The Treatment of Notalgia Paresthetica with Traditional Chinese Medicine: A Case Study

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JCM103-9
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Notalgia paresthetica (NP) is a common, under-diagnosed chronic skin disorder that typically manifests as a pruritic, hyperpigmented patch on the upper back. Although its exact prevalence is unknown, NP is thought to affect a significant proportion of the adult population worldwide. The aetiology of this condition is multifactorial: musculoskeletal dysfunction affecting the spinal nerves, increased dermal innervation and hereditary influences may all play a role. The effectiveness of conventional medical treatments varies, with some patients not experiencing any improvement in their symptoms. This case summarises the effect of Chinese medicine – primarily acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine with supplementary tuina and dietary therapy – on a 54-year-old female patient with NP who had responded minimally to Western medical interventions. After six weeks of treatment the patient
reported almost total relief of itch on her upper back, as well as improvements in her health overall. No adverse
events were observed. Chinese medicine may be a safe and effective treatment to address both the symptoms and
underlying causes of NP.
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Author Britton R. Mann and Haosheng Zhang
JCM Issue JCM103-9
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