Effects of Gua Sha and Thermotherapy on Chronic Neck Pain

The safety and scientific validity of this study is the responsibility of the study sponsor and investigators. Listing a study does not mean it has been evaluated by the U.S. Federal Government. Read our disclaimer for details. Identifier: NCT01233180
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : November 3, 2010
Last Update Posted : February 23, 2011
Information provided by:
Universität Duisburg-Essen

Brief Summary:

Gua Sha massage is a traditional chinese medical treatment. It is mostly used in the treatment of the common cold and pain syndromes. Gua Sha involves pressuring the skin by a round-edged instrument until small petechiae appear. This so called "sha", considered as the removal of blood stasis by traditional practitioners, will fade within a few days. Normally, this treatment is not considered as painful, but as relaxing and easing tense muscles.

In this study, the investigators will investigate the effectivity of Gua Sha massage in treating chronic neck pain. The investigators will research effects on subjective pain intensity, neck pain specific disability and haptic perception.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Neck Pain Other: Gua Sha Device: Thermotherapy Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 50 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: None (Open Label)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Randomized Controlled Trial Comparing Gua Sha Massage and Thermotherapy for Chronic Neck Pain: Effects on Pain Intensity, Haptic Perception and Body Image.
Study Start Date : September 2010
Actual Primary Completion Date : February 2011
Actual Study Completion Date : February 2011

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

U.S. FDA Resources

Arm Intervention/treatment
Active Comparator: Gua Sha
Single Gua Sha treatment of the neck and shoulder region.
Other: Gua Sha
Single Gua Sha treatment of the neck and shoulder region
Active Comparator: Thermotherapy
Single use of a mud heat pad on the neck and shoulder region.
Device: Thermotherapy
Single use of a mud heat pad on the neck and shoulder region

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Neck pain intensity (100mm visual analog scale) [ Time Frame: Day 4 ]

Secondary Outcome Measures :
  1. Neck disability index (NDI) [ Time Frame: Day 4 ]

    The Neck Disability Index is an instrument to assess neck pain complaints.

    Reference: Vernon H, Mior S. The Neck Disability Index: a study of reliability and validity. J Manipulative Physiol Ther 1991;14:409-415.

  2. Haptic perception [ Time Frame: Day 4 ]

    The design consists of two angle legs, of which one angle leg has to be readjusted to a given angle adjustment. This is done by haptic perception without visual feedback. The deviation of the adjusted angle from the locked angle is measured.

    Reference: Grunwald, M., Ettich, C., Busse, F., Assmann, B., Dähne, A., Gertz, H.-J., (2002): Angle paradigm: A new method to measure right parietal dysfunctions in anorexia nervosa. Archives of Clinical Neuropsychology , 17, pp. 485- 496

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 75 Years   (Adult, Senior)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   No

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Chronic mechanical neck pain, at least 40 mm on a 100mm visual analog scale.
  • Pain for at least 3 months.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • radicular symptoms
  • congenital spine deformity
  • pregnancy
  • rheumatic diseases
  • oncologic diseases
  • other severe psychiatric or somatic comorbidity
  • recent invasive or surgical treatment of the spine
  • participation in other studies
  • skin diseases in the area to be treated

Information from the National Library of Medicine

To learn more about this study, you or your doctor may contact the study research staff using the contact information provided by the sponsor.

Please refer to this study by its identifier (NCT number): NCT01233180

Kliniken Essen-Mitte, Knappschafts-Krankenhaus, Department for Internal and Integrative Medicine
Essen, Northrhine-Westphalia, Germany, 45276
Sponsors and Collaborators
Universität Duisburg-Essen

Responsible Party: Gustav J Dobos, MD, University of Duisburg-Essen, Chair of Complementary and Integrative Medicine Identifier: NCT01233180     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 10-4434
First Posted: November 3, 2010    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: February 23, 2011
Last Verified: February 2011

Keywords provided by Universität Duisburg-Essen:
neck pain
hyperthermia, induced
touch perception
randomized controlled trial

Additional relevant MeSH terms:
Neck Pain
Neurologic Manifestations
Nervous System Diseases
Signs and Symptoms