Objectives: Although acupuncture and microcurrent are widely used for chronic pain, there remains considerable controversy as to their therapeutic value for neck pain. We aimed to determine the effect size of microcurrent applied to lower back acupuncture points to assess the impact on the neck pain.
Design: This was a cohort analysis of treatment outcomes pre- and postmicrocurrent stimulation, involving 34 patients with a history of nonspecific chronic neck pain.
Subjects and settings: Consenting patients were enrolled from a group of therapists attending educational seminars and were asked to report pain levels pre-post and 48 hours after a single MPS application.
Interventions and measurements: Direct current microcurrent point stimulation (MPS) applied to standardized lower back acupuncture protocol points was used. Evaluations entailed a baseline visual analog scale (VAS) pain scale assessment, using a VAS, which was repeated twice after therapy, once immediately postelectrotherapy and again after a 48-h follow-up period. All 34 patients received a single MPS session. Results were analyzed using paired t tests. Results and Outcomes: Pain intensity showed an initial statistically significant reduction of 68% [3.9050 points; 95% CI (2.9480, 3.9050); p = 0.0001], in mean neck pain levels after standard protocol treatment, when compared to initial pain levels. There was a further statistically significant reduction of 35% in mean neck pain levels at 48 h when compared to pain levels immediately after standard protocol treatment [0.5588 points; 95% CI (0.2001, 0.9176); p = 0.03], for a total average pain relief of 80%.
Conclusions: The positive results in this study could have applications for those patients impacted by chronic neck pain.
Keywords: acupuncture; microcurrent point stimulation; neck pain; standard protocol.