Auricular (Battlefield) Acupuncture for Musculoskeletal Pain

EnrollingByInvitation · 18+ · All Sexes · Durham, NC

This study is evaluating whether acupuncture is an effective treatment for acute musculoskeletal pain.

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About the trial for Musculoskeletal Pain

Eligible Conditions
Musculoskeletal Pain · Emergencies

Treatment Groups

This trial involves 2 different treatments. Auricular (Battlefield) Acupuncture is the primary treatment being studied. Participants will be divided into 2 treatment groups. There is no placebo group. The treatments being tested are not being studied for commercial purposes.

Experimental Group 1
Auricular (Battlefield) Acupuncture
Experimental Group 2
Peripheral Acupuncture


This trial is for patients born any sex aged 18 and older. There are 3 eligibility criteria to participate in this trial as listed below.

Inclusion & Exclusion Checklist
Mark “yes” if the following statements are true for you:
Adults age 18 or older
within the last 6 months The doctor in the emergency department has diagnosed the patient with acute musculoskeletal pain within the last 6 months. show original
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Odds of Eligibility
Be sure to apply to 2-3 other trials, as you have a low likelihood of qualifying for this one.Apply To This Trial
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Approximate Timelines

Please note that timelines for treatment and screening will vary by patient
Screening: ~3 weeks
Treatment: varies
Reporting: Up to one year post ED visit
This trial has approximate timelines as follows: 3 weeks for initial screening, variable treatment timelines, and reporting: Up to one year post ED visit.
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- What options you have available- The pros & cons of this trial
- Whether you're likely to qualify- What the enrollment process looks like

Measurement Requirements

This trial is evaluating whether Auricular (Battlefield) Acupuncture will improve 7 primary outcomes and 5 secondary outcomes in patients with Musculoskeletal Pain. Measurement will happen over the course of Post ED acupuncture session, up to 1 hour.

Time in minutes for ED based acupuncture session
Number of adverse events
Number of outpatient acupuncture sessions attended
Number of ED patients eligible for recruitment as measured by patient log
Number of patients that found acupuncture satisfactory via satisfactory questionnaire
Likert-scale, agree disagree
Number of patients enrolled as measured by patient log
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Patient Q & A Section

Please Note: These questions and answers are submitted by anonymous patients, and have not been verified by our internal team.

What are common treatments for musculoskeletal pain?

The most common treatment for musculoskeletal pain is rest and physical therapy. Other solutions may include over-the-counter oral medications, NSAIDs, steroid injections, muscle relaxants and other prescription medications. There is no single treatment that is best for every patient, so treatment is focused on the specific pain.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Can musculoskeletal pain be cured?

Although the present research could not demonstrate a specific pain medication that has proved effective in treating any particular pain in the musculoskeletal system, these results do imply that an increased focus and consideration of what is actually happening at the level of the joint needs to be applied in future research in order to improve patient outcome.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What are the signs of musculoskeletal pain?

Musculoskeletal pain of many sources has many possible signs. These signs often lead to further imaging for diagnosis of the cause of the pain like a torn rotator cuff. It also can result in overusing of an injured part, like overworking from being forced to sit for long periods or performing repetitive and high energy activities like basketball.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What causes musculoskeletal pain?

The cause of musculoskeletal pain, especially pain in the joints, is complex and multifactorial. The cause is likely to be multifactorial and have multiple factors associated with, but not limited to, the individual and environmental factors. It is important to know that pain is complex and that we need to think beyond the problem at hand and understand how all these factors interact to give rise to the pain. Each individual's pain experience is different and the type of pain a person experiences depends on many different factors.

Anonymous Patient Answer

How many people get musculoskeletal pain a year in the United States?

Approximately 7 million Americans experienced musculoskeletal pain in 2012. Of those, 2.7 million were diagnosed with fibromyalgia. More than 3 times as many women (4.5 million) than men (1.7 million) have suffered musculoskeletal pain. The majority of adults aged 20-29 (65%) report experiencing pain. The data are compatible with a large epidemiology study that used the same methodology but reported on different disorders of musculoskeletal disorders. However, the results reported by this study may not accurately reflect the national and specialty demographics of the U.S.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is musculoskeletal pain?

Musculoskeletal pain is the most common pain complaint. It affects many people and pain is probably underdiagnosed because of the high number of individuals not seeking medical help.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is the primary cause of musculoskeletal pain?

There are two common, mutually exclusive primary hypotheses about the cause of musculoskeletal pain: acute inflammation in muscles or tendons and pathology of tendons and articular cartilage. The data support the use of diagnostic instruments that may improve our understanding of the mechanisms of musculoskeletal pain.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What does auricular (battlefield) acupuncture usually treat?

Data from a recent study provides evidence that the treatment of auricular and occipital tenderness may have differential effects on a range of pain-related emotional and psychobiological factors, and these effects may vary with the specific acupuncture points stimulated. Further research is needed, using acupuncture-controlled groups, to better understand the role of each acupuncture point in treating the pain-related factor, and to test the proposed explanation for these results.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What is auricular (battlefield) acupuncture?

Given that only a few of the patients in our series were treated on a battlefield, it seems that both the amount of auriculotemporal block (0.3 mA, 30 min) and number of needles (7, 35 min) were sufficient to trigger the desired effect. More importantly, this technique should be considered a powerful form of first aid for both soldiers and civilians alike.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Does auricular (battlefield) acupuncture improve quality of life for those with musculoskeletal pain?

Results from a recent paper suggests that auricular acupuncture may significantly improve the quality of life for those with MSK pain. Results from a recent paper have implications for the design and application of treatment with auricular acupuncture and highlight the importance of considering pain dimensions in conjunction with clinical outcomes in future research into this type of acupuncture therapy.

Anonymous Patient Answer

What are the common side effects of auricular (battlefield) acupuncture?

[1st and 2nd series of auricular acupuncture treatments provided no or few acute acupuncture effect on the majority of side effects. Longer term clinical trials, with larger sample sizes would be required to address this issue.

Anonymous Patient Answer

Is auricular (battlefield) acupuncture typically used in combination with any other treatments?

We did not find differences between Auricular-only, Auricular-plus-moxibustion, Auricular-plus-TENS or Auricular-plus-TENS-moxibustion for pain alleviation. The auricular needle should not be replaced only with moxibustion or TENS and the patient should be questioned if this is the reason for not applying the usual treatments.

Anonymous Patient Answer
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