I’ve always wondered if, instead of just needling meridian, I used a “paraspinal” approach to needling I would get better results. I think I’ll go ahead and try. In Anesthesiology, if you have a difficult epidural to administer, for whatever reason, a paraspinal approach is often much easier, a technique in which you go slightly laterally and below the intervertebral space. This would place you closer to the actual nerves than in a traditional meridian approach, more in line with the Huo Jia Ji points. Anyway, this study would suggest that a slightly different angle, and maybe patient position (lateral decubitus) might give better results. In this study, they didn’t seem to need too many treatments either, yay.
Acupunct Med. 2012 Jun;30(2):103-8.
Spinal nerve root electroacupuncture for symptomatic treatment of lumbar spinal canal stenosis unresponsive to standard acupuncture: a prospective case series.
Inoue M, Nakajima M, Hojo T, Kitakoji H, Itoi M.Department of Clinical Acupuncture and Moxibustion, Meiji University of Integrative Medicine, Kyoto, Japan. firstname.lastname@example.org
To study the effectiveness of electroacupuncture of the spinal nerve root using a selective spinal nerve block technique for the treatment of lumbar and lower limb symptoms in patients with lumbar spinal canal stenosis.
METHODS: Subjects were 17 patients with spinal canal stenosis who did not respond to 2 months of general conservative treatment and conventional acupuncture. Under x-ray fluoroscopy, two acupuncture needles were inserted as close as possible to the relevant nerve root, as determined by subjective symptoms and x-ray and MRI findings, and low-frequency electroacupuncture stimulation was performed (10 Hz, 10 min). Patients received 3-5 once-weekly treatments, and were evaluated immediately before and after each treatment and 3 months after completion of treatment.
After the first nerve root electroacupuncture stimulation, scores for lumbar and lower limb symptoms improved significantly
CONCLUSION:Lumbar and lower limb symptoms, for which conventional acupuncture and general conservative treatment had been ineffective, improved significantly during a course of electroacupuncture to the spinal nerve root, showing sustained improvement even 3 months after completion of treatment. The mechanisms of these effects may involve activation of the pain inhibition system and improvement of nerve blood flow.