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The Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine, Thesis Paper Example

Pages: 12

Words: 3199

Thesis Paper

The Effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) particularly, Chinese Acupuncture for the Treatment of Non-specific Low back pain

Introduction

The aim of this project proposal is to shed a light on the effectiveness of Chinese acupuncture in treating non-specific chronic low back pain in comparison with care as usual (analgesics, physiotherapy). I hypothesize that Chinese Traditional Medicine and the use of acupuncture will be more effective than care as usual in reducing patient pain levels. The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has historic beginnings from ancient China, which has been perfected and evolved over many centuries. The TCM practitioner uses an ancient healing system that uses herbal medicine and needles to treat chronic and the prevention of illnesses. [1] The people in the United States and around the world use TCM to complement their total health care regiment¹. During the elective period starting in September, studying the impact of the traditional management of pain compared to Chinese acupuncture treatment on patients suffering Non-specific chronic low back pain. In addition to the data accessibility achieved from this partnership, I will moreover, be capable in gaining deeper insight into how such sort of back pain is treated and how the patients feel about the treatment options they have available to them.

Elective Period

The TCM project will help to draw a comparison of the value of Eastern and Western medicine and to determine where gaps in medical knowledge exist in this particular field. Since it is important to compare alternative treatment methods to determine which are the most effective or feasible, trusting, that the findings of my elective will spark future interest in this type of research. As I undertake this endeavor, I wish to learn more about the application of Chinese acupuncture and the rationale for prescribing different types of herbal remedies and needle treatments.

The primary goal will be to gain more knowledge about the TCM treatments methods versus the Western methods while gathering information about the patient’s responses to both the Western medicine way of treatment and the TCM methods of treatment for chronic pain patients. In addition, research the statistical proof to support the TCM methods in the current medial industry.

Expected Results

The study will favor Chinese acupuncture over the already established Western medicine treatment option for Non-specific low back pain. The Western medicine treatments have a place in the patients care plan, which includes the assessments, diagnostic testing, blood analysis, and overall discovery of the illness. However, the results are expected to show that the Chinese TCM is a better alternative for patients that have met maximum level of Western medicine. The expected results should show that the TCM treatments are not just placebo base results, however, concrete evidence that TCM has succeed in treating low-back pain.

Hypothesis

The hypothesis statement is “The Traditional Chinese medicine combined with Chinese acupuncture is effective for managing low back pain compared to care as usual in western medicine.” The work plan will be completed during the 10 weeks elective, official university research engines will be used to gather relevant literature and data regarding non-specific chronic low back pain and the history and application of Chinese acupuncture throughout ancient civilization.

Background

The patient’s low back pain is generally described as “pain in the lower third of the spine,” it is an emerging medical complaint, Estimates prevalence of low back pain fluctuates, it is nevertheless, and estimated to be 44% for people around 44-65 years in the Netherlands.[2]  However, symptoms often ease within days by it. However, if it lasts more than three months, it is termed chronic low back pain. This reduces the prevalence of chronic low back pain to be 18.2%. [3]

The prevalence of chronic low back pain for men is 15.4% and it is 18.9% for women. For men, prevalence increased from 12.6 percent for the age group 30–44 years to 16.8 percent for the age group 45–54 years and 19.7 percent for the age group 55–64 years. [4]

There are non-specific Chronic low back pain is limiting, patients find daily activities quite challenging nevertheless, changes in mood and sleep patterns are ideal. [5]Moreover, non-specific chronic low back pain, is not usually the result of a particular disease, rather, it incorporates a multifactorial origins. Psychological, Social, genetic and environmental are leading factors, nonetheless, age, gender, smoking, obesity and exercise are also key influences. [6]. There is large share of patients with non-specific low back pain is critical concerning care as usual. The European Guidelines in managing the condition are a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy and exercise as a first treatment option, and then followed by NSAIDs if pain persists.

The weak opioids are used as a last resort to ease pain [7] however; many patients find such laborious guidelines frustrating because it does not react to ease their pain straightforwardly. This has shed a light on complementary and alternative medical providers, embracing acupuncturists. Back pain is the leading reason for visits to licensed acupuncturists, and medical acupuncturists consider acupuncture an effective treatment for back pain in general. [8] Moreover, several recent European studies have suggested that general Chinese acupuncture is rather effective in managing different sorts of pain and that it is superior to care as usual.

The effectiveness of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) particularly, Chinese Acupuncture for the Treatment of Non-specific Low back pain versus Western Medicine.

Discussion

The Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and the United States Western way of treating patients have some major differences. However, each treatment methods have some merit but the recent TCM successes for treating lower back pain has proven the better method for patients. The Western medicine has it place at the best diagnosis and treatment plan for patient’s initial discovery of the illness or injury. The TCM has a better reputation for after the patient has been through treatment that failed. The therapeutic effects of the TCM has a correlation of patients that not only feel better after the treatment, they feel more educated about how to take care of themselves along with alternatives. The TCM has a rich background of medical success using these healing techniques for hundreds of years. Acupuncture is fast becoming the favorite choice of patients with chronic illnesses in the age of the Alternative and Holistic medicine movement of the 20th century. The patients have played a big part in the acceptance of the TCM techniques because many of the patients seeking TCM only after Western medicine has help the patient reach what they call “maximum level of treatment”. This means there is nothing else the Western medicine community can do to help the patient heal. It was one of the United States presidents that brought the treatment of TCM as beneficial was President Nixon visited the China Republic in 1972. The Chinese medicine received so much praise from the President that the TCM methods do work.

The TCM method of medicine uses a variety of different healing techniques while utilizing Chinese theoretical healing concepts, which are based on thousands of years of Chinese medicine. In China, the acupuncture practitioners utilize many different forms of medicine to treat back pain such as herbal medicine combined with acupuncture. One of the differences in the Western Medicine treatment plan and the TCM plan is the TCM plan includes dietary solutions to root causes and treatment therapies. The Western Medicine therapies for the patient’s low back pain use the pathology and neurology basis for treatment of the pain. Including pharmaceuticals, painful back injections, and surgery as the last result to chronic pain. The TCM Chinese doctors have a different attitude about surgery and pharmaceutical options, which are the TCM treatment plan, can improve the patient’s condition without evasive surgery or addiction drugs. The TCM treatment plan it collaborative with the patient asking questions about how they feel and how each options works with their chronic back pain.

Study Significance

This study is significant because an outcome that either “care as usual” or Chinese acupuncture application is more beneficial can orient clinical practice towards better care. Since the most effective management, method will become widely implemented. If was found that both treatment methods are equally effective, the less expensive or less invasive option may be deemed as the more efficient treatment option. The primary reason that Western patients are turning to the TCM treatments is patients are looking for less evasive types of treatments after trying Western medicine for years. There is a significant change in the patient choices in the medical industry that have future implications.

Problem Statement

Chronic low back pain is a global major health concern that severely affects economy. More than 70% of the populations in industrialized countries are affected by low back pain [1] the annual incidence in adults is up to 45%, with those aged 35–55 years affected most often. Complementary and alternative medicine therapies are widely used, and acupuncture was shown to be useful for chronic low back pain [9]. According to a study by Hogeboom et al., Chinese medical diagnoses and treatment recommendations for specific patients with chronic low back pain vary widely across practitioners. Hence the goal of this project is to discuss and evaluate the improvements of Chinese acupuncture use for non-specific low back pain compared to the already established treatment. I hope that this would drive clinical practice to keep an open mind towards Traditional Chinese Medicine and alternative medicine in general.

Methodology

To determine whether care as usual or the Chinese acupuncture is superior in managing this pain, an observational study will be conducted to compare the pain levels relief of individuals who have received either treatment options. Typically, pain level is reported at the beginning of treatment in both Western and Eastern medicine applications and then tracked as the patient makes progress. Access to proper Patient records from the HWA acupuncture center will be used for this purpose.

Conversely, questionnaires will be designed to give clearer overview on data for a survey research. Reaching Patients will be established in coordination with the HWA acupuncture center for interviews and for reviewing the questionnaires regarding their assessment of how their feeling of pain varied during both kinds of treatments. The baseline pain levels will be compared, in addition to their pain levels after treatment. In order to ensure that there are no confounding factors, this comparison will stratify based on gender, age, and pre-existing medical conditions. The typical treatment for low back pain is connected with the Chiropractic however; the surveys will considered the overall treatments for low back pain associated with Acupuncture.

Literature Review

The literature review will be based on the peer review journals concerning TCM methods proven to work with low back pain patients. The journal reviews provide the statistical studies that support the theory that TCM Medicine is the best non-evasion treatment. The industry literature such as medial reports, traditional American Medical Journals have supporting materials that provide the foundation of TCM along with best treatment methods for low-back pain. The purpose of this literature review will be establish a solid foundation for a theoretical framework for TCM. The literature review will assist the researcher with defining topic areas, define TCM terms, terminology, and identify supporting current studies. There are three primary goals of the Literature Review concerning TCM, which are clearly explain the current theories and research concerning TCM to date. The second is the show how the research was completed concerning the research, found studies and background on the TCM treatments.

A literature review for TCM will be an as collection of relevant data that addresses the research hypothesis and provides academic value to the thesis. In addition, to further support the thesis the literature study will be based the past academic literature on TCM to provide direction of the thesis. The primary goal is to analyze the data to determine a unique contribution to the TCM research and provide possible an answer to a TCM question that has not been answered in the process. The literature for TCM include studies that have been performed on TCM healing methods that work with patients with chronic or critical low back pain. The process of the literature review will include research from some the top peer-journals to validate the hypothesis. The TCM literature will help with the writing process along with synthesizing the TCM research that allows the natural process of rethinking, refining, and reworking the literature that is relevant to TCM quantitative and qualitative results.

Data Results

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the medical devices category for the TCM needles as Class II. This change means that the TCM treatment is being recognize as a treatment module that has been classified as a safe and acceptable treatment method². The study completed by Sherman, Cherkin, Deyo, &, Erro, et al, 2006, indicated that the patient preference for treatment plan was acupuncture because it was less evasive that the Western treatment alternatives.[10]   In addition, the chose methods of treatments by patient in the study was Chinese deep tissue treatments by acupunctures, trigger point treatment by acupuncturist  and the body awareness modules during treatment with acupuncturist.

In a study completed by researchers Yuan, Gue, Liu, Sun, & Zhang, et. al (2015), completed 75 randomized controlled patients’ trials for patients that had chronic back pain. The number of participants was 11,077, which experience cupping treatments and acupuncture which is the basis of many treatments [7]. This study completed by Yuan et. al (2015) validates the argument that the patients prefer the treatment of acupuncture versus the invasive surgery. The participants were measured by each different type of treatments for various chronic illnesses including low back pain. The study found that the patient responded more to acupuncture which the majority of the participants completed the entire treatment plan. However, the significance of the patient’s improvement even if small changes in patient’s pain level, the scientific community is examining how much improvement. The TCM pain is not about how much improvement but factoring the fact that some patients are ambulatory or inability to walk received results immediately is the measurement of success for TCM.

The study found that there is a correlation between patients feeling moderately better in compared to Western Medicine surgery methods³. The study found that the patients preferred acupuncture treatment such as qiqong, moxibustion,cupping and deep tissue treatments. Yuan et al, 2015, that utilized a search of a group of TCM studies using Medline, EMBASE and Cochran Library, found that acupuncture was the most effective treatment for back pain utilize various acupressure points that gave the patient the most relief immediately, completed a similar study. The cupping treatment was second preference from patients because of the non-evasive nature. [7]. The diagnosis Non-specific low Back pain (the equivalent of  ‘Aspecieke Lage Rugpijn’ according to the Dutch Guideline ‘Chronic low back pain’, M54, NHG 2005) is a prevalent disorder among working individuals and 26.6% of the working class in the Netherlands are afflicted.[11]

Chinese acupuncture is on the other hand used as treatment alternative to pain in general. Although both schemes are used regularly, there is little evidence that indicates which is more effective in treating non-specific chronic low back pain.

In a study completed by Chon and Mark (2013), indicated that there is a paradigm shift of patients choosing Acupuncture Treatment as the preferred treatment. The participants in the study pointed at low back pain treatment method of cupping that allows the blow flow to improve in the back area. In a study by the National Health Interview Survey (NHIS) (2007), there is an estimated over 3 million adults and over 160, 0000 children that received Chinese Acupuncture.[12]

The study performed 1998, by Irish Register of Chinese Herbal Practitioners, indicated that in a private practice random trail, it was found that Acupuncture used by Chinese practitioners have tremendous value treating gastro and dermatology skin problems. The participants with the skin disease felt the acupuncture provide relief from the chronic itching on a daily basis and the treatments last over long periods of time. The results showed that the patients that utilize the Chinese medicine have better results than Western medicine techniques (Irish Register of Chinese Herbal Practitioners, as cited in Chinese Herbal Medicine). 10.

Works Cited

Chinese Herbal Medicine. (Internet). 2000. Irish Times. May 26, 2000.Avalible from http://search.proquest.com/docview/310549981?accountid=34899 May 5, 2015.

University of Minnesota. Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Evidence-Based and Safe? (Internet). Updated 2013 Jul 2: cited 2015 May 4).

Bekkering, GE, Ball, MM, Reid, Kellen, Riemsma, R, Huygen, FJ & Kleijnen, J. Epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). Neth J Med. 2011 Mar; 69(3):141-53.

Hildebrand VH. “Back pain in the working population: prevalence rates in Dutch trades and professions.” National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). 1995 Jun; 38(6):1283-98.

Pach, Daniel, Xiaoli, Yang-Strobel, Ludtke, Rainer, Roll, Stephanie, Icke, K, Brinhaus, B, Witt, Claudia. “Standardized versus Individualized Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain”: A Randomized Controlled Trial. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI): Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.2013;125937

E. Bekkering1*, M.M. Bala epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands

The Dutch College of General College of General Practitioners. Chronic Low Back Pain. 2015. Available from https://www.nhg.org/dutch-college-general-practitioners

Sherman,KJ.,Cherkin,DC,Deyo,RA,Erro,JH,et al, 2006. The diagnosis and treatment of chronic back pain by Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and massage therapists. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). 2006 Mar-Apr; 22(3):227-34.

Qi, Y.Tuan-mao, G., Liu, L., Sun, F, & Zhang, Y. (2015). Traditional Chinese Medicine for Neck Pain and Low Back Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI).10(2):e0117146. 2015 doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0117146.

Chon, Tony Y., M.D., and Mark C. Lee M.D. 2013. Acupuncture. Mayo Clinic proceedings 88, (10) (10): 1141-6,

[1] Chinese Herbal Medicine. (Internet). 2000. Irish Times. May 26, 2000.Avalible from http://search.proquest.com/docview/310549981?accountid=34899 May 5, 2015.

[2] Bekkering, GE, Ball, MM, Reid, Kellen, Riemsma, R, Huygen, FJ * Kleijnen, J. Epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). Neth J Med. 2011 Mar; 69(3):141-53.

[3] Bekkering, GE, Ball, MM, Reid, Kellen, Riemsma, R, Huygen, FJ * Kleijnen, J. Epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). Neth J Med. 2011 Mar; 69(3):141-53.

[4] Institute of Medicine (US) Committee on Assessing Interactions Among Social, Behavioral, and Genetic Factors in Health; Hernandez LM, Blazer DG, editors. Genes, Behavior, and the Social Environment: Moving Beyond the Nature/Nurture Debate. Washington (DC): National Academies Press (US); 2006. 2, The Impact of Social and Cultural Environment on Health. Available from: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK19924/

[5] G.E. Bekkering1*, M.M. Bala epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands

[6] G.E. Bekkering1*, M.M. Bala epidemiology of chronic pain and its treatment in the Netherlands

[8] University of Minnesota. Is Traditional Chinese Medicine Evidence-Based and Safe? (Internet). Updated 2013 Jul 2: cited 2015 May 4).

[9] Pach, Daniel, Xiaoli, Yang-Strobel, Ludtke, Rainer, Roll, Stephanie, Icke, K, Brinhaus, B, Witt, Claudia. “Standardized versus Individualized Acupuncture for Chronic Low Back Pain”: A Randomized Controlled Trial. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI): Evidence Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine.2013;125937

[10] Sherman,KJ.,Cherkin,DC,Deyo,RA,Erro,JH,et al, 2006. The diagnosis and treatment of chronic back pain by Acupuncturists, Chiropractors, and massage therapists. National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). 2006 Mar-Apr; 22(3):227-34.

[11] Hildebrand VH. “Back pain in the working population: prevalence rates in Dutch trades and professions.” National Center for Biology Information Health (NCBI). 1995 Jun; 38(6):1283-98.

[12] Chon, Tony Y., M.D., and Mark C. Lee M.D. 2013. Acupuncture. Mayo Clinic proceedings 88, (10) (10): 1141-6,

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