By Marieke A. Pieterman
Imagine struggling to see oncoming traffic because you can’t turn your head and neck all the way to look.
If it sounds all too familiar, you might be struggling with chronic neck pain.
Cervical spondylosis is caused by disc degeneration in the neck that causes pain and restricted range of motion (ROM) issues. But have no fear -- acupuncture and Chinese herbs can help treat it.
In a clinical trial, researchers at Hubei University of Medicine Dongfeng Hospital, found that acupuncture plus Chinese herbs were more effective in treating the symptoms of cervical spondylosis compared to Chinese herbs alone. In addition, both acupuncture and Chinese herbs were shown to reduce blood viscosity (thickness, stickiness), which helps improve local blood circulation and promote faster healing.
In this research study, 120 participants were randomly assigned to either the herbal group or the herbal plus electroacupuncture group (acupuncture plus electro-stimulation). The participants were aged between 25-65 and had suffered from cervical spondylosis for around two years.
Both groups received a Chinese herbal decoction, which was taken daily for two months. However, the herbal plus electroacupuncture group also received acupuncture every other day for two months.
Both before and after the treatment, data was collected on various scales for pain and other symptoms, as well as the amount of blood viscosity. In addition to pain, other symptoms were reported, monitored, and measured for resolution in the study, including dizziness, neck dysfunction, chest distress, and palpitations.
The results found that both the herbal group and the herbal plus electroacupuncture group significantly reduced the pain. The herbal group reported pain levels of 6.91/10 prior to treatment and 2.86/10 after treatment. The herbal plus electroacupuncture group reported pain levels of 6.89/10 prior to treatment and 1.22/10 after treatment.
The other symptoms were significantly resolved, and more quickly in all cases with the herbal plus electroacupuncture group. Dizziness resolved in 12.82 days with the herbal group and 7.89 days with the herbal plus electroacupuncture group.
Neck dysfunction resolved in 13.79 days with the herbal group and 9.41 days with the herbal plus electroacupuncture group.
CHEST DISTRESS AND PALPITATIONS
Chest distress and palpitations resolved in 9.88 days with the herbal group and 6.94 days with the herbal plus electroacupuncture group. The total effective rate (resolving the pain and the other symptoms) for the herbal group was 73.3 percent, while the total effective rate for the herbal plus electroacupuncture group was 93.3 percent.
Both the herbal group and the herbal plus electroacupuncture group significantly reduced blood viscosity. For the herbal group, systolic blood viscosity was 4.39 mPa.s (pascal-seconds) before and 4.21 mPa.s after the treatment; diastolic blood viscosity was 9.26 mPa.s before and 8.67 mPa.s after the treatment.
For the herbal plus electroacupuncture group, systolic blood viscosity was 4.29 mPa.s before and 4.05 mPa.s after the treatment; diastolic blood viscosity was 9.25 mPa.s before and 8.13 mPa.s after the treatment. These significant changes in blood viscosity also have implications for decreasing the risk of heart attacks and strokes in people with high blood viscosity.
Are you tired of living with your neck pain and stiffness? Schedule your appointment with Holistic Heart Acupuncture for acupuncture and Chinese herbs to assist with your treatment.
Acupuncture Alleviates Neck Pain, Restores ROM