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Acupoints sensitization in people with and without chronic low back pain:A matched-sample cross-sectional study

J Back Musculoskelet Rehabil. 2022 Jul 11. doi: 10.3233/BMR-210297. Online ahead of print.


BACKGROUND: Acupoints are considered a dynamic functional area, which can reflect the internal condition of the body. In pathological states, disease-related acupoints are believed to be activated, which is known as acupoint sensitization.

OBJECTIVE: This study aimed to investigate the major manifestations of acupoint sensitization in patients with chronic low back pain (cLBP) to provide better understanding of acupoint sensitization phenomena in the context of cLBP.

METHODS: This study was a matched-sample cross-sectional study 16 participants diagnosed with cLBP and 16 healthy controls matched in age, sex, and ethnicity were included. The following aspects of sensitization phenomena of targeted points were compared: pressure pain threshold (PPT), skin temperature, surface electrical conductance, receptive field, and morphological change of skin.

RESULTS: PPT at points of interest were significantly lower in cLBP participants compared with healthy controls (P< 0.05); in addition, receptive field was found to be larger at left BL 23 in cLBP participants (P< 0.05). There was no statistically significant difference in skin temperature, electrical conductance, or morphology between the two groups.

CONCLUSIONS: Reduced PPT at all detected points and enlarged receptive field at left BL 23 were found in cLBP participants. These two features appear key in defining acupoint sensitization in cLBP, and provide evidence for selecting and locating acupuncture points in future clinical studies.

PMID:35871318 | DOI:10.3233/BMR-210297

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