Statistical Analysis of 4 Types of Neck Whiplash Injuries Based on Classical Meridian Theory
As one component of the Chinese medicine meridian system, the meridian sinew (Jingjin, tendino-musculo) is specially described as being for acupuncture treatment of the musculoskeletal system because of its dynamic attributes and tender point correlations. In recent decades, the therapeutic importance of the sinew meridian has become revalued in clinical application. Based on this theory, the authors have established therapeutic strategies of acupuncture treatment in Whiplash-Associated Disorders (WAD) by categorizing four types of neck symptom presentations. The advantage of this new system is to make it much easier for the clinician to find effective acupuncture points. This study attempts to prove the significance of the proposed therapeutic strategies by analyzing data collected from a clinical survey of various WAD using non-supervised statistical methods, such as correlation analysis, factor analysis, and cluster analysis. The clinical survey data have successfully verified discrete characteristics of four neck syndromes, based upon the range of motion (ROM) and tender point location findings. A summary of the relationships among the symptoms of the four neck syndromes has shown the correlation coefficient as having a statistical significance (P<0.01 or P<0.05), especially with regard to ROM. Furthermore, factor and cluster analyses resulted in a total of 11 categories of general symptoms, which implies syndrome factors are more related to the Liver, as originally described in classical theory. The hypothesis of meridian sinew syndromes in WAD is clearly supported by the statistical analysis of the clinical trials. This new discovery should be beneficial in improving therapeutic outcomes.
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