In this single-center, parallel, randomized controlled trial, we aim to examine the effects and safety of motion style acupuncture treatment (MSAT; a combination of acupuncture and Doin therapy) on pain reduction and functional improvement in patients with whiplash-associated disorders (WADs). Ninety-seven patients with cervical pain admitted to the Bucheon Jaseng Hospital of Korean Medicine, South Korea, due to acute whiplash injury were treated with integrative Korean medicine (IKM) with (MSAT group, 48 patients) or without (control group, 49 patients) an additional 3-day MSAT during hospitalization (5-14 days) and followed-up for 90 days. The mean numeric rating scale (NRS) scores of the MSAT and control groups at baseline were 5.67 (95% confidence interval (CI), 5.33, 6.01) and 5.44 (95% CI, 5.06, 5.82), respectively, and on day 5, 3.55 (95% CI, 3.04, 4.06) and 4.59 (95% CI, 4.10-5.07), respectively. The NRS change difference between the groups was -1.07 (95% CI, -1.76, -0.37). The rate of recovery of neck pain (NRS score change ≥ 2 points) was significantly faster in the MSAT than in the control group (log-rank test p = 0.0055). IKM treatment combined with MSAT may be effective in reducing the pain and improving the range of motion in patients with WADs.
Keywords: Korean Traditional Medicine; acupuncture therapy; neck pain; range of motion; whiplash injuries.