Back Pain Response to Different Acupuncture Methods (LBP)

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: NCT01598974
Recruitment Status : Completed
First Posted : May 15, 2012
Last Update Posted : November 29, 2017
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Information provided by (Responsible Party):
Robert Edwards, Brigham and Women's Hospital

Brief Summary:
Acupuncture has been used for many years to help relieve pain. However, it is not clear how acupuncture works. We are doing this study to learn about the effects of different forms of acupuncture on chronic low back pain. We are interested in learning about brain activity during pain. We plan to look at brain activity at the beginning and the end of the study, after 6 sessions of acupuncture.

Condition or disease Intervention/treatment Phase
Lower Back Pain Procedure: Traditional Acupuncture Procedure: Laser Acupuncture Not Applicable

Study Type : Interventional  (Clinical Trial)
Actual Enrollment : 151 participants
Allocation: Randomized
Intervention Model: Parallel Assignment
Masking: Double (Participant, Investigator)
Primary Purpose: Treatment
Official Title: Brain Plasticity Underlying Back Pain Response to Different Acupuncture Methods
Actual Study Start Date : January 2012
Actual Primary Completion Date : May 2017
Actual Study Completion Date : October 2017

Resource links provided by the National Library of Medicine

Arm Intervention/treatment
Experimental: Traditional Acupuncture
Participants will receive acupuncture over 6 30-minute sessions.
Procedure: Traditional Acupuncture
Experimental: Laser Acupuncture
Participants will receive laser acupuncture over 6 30-minute sessions.
Procedure: Laser Acupuncture
No Intervention: Wait-List
Subjects will be put on a 6 week wait-list and receive vouchers for acupuncture at a local clinic.

Primary Outcome Measures :
  1. Pain improvement in patients with lower back pain [ Time Frame: 6 weeks ]
    Pain rating changes for chronic low back pain after acupuncture sessions.

Information from the National Library of Medicine

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Ages Eligible for Study:   18 Years to 60 Years   (Adult)
Sexes Eligible for Study:   All
Accepts Healthy Volunteers:   Yes

Inclusion Criteria:

  • Volunteers 18-60 years of age.
  • Meet the Classification Criteria of the chronic LBP (having low back pain for more than 6 months), as determined by the referring physician.
  • At least 4/10 clinical pain on the 11-point LBP intensity scale.
  • Patients must be able to provoke or exacerbate their chronic LBP using our calibrated exercise-like maneuver.
  • Must have had a prior evaluation of their low back pain by a health care provider, which may have included radiographic studies. Documentation of this evaluation will be sought from Partners or outside medical records and kept in the subject's research record.
  • At least a 10th grade English-reading level; English can be a second language provided that the patients feel they understand all the questions used in the assessment measures.

Exclusion Criteria:

  • Specific causes of back pain (e.g. cancer, fractures, spinal stenosis, infections),
  • Complicated back problems (e.g. prior back surgery, medicolegal issues),
  • Possible contraindications for acupuncture (e.g. coagulation disorders, cardiac pacemakers, pregnancy, seizure disorder), and conditions that might confound acupuncture intervention effects or interpretation of results (e.g. severe fibromyalgia, rheumatoid arthritis).
  • Conditions making acupuncture difficult (e.g. paralysis, psychoses),
  • Prior acupuncture treatment for back pain; 1 year wait for any other type.
  • The intent to undergo surgery during the time of involvement in the study.
  • History of cardiac, respiratory, or nervous system disease that, in Dr. Wasan's judgment, precludes participation in the study because of a heightened potential for adverse outcome. For example: asthma or claustrophobia.
  • Presence of any contraindications to MRI scanning. For example: cardiac pacemaker, metal implants, fear of closed spaces, pregnancy.
  • Involvement in workmen's compensation or disability claims.
  • Radicular pain extending below the knee.
  • Active substance abuse disorders within the last 24 months, based on subject self-report.
  • Use of more than 60 mg morphine equivalent prescription opioids or steroids for pain.

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): NCT01598974

United States, Massachusetts
MGH - Martinos Center
Charlestown, Massachusetts, United States, 02129
Sponsors and Collaborators
Brigham and Women's Hospital
Massachusetts General Hospital
National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH)
Principal Investigator: Robert R Edwards, Ph.D. Brigham and Women's Hospital

Responsible Party: Robert Edwards, Principal Investigator, Brigham and Women's Hospital Identifier: NCT01598974     History of Changes
Other Study ID Numbers: 2011P001364
First Posted: May 15, 2012    Key Record Dates
Last Update Posted: November 29, 2017
Last Verified: November 2017

Keywords provided by Robert Edwards, Brigham and Women's Hospital:
Lower Back Pain

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