Main Article Content
Low back pain is a common symptom and mostly treated with analgesic and muscle relaxant drugs, which cause both acute and long-term side effects. Currently, body acupuncture is a very popular alternative treatment for lower back pain patients in Thailand. Scalp acupuncture (SA) is rarely used despite its advantage in treating low back pain for patients in many positions with or without a bed, using only a few needles. Many studies have shown that SA can cure or relieve pain effectively. The stimulation techniques mainly focus on manual stimulation by a specially trained acupuncturist. This randomized controlled trial and qualitative research aimed to compare the effectiveness of manually stimulated and electrically stimulated scalp acupuncture (manual SA and electric SA) for the treatment of lower back pain in 40 patients; 20 of whom were randomly assigned to the experimental group with electric SA, or electro-acupuncture, and the other 20 to the control group with manual SA. The patients’ pain was assessed with the short-form McGill Pain Questionnaire and a Neuropathic Pain Scale; and data analysis was undertaken with basic statistics. The results showed that, after each treatment in both groups, their pain levels dropped significantly. The difference in the mean pain scores before the first treatment and after the third treatment was 3.55 for the experimental group and 4.4 for the control group. In conclusion, after three treatments, both manual and electric scalp acupuncture therapies were significantly effective in relieving the pain; and there was no significant difference in pain reduction between both groups.
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