Cancer pain affects the quality of life of cancer patients; therefore, various methods exist for alleviating the adverse effects caused by cancer pain. Nonpharmacological intervention is regarded as an important means of auxiliary therapy for drug treatment, with acupuncture receiving the most attention; However, there are numerous types of acupuncture therapies, including acupuncture, wrist-ankle acupuncture (WAA) and auricular acupuncture (AA). Previous studies have demonstrated that all types of acupuncture therapy can alleviate cancer pain. However, the effects and pathways of different acupuncture treatments are not similar, and it is unknown whether single therapy or combination therapy has better analgesic effects. This study aimed to examine the effect of WAA therapy combined with AA on cancer pain.
A randomized controlled trial.
A total of 160 patients were selected and randomly divided into groups A, B, C and D, with 40 patients in each group. Group A received conventional analgesia alone, with opioids administered based on the World Health Organization (WHO) 3-tiered “cancer pain ladder”. Group B received WAA, in addition to the treatment received by group A. Group C received AA, in addition to the treatment received by group A. Group D received WAA combined with AA, in addition to the treatment received by group A. Analgesic effects and analgesic drug use before and 3, 5 and 7 days after treatment were observed in each group.
A total of 159 patients were included in the analysis. The verbal rating scale (VRS) and numeric rating scale (NRS) scores for patients who received mono-acupuncture therapy and combination therapy for 1 week were significantly different from those of the control group. Combination therapy had a stronger effect on the VRS score and a faster onset time, based on the NRS score, and the patients who received combination therapy had reduced analgesic drug use.
WAA combined with AA can more quickly reduce pain symptoms with more lasting analgesic effects and can effectively reduce analgesic drug use.
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