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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2017, Article ID 3140403, 7 pages
https://doi.org/10.1155/2017/3140403
Research Article

Clinical Effects of Laser Acupuncture plus Chinese Cupping on the Pain and Plasma Cortisol Levels in Patients with Chronic Nonspecific Lower Back Pain: A Randomized Controlled Trial

1Institute of Biomedical Engineering, National Taiwan University, Taipei, Taiwan
2Department of Pain Management, Taipei City Hospital Zhongxing Branch, Taipei, Taiwan
3Department of Biomedical Engineering, Ming Chuan University, Taoyuan, Taiwan
4Yi Sheng Chinese Medicine Clinic, Taipei, Taiwan
5Department of Sports Medicine, China Medical University, Taichung City, Taiwan

Correspondence should be addressed to Wen-Dien Chang; wt.ude.umc.liam@neidnewgnahc

Received 6 April 2017; Revised 22 June 2017; Accepted 9 July 2017; Published 7 August 2017

Academic Editor: Gihyun Lee

Copyright © 2017 Mu-Lien Lin 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.

Abstract

Objectives. Chronic nonspecific lower back pain (LBP) is a common disease. Insufficient data is currently available to conclusively confirm the analgesic effects of laser acupuncture on LBP. This study evaluated the effectiveness of laser acupuncture plus Chinese cupping in LBP treatment. Methods. Patients with chronic nonspecific LBP were enrolled for a randomized controlled trial and assigned to the laser acupuncture group (laser acupuncture plus Chinese cupping) and control group (sham laser plus Chinese cupping). Laser acupuncture (808 nm; 40 mW; 20 Hz; 15 J/cm2) and Chinese cupping were applied on the Weizhong (BL40) and Ashi acupoints for 5 consecutive days. Plasma cortisol levels were assessed before and after the 5-day treatment session. The visual analog scale (VAS) scores were recorded at baseline and throughout the 5-day treatment session. Results. After the treatment session, the plasma cortisol levels and VAS scores decreased significantly in both groups. In the laser acupuncture group, the VAS scores decreased significantly on days 4 and 5, and an enhanced reduction in VAS scores was observed. Conclusion. Laser acupuncture plus Chinese cupping at the Weizhong (BL40) and Ashi acupoints effectively reduced pain and inflammation in chronic nonspecific LBP. This therapy could be a suitable option for LBP treatment in clinical settings.