Objective: To observe the instant effect of "Balance Acupuncture" in relieving sore throat in patients with acute pharyngitis.
Methods: A total of 74 acute pharyngitis patients with sore throat were randomly assigned to treatment group (Balance Acupuncture, n = 36) and placebo acupuncture group (sham acupoint, n = 38). Patients of the Balance Acupuncture group were treated by acupuncture stimulation of bilateral "Yantong" (sore throat) point (the mid-point of the second metacarpal bone on the radial side) and those of the sham acupoint group were treated by acupuncture stimulation of the sham point (the site 1 cm lateral to the mid-point between the ulnar endpoint of the cubic transverse striation and that of the wrist-palm transverse striation). After insertion, the acupuncture needle was manipulated repeatedly till "Deqi" for patients of the treatment group but not manipulated for patients of the placebo acupuncture group, then removed immediately. The VAS (Visual Analogue Scores) were assessed 1 min after the treatment in addition to safety index records.
Results: Before the treatment, the VAS values of the treatment group and sham acupoint group were (5.25 +/- 1.51) points and (4.83 +/- 1.59) points, respectively, which had no significant differences between the two groups (P > 0.05). One minute after the treatment, VAS values of the treatment and sham acupoint groups were (2.11 +/- 1.88) points and (3.39 +/- 1.94) points, respectively, both decreasing significantly (P < 0.01). The effect of the former group was significantly superior to that of the sham acupoint group (P < 0.05).
Conclusion: Both Balance Acupuncture and sham-acupoint acupuncture treatments can relieve sore throat in acute pharyngitis patients, and the therapeutic effect of Balance Acupuncture treatment is obviously better.