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J Physiol Sci. 2007 Apr;57(2):115-9. Epub 2007 Mar 24.

The alteration of pain sensitivity at disease-specific acupuncture points in premenstrual syndrome.

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Acupuncture and Meridian Science Research Center (AMSRC), Kyung Hee University, Seoul, 130-701, Republic of Korea.


Acupuncture points (APs) are well known to be small regions of local or referred pain that are more sensitive than surrounding tissue. Based on bibliographical and clinical data, specific conditions are commonly believed to change the pain sensitivity at corresponding APs. The aim of the present study was to investigate whether the pressure pain threshold (PPT) of specific APs is associated with the severity of premenstrual syndrome. The 46 participants were female students attending a middle school. Premenstrual syndrome (PMS) was measured using a structured questionnaire, the menstruation distress questionnaire (MDQ). High PMS (HP) and low PMS (LP) groups were divided based on their MDQ scores. The PPTs at sites in the leg (the APs SP6, GB39, and LR3 and a non-AP 2-cm anterior to SP6) and in the arm (the APs PC6, TE5, and LI4 and a non-AP 2-cm proximal to PC6) were measured using an algometer. The PPT of the HP group at SP6 was significantly lower than that of the LP group (13.50 +/- 0.73 vs. 16.30 +/- 0.66 kilopascals, P < 0.05), but not at other APs or at non-APs. The findings of our study support the hypothesis that the alteration of pain threshold at specific APs is associated with the severity of corresponding diseases. Further studies are needed to determine whether an observation of pain sensitivity at the APs could be used as an adjunctive tool for the diagnosis of a clinical problem.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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