changes in the mean differences and improvement rates of ODI and NRS were observed in both groups; however, the differences in ODI and NRS (11.09 and 2.18, respectively) and improvement rates (33.82% and 39.09%, respectively) were greater in integrative treated patients than in conventionally treated ones. Conclusions: This study describes the use of acupuncture-related modalities and raises the possibilities of their use in combination therapy for the improvement of function and pain management in patients with DDD. In light of these promising results, future clinical trials with attention to appropriate patient selection, guidelines for integrative treatment, and optimal standards for outcome measurement are necessary to evaluate the effectiveness of integrative treatment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)10-16
Number of pages7
JournalEuropean Journal of Integrative Medicine
StatePublished - Apr 2018
Externally publishedYes


  • Acupuncture
  • Case series
  • Degenerative disc disease
  • Integrative therapy
  • Low back pain

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Complementary and alternative medicine


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