Lumbar disc herniation is one of the most common diseases and contributors to lower back pain and extremity pain in the United States. Treatment of lower disc herniation is controversial and highly debated in the medical community with recommendations such as opioids, physiotherapy, surgery or simple bed rest. These treatment options seem somehow effective but evidence on their long-term success in patients is very limited.
Researchers from the University of Shanghai conducted a clinical study with the purpose of testing the effectiveness of a new treatment method for lumbar disc herniation: acupoint injections. The study selected 120 patients suffering from lumbar disc herniation and randomly assigned them into either the treatment group or the control group. The patients assigned to the control group were treated with acupuncture for 30 minutes, every other day for a period of 3 weeks. Patients assigned to the treatment group received acupoint injections with 1ml of methylcobalamin (vitamin B12) every other day for 3 weeks on the same spots where the acupuncture needles were inserted in the control group patients. The results of the study showed that 86.67% of patients in the treatment group reported significant relief of pain and other lumbar disc herniation symptoms compared to 53.33% on the control group. It is also important to notice that no patient in the study reported feeling side effects from the treatments. This study as well as others on this subject strongly support the idea of using acupoint injections as treatment options for lumbar disc herniation. Although more evidence on the long-term effectiveness of lumbar disc herniation treatments is needed, the future of the disease seems bright! For more information about vitamin B12 injections and/or acupuncture, please visit Seattle Naturopathic and Acupuncture Center.
Jiangyoug Li and Hongyuan Lin. Shanxi Journal of TCM (Shan Xi Zhong Yi). 2017, 33:11. 34-35