Stimulation of Hegu L.I.-4 can reduce pain in children during dental anaesthetic injection. Children scheduled for dental treatment using local anaesthesia received bilateral acupuncture at Hegu L.I.-4 (using intradermal needles). During the dental treatment, the patients’ parents stimulated the needles by massage. Two different treatment regimes were compared: standardised local anaesthetic (LA) injection given five minutes after acupuncture, and LA injection without acupuncture. The order of treatment was randomised, with the two treatments performed in a crossover manner on different days. Data were obtained from 49 patients. Patients reported less pain when acupuncture was used (mean pain score 2.3 versus 3.9). In addition, the heart rate of patients who received acupuncture remained low throughout dental treatment compared to treatment without acupuncture, indicating that they experienced less autonomic distress. Acupuncture was also found to increase satisfaction levels in both the patients and their parents compared to LA injection alone.
Acupuncture Reduces Pain and Autonomic Distress During Injection of Local Anesthetic in Children – A Pragmatic Crossover Investigation. Clin J Pain. 2015 Feb 25.