Efficacy of Warm Needle Moxibustion on Lumbar Disc Herniation: A Meta-Analysis

J Evid Based Complementary Altern Med. 2016 Oct;21(4):311-9. doi: 10.1177/2156587215605419. Epub 2015 Sep 15.


Background: Clinical studies on the efficacy of warm needle moxibustion to treat lumbar disc herniation are increasing, while studies on the assessment of its efficacy are still lacking.

Objective: To assess the clinical effect of warm needle moxibustion on lumbar disc herniation.

Methods: We searched relevant trials that compared warm needle moxibustion with other methods for lumbar disc herniation from 9 databases.

Results: Warm needle moxibustion showed statistical significance efficiency rate compared with acupuncture and manipulation but had a similar rate with nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs). It showed a statistically significanty excellent rate when compared with acupuncture and manipulation but had a similar rate with NSAIDs. Regarding Japanese Orthopedic Association scores, it showed statistical significance with acupuncture and manipulation, but the rate was similar with Chinese medicine and NSAIDs. Regarding visual analog scale score, it demonstrated statistical significance when compared with acupuncture, manipulation, and NSAIDs but had a similar rate with Chinese medicine.

Conclusion: Warm needle moxibustion is superior to acupuncture and manipulation in terms of efficiency rate, excellent rate, and controlling of pain for lumbar disc herniation, but it is similar when compared with NSAIDs and Chinese medicine.

Keywords: intervertebral disc displacement; meta-analysis; moxibustion.

Publication types

  • Meta-Analysis
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal / therapeutic use
  • Humans
  • Intervertebral Disc Displacement / therapy*
  • Lumbosacral Region / physiopathology*
  • Moxibustion / instrumentation
  • Moxibustion / methods*
  • Needles
  • Pain Management


  • Anti-Inflammatory Agents, Non-Steroidal