Acupuncture is a promising therapeutic option for the management of radicular pain of discogenic origin, according to Turkish researchers. Eighty patients, referring with acute radicular pain of either either lumbar or cervical origin, were randomly assigned to receive either nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) therapy with tenoxicam (Mobiflex) or acupuncture. In patients with cervical discopathy, acupuncture was carried out at bilateral Weizhong BL-40, Fengchi GB-20 and ashi points 0.5 cun lateral to midline at the levels of C4-6 or C5-7. These patients also received intradermal needles at auricular points Shenmen and Cervical Vertebrae. In patients with lumbar discogenic pain, acupuncture needles were inserted bilaterally at Shenshu BL-23, Dachangshu BL-25, Ciliao BL-32, Weizhong BL-40 , Zhishi BL-52 and Yanglingquan GB-34 bilaterally. Auricular points Shenmen and Lumbosacral Vertebrae were also stimulated using intradermal needles. The results showed that, for radiculopathy of lumbar origin, the short and long term pain relieving effects of acupuncture were similar to NSAID therapy. In cases with cervical discopathy, the pain relieving effects of acupuncture were similar to those of NSAIDs in the long term, however in the short term acupuncture was significantly more effective than NSAID therapy.
(Effectiveness of acupuncture with NSAID medication in the management of acute discogenic radicular pain: a randomised, controlled trial. J Anesthe Clinic Res 2012, Mar 24;3:3).