To investigate the immediate analgesic effect of sinew acupuncture for patients with soft-tissue injuries (STIs).
Two hundreds eligible adult patients suffering from STIs were recruited and received sinew acupuncture with flexible treatment schedules. The number of treatment sessions was pragmatically decided by each patient on the basis of their pain relief. The outcome measurement was the change of pain rating in the Visual Analogue Scale (VAS) during the first 5 sessions. The adverse effect was also observed.
Of the 200 patients recruited, 7 were excluded due to incomplete data. In total, 888 sinew acupuncture treatments were administered to patients at 14 injury sites (including head, neck, shoulder, arm, chest, elbow, wrist, hand, waist and hip, knee, thigh, calf, ankle, and foot) where pain was felt. Compared with the baseline, the VAS rating after the first and last treatments were both significantly reduced at all the injury sites (P<0.01). The VAS rating was also significantly reduced after each session of treatment in the first five sessions (P<0.01). No serious adverse effect was observed.
Sinew acupuncture had not only an immediate analgesic effect for STIs, but also an accumulated analgesic effect during the first 5 treatment sessions.