Search JIM Advanced Search

Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine ›› 2011, Vol. 9 ›› Issue (2): 153-157.doi: 10.3736/jcim20110207

• Original Clinical Research • Previous Articles     Next Articles

A traditional Chinese medicine therapy warming meridians to nourish blood in treating chronic pain due to soft tissue injury of the neck and shoulder: A randomized controlled trial

Zhi-xin Zheng(), Jun Wang, Jing-shan Hou, Ling Ma, Cong-bo Jiang   

  1. Department of Rehabilitation Medicine, Division of Medical Technology, General Hospital of the Peopled Liberation Army, Beijing 100853, China
  • Received:2010-11-24 Accepted:2010-12-12 Online:2011-02-20 Published:2011-02-15
  • Contact: Zheng Zhi-xin

Background: Pain due to chronic soft tissue injury of the neck and shoulder is a commonly encountered and frequently occurring condition. Traditional Chinese medicine is a common course of treatment for soft tissue injury and may have better therapeutic effects than biomedical options.
Objective: To evaluate the clinical therapeutic effects of Chinese herbal medicine warming meridians to nourish blood on chronic pain due to soft tissue injury in the neck and shoulder.
Design, setting, participants and interventions: A random and control method was adopted. Sixty-three patients with pain of the neck and shoulder due to chronic soft tissue injury, presenting with blood deficiency and cold coagulation syndrome, were randomly divided into treatment group (n=32) and control group (n=31). There was a drop-out case in treatment group. All the patients were collected from the clinic service of the Department of Rehabilitation at the General Hospital of the People’s Liberation Army. Patients received oral and written information about clinical procedures before signing their written informed consent. Patients in the treatment group were treated with Chinese herbal decoctions for warming meridians to nourish blood and cervical traction. Patients in the control group were treated with cervical traction. The course of treatment was 14 days.
Main outcome measures: A visual analog scale (VAS) was used to record test data in the two groups before and after treatment, and therapeutic effect was compared after treatment between the two groups.
Results: After treatment, VAS scores of the treatment group and the control group were decreased as compared with before treatment (t=5.01, P<0.01; t=4.91, P<0.01). Difference of VAS scores between before and after treatment in the treatment group was higher than that in the control group (t=2.44, P<0.05).
Conclusion: The treatment method of warming meridians to nourish blood combined with cervical traction has better therapeutic effect than only applying traction for chronic pain due to soft tissue injury of the neck and shoulder.

Key words: soft tissue injury, pain, shoulder pain, neck pain, randomized controlled trial

Figure 1

Flow diagram of this randomized trial"


[1] Wei J, Pan WS, Yang Y, Wang YX . Study on characteristics of ADRs to non-steroidal anti-inflammatory[J]. Zhongguo Yao Shi, 2010,24(7):725-728
魏晶, 潘卫三, 杨悦, 王瑜歆 . 非甾体抗炎药不良反应特点研究[J]. 中国药事, 2010,24(7):725-728
[2] Xuan ZR. Xuan Zheren soft tissue surgery(Vol one)[M]. Shanghai: Wenhui Publishers, 2002: 106-111
宣蛰人 . 宣蛰人软组织外科学(上册)[M]. 上海: 文汇出版社, 2002: 106-111
[3] Zheng XY. Guidelines for clinical research on Chinese new herbal medicines[M]. Beijing: China Medical Science Press, 2002: 343
郑筱萸 . 中药新药临床研究指导原则(试行)[M]. 北京: 中国医药科技出版社, 2002: 343
[4] Ding WB, Ren W . Current situation and progress of diagnosis and treatment of chronic soft tissue injury[J]. Zhongguo Shi Yong Yi Yao, 2009,4(6):226
doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-7555.2009.06.182
丁文兵, 任伟 . 慢性软组织损伤诊断治疗现状及进展[J]. 中国实用医药, 2009,4(6):226
doi: 10.3969/j.issn.1673-7555.2009.06.182
[5] Dian RS, Wang HM, Lian KJ, Hong JY . Clinical research progress of traditional Chinese medicine in promoting repair of soft tissue injury[J]. Zhongguo Zhong Yi Gu Shang Ke Za Zhi, 2008,16(3):71
佃仁森, 王和鸣, 练克俭, 洪加源 . 中药促进软组织损伤修复的临床研究进展[J]. 中国中医骨伤科杂志, 2008,16(3):71
[1] Sherman Gu, Arthur Yin Fan. Controversial conclusions from two randomized controlled trials for acupuncture's effects on polycystic ovary syndrome or in vitro fertilization support. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(2): 89-91.
[2] Gerli E.G. Herr, Fábio Goulart da Silva, Francisco José Cidral-Filho, Fabricia Petronilho, Lucinéia Gainski Danielski, Mariana Pereira de Souza Goldim, Afonso Shiguemi Inoue Salgado, Franciane Bobinski, Daniel Fernandes Martins, Eliane R. Winkelmann. Effects of the use of bioceramic wraps in patients with lower limb venous ulcers: A randomized double-blind placebo-controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2020, 18(1): 27-.
[3] Rebecca Kulbida, Alexander Mathes, Johannes Loeser. Beneficial effects of hirudotherapy in a chronic case of complex regional pain syndrome. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(5): 383-386.
[4] Xin-yu Yue, Zhuo-qi Feng, Xi-yi Yu, Jia-min Hu, Xiao-Jing He, Shi Shu. Fire-needle acupuncture for upper limb spastic paralysis after stroke: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(3): 167-172.
[5] Ya-ru Huangfu, Wei Peng, Bao-jun Guo, Zhi-fu Shen, Li Li, Shi-wei, Liu, Hui Zheng, You-ping Hu. Effects of acupuncture in treating insomnia due to spleen-stomach disharmony syndrome and its influence on intestinal microbiome: Study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(3): 161-167.
[6] Stefania Lamponi, Anna Maria Aloisi, Claudia Bonechi, Marco Consumi, Alessandro Donati, Gemma Leone, Claudio Rossi, Gabriella Tamasi, Luana Ghiandai, Ersilia Ferrini, Paolo Fiorenzani, Ilaria Ceccarelli, Agnese Magnani. Evaluation of in vitro cell and blood compatibility and in vivo analgesic activity of plant-derived dietary supplements. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(3): 213-220.
[7] Pádraic J.Dunne, Julie Lynch, Lucia Prihodova, Caoimhe O'Leary, Atiyeh Ghoreyshi, Sharee A. Basdeo, Donal J.Cox, Rachel Breen, Ali Sheikhi, Áine Carroll, Cathal Walsh, Geraldine McMahon, Barry White. Burnout in the emergency department: Randomized controlled trial of an attention-based training program. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(3): 173-180.
[8] Arthur Yin Fan, Hui Ouyang, Xinru Qian, Hui Wei, David Dehui Wang, Deguang He, Haihe Tian, Changzhen Gong, Amy Matecki, Sarah Faggert Alemi. Discussions on real-world acupuncture treatments for chronic low-back pain in older adults. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(2): 71-76.
[9] Michelle T. Jesse, Mathew Kulas, Josephine Unitis, Nemie Beltran, Marwan Abouljoud. Acupuncture in living liver and kidney donors: a feasibility study. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2019, 17(1): 3-7.
[10] Ralph Fernando Rosas, Aline Armiliato Emer, Ana Paula Batisti, Daniela Dero Ludtke, Bruna Lenfers Turnes, Franciane Bobinski, Francisco José Cidral-Filho, Daniel Fernandes Martins. Far infrared-emitting ceramics decrease Freund’s adjuvant-induced inflammatory hyperalgesia in mice through cytokine modulation and activation of peripheral inhibitory neuroreceptors. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(6): 396-403.
[11] J.M. Oliver-Baxter, H.S. Whitford, D.A. Turnbull, M.J. Bond. Effects of vitamin supplementation on inflammatory markers and psychological wellbeing among distressed women: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(5): 322-328.
[12] Ching-Feng Su. Home care with acupuncture increased the quality of life in a patient with advanced cancer with neuropathic pain induced by bone metastasis: A case report. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(3): 208-210.
[13] Sepideh Hamdamian, Soheila Nazarpour, Masoumeh Simbar, Sepideh Hajian, Faraz Mojab, AtefehTalebi. Effects of aromatherapy with Rosa damascena on nulliparous women’s pain and anxiety of labor during first stage of labor. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(2): 120-125.
[14] Parunkul Tungsukruthai, Preecha Nootim, Wiwan Worakunphanich, Nareerat Tabtong. Efficacy and safety of herbal steam bath in allergic rhinitis: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(1): 39-44.
[15] Zahra Hajmohammadi, Mojtaba Heydari, Majid Nimrouzi, Pouya Faridi, Mohammad Javad Zibaeenezhad, Gholamhossein Ranjbar Omrani, Mesbah Shams . Rhus coriaria L. increases serum apolipoprotein-A1 and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels: A double-blind placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial. Journal of Integrative Medicine, 2018, 16(1): 45-50.
Full text



[1] Dong Yang, Yong-ping Du, Qing Shen, Wei Chen, Yan Yu, Guang-lei Chen. Expression of alpha-smooth muscle actin in renal tubulointerstitium in patients with kidney collateral stasis. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 41-44
[2] Li Zhou, Hong-xing Zhang, Ling-guang Liu, Wen-jun Wan. Effect of electro-acupuncture at Fenglong (GV 16) on nitric oxide and endothelin in rats with hyperlipidemia. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 89-92
[3] Jin-zhou Tian, Jing Shi, Xin-qing Zhang, Qi Bi, Xin Ma, Zhi-liang Wang, Xiao-bin Li, Shu-li Shen, Lin Li, Zhen-yun Wu, Li-yan Fang, Xiao-dong Zhao, Ying-chun Miao, Peng-wen Wang, Ying Ren, Jun-xiang Yin, Yong-yan Wang, Beijing United Study Group on MCI of the Capital Foundation of Medical Developments. Guiding principles of clinical research on mild cognitive impairment (protocol). Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2008, 6(1): 9-14
[4] Daniel Weber, Janelle M Wheat, Geoffrey M Currie. Inflammation and cancer: Tumor initiation, progression and metastasis,and Chinese botanical medicines. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1006-1013
[5] Xin-jun Wang, Ling-ling Wang . A mechanism of endogenous opioid peptides for rapid onset of acupuncture effect in treatment of depression. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1014-1017
[6] Hong Liu , Guo-liang Zhang, Li Shen , Zhen Zeng, Bao-luo Zhou, Cheng-hai Liu, Guang Nie . Application and evaluation of a pseudotyped virus assay for screening herbs for anti-H5Nl avian influenza virus. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(11): 1036-1040
[7] Ming-qing Wei , Jin-zhou Tian , Jing Shi , Fu-yun Ma , Ying-chun Miao , Yong-yan Wang. Effects of Chinese medicine for promoting blood circulation and removing blood stasis in treating patients with mild to moderate vascular dementia: a randomized, double-blind and parallel-controlled trial. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2012, 10(11): 1240-1246
[8] Li-fang Wang, Jin-feng Wang, Wei-fang Jin, Hong-fu Wang, Shao-fen Zhang, Jian-jun Gao. Effects of daidzein on steroid receptor coactivator-1 expression in MC3T3-E1 cells and the mechanism. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2011, 9(11): 1248-1253
[9] Yong Miao Edwin. Clinical critical qualitative evaluation of the selected randomized controlled trials in current acupuncture researches for low back pain. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(12): 1133-1146
[10] Kai Qu, Tian-fang Wang, Yan Zhao, Xiao-lin Xue, Xiu-yan Wu, Hua-liang Deng, Lu Yang, Li-liYu , Hong Yue, Qing-guo Wang. Common syndrome factors of traditional Chinese medicine in chronic renal failure based on the questionnaire investigation among experts. Journal of Chinese Integrative Medicine, 2010, 8(12): 1147-1152