Acupuncture provides additional benefit to nerve block for postherpetic neuralgia

Chinese clinicians have found that combining acupuncture with ultrasound-guided thoracic paravertebral nerve block (PVB) is more effective than PVB alone in treating postherpetic neuralgia (PHN). They conducted a study involving 61 outpatients with chest and back post-herpes zoster neuralgia who were randomly divided into two groups. Patients in the control group received ultrasound-guided thoracic PVB alone, while those in the observation group received acupuncture along local fascia, channels and nerves combined with ultrasound-guided PVB treatment. Both groups received treatment weekly for four weeks. Pain scores in both groups decreased over time after one to four weeks of treatment. There were no significant differences in pain scores between the two groups after one or two weeks of treatment, however, after three and four weeks of treatment, pain scores were significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared to the control group. Additionally, both groups reported improved sleep, with greater improvement in the acupuncture group.

Clinical effect of acupuncture along fascia, meridians, and nerves combined with ultrasound-guided paravertebral nerve block in the treatment of postherpetic neuralgia: a randomized parallel-controlled study. J Tradit Chin Med. 2023 Apr;43(2):359-364.