Schmerz. 1997 Jun; 11(3): 180-4.
[Acupuncture together with cytokine depressing herbs in comparison to injection therapy with steroids in sciatic pain]
Praxis und Klinik für Orthopädie und Neurochirurgie, Düsseldorf.
Introduction: Because of their frequency and consequences sciatica remains a demanding clinical entity with significant social and economical impact. There is a high demand on therapeutic modalities, using folk medicine methods in the treatment of orthopaedic diseases. No data is available on the usefullness of methods like natural herbs in combination with acupuncture. Aim of our study was to present data on the effect of acupuncture and cytokineinhibiting natural herbs in sciatic pain. We compared these results with nerve root infiltration by local anaesthetics and corticosteroids in our orthopaedic outpatient clinic. Materials and Results: 278 patients with chronic pain for at least 3 months were observed. All three therapeutical modalities showed improvement of pain scores. Best results were gained with steroid injection ( n=26; 66% pain reduction), acupuncture in combination with herbs improved the pain in average of 62% ( n=230), whereas injection with local anaesthetic had a pain reduction of 48% ( n=22). Sole Mepivacain-HCl treatment had significant less pain reduction compared to the other treatment modalities. Conclusion: According to our results acupuncture in combination with herbs and steroid nerve blocks appear to be an effective and thus recommendable conservative therapy in cases of sciatic pain. Taking into account that patients increasingly prefer ethnomedical modalities of treatment our study gains importance for practising orthopaedists.