Being adaptive to pain enhances sham acupuncture analgesia: A crossover healthy human study

Zheng, Z, Wong Lit Wan, D, Arendt-Nielsen, L, Yao, D, Iversen, G, Xue, C and Wang, K 2017, 'Being adaptive to pain enhances sham acupuncture analgesia: A crossover healthy human study', Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies, vol. 10, no. 6, pp. 385-395.


Document type: Journal Article
Collection: Journal Articles

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Title Being adaptive to pain enhances sham acupuncture analgesia: A crossover healthy human study
Author(s) Zheng, Z
Wong Lit Wan, D
Arendt-Nielsen, L
Yao, D
Iversen, G
Xue, C
Wang, K
Year 2017
Journal name Journal of Acupuncture and Meridian Studies
Volume number 10
Issue number 6
Start page 385
End page 395
Total pages 11
Publisher Elsevier Korea LLC. Health Sciences
Abstract We have reported a model that distinguishes pain adaptive individuals (PA) from those who are pain non-adaptive (PNA). The present randomised, cross-over, participant-assessor blinded study aimed to determine the impact of pain adaptability on individuals' response to real and sham acupuncture. Healthy volunteers (nine PA and 13 PNA) were randomly allocated to receive real and sham acupuncture on the left hand and forearm in two separate acupuncture sessions. Pressure pain thresholds (PPTs) were measured at bilateral forearms and right leg before, immediately after and 20 minutes after the end of acupuncture. Ratings to pinprick and suprathreshold PPT were also recorded. The two groups were comparable in their demographic and baseline data. Analgesia induced by real or sham acupuncture did not differ on any outcome measures. PA responded to acupuncture needling better than PNA, and to sham needling (20% increase in PPT) better than to real acupuncture (7.9%). Those differences were at 20 min after end of acupuncture in the areas distant to the needling sites. PNA reported little changes in PPT. Being adaptive to pain was associated with enhanced distant analgesia in response to sham acupuncture. Our finding might partly explain var ied acupuncture analgesia in clinical practice and trials.
Subject Complementary and Alternative Medicine not elsewhere classified
Keyword(s) Acupuncture
Cold pressor
Pain adaptability
Sham acupuncture
DOI - identifier 10.1016/j.jams.2017.10.002
Copyright notice © 2017 Medical Association of Pharmacopuncture Institute, Publishing services by Elsevier B.V. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license
ISSN 2005-2901
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