Table of Contents Author Guidelines Submit a Manuscript
Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2015, Article ID 179731, 8 pages
Research Article

Efficacy and Safety of Acupuncture for Acute Low Back Pain in Emergency Department: A Pilot Cohort Study

1Department of Chinese Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 50094, Taiwan
2Department of Emergency Medicine, Changhua Christian Hospital, Changhua 50094, Taiwan
3Graduate Institute of Department of Bio-Industry Technology, Dayeh University, Changhua 51591, Taiwan
4Graduate Institute of Statistical and Informational Science, National Changhua University of Education, Changhua 50007, Taiwan

Received 26 December 2014; Revised 17 February 2015; Accepted 17 February 2015

Academic Editor: Haroon Khan

Copyright © 2015 Yen-Ting Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Introduction. Low back pain (LBP) is one of the most common complaints in the emergency department (ED). There are several research articles providing evidence for acupuncture for treating chronic LBP but few about treating acute LBP. This study assessed the efficacy and safety of acupuncture for the treatment of acute LBP in the ED. Materials and methods. A clinical pilot cohort study was conducted. 60 participants, recruited in the ED, were divided into experimental and control groups with 1 dropout during the study. Life-threatening conditions or severe neurological defects were excluded. The experimental group () received a series of fixed points of acupuncture. The control group () received sham acupuncture by pasting seed-patches near acupoints. Back pain was measured using the visual analog scale (VAS) at three time points: baseline and immediately after and 3 days after intervention as the primary outcome. The secondary outcomes were heart rate variability (HRV) and adverse events. Results. The VAS demonstrated a significant decrease ( value <0.001) for the experimental group after 15 minutes of acupuncture. The variation in HRV showed no significant difference in either group. No adverse event was reported. Conclusion. Acupuncture might provide immediate effect in reducing the pain of acute LBP safely.