Comparing the Efficacy of Steroid Acupuncture and Platelet Rich Plasma Injection in Patients With Sciatica

  • End date
    Dec 31, 2022
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Taipei Medical University Hospital
Updated on 23 January 2021
ct scan
steroid injection
disc prolapse
platelet-rich plasma injection
straight leg raise test


Disc herniation, stenosis of the spine and spondylolisthesis are the common causes of radiculitis in medical practice today, and can cause symptoms of sciatica. Steroid injection, acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injection are often used interventions for the treatments of sciatica. The investigators will investigate the efficacy and safety of steroid injection, acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injection for sciatica in this single center, parallel, randomized-controlled clinical trial.


Steroid injection, acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injection are often used interventions for the treatments of sciatica. The investigators will investigate the efficacy and safety of steroid injection, acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injection for sciatica in this single center, parallel, randomized-controlled clinical trial.

Participants will be randomized into 3 groups (steroid injection, acupuncture and platelet-rich plasma injection) by central allocation. Randomized participants will complete a questionnaire that solicited information regarding age, sex, marital status, occupation, education, and medical history. The blinding credibility of the treatments will be evaluated at the end of the treatment.

Participants in steroid injection group will receive Triamcinolone 1pc plus lidocaine 1% 1cc injection at neuritis nerve roots. Participants in platelet-rich plasma injection group will receive 15cc blood draw first to concentrate into platelet-rich plasma and then inject at neuritis nerve roots. Participants in acupuncture group received standardized acupuncture treatment. hat treatment was accomplished by selecting a group of acupuncture points that predefined. Acupuncture points will be bladder meridian pattern acupuncture points including Shenshu (BL23), Qihaishu (BL24), Dachangshu (BL25), and Guanyuanshu(BL26). The needles will be inserted perpendicular to a depth of 5 to 35 mm depending on the acupuncture point, which was followed by manual stimulation by bidirectional rotation to induce Deqi sensation. Deqi was defined as a dull, localized, and aching sensation, which signaled the attainment of qi.

Outcome Measures Primary Outcome Measure The primary outcome measure is visual analogue scale for sciatica. To understand the impact of sciatica on the participants' life, visual analogue scale for bothersomeness is chosen instead of pain intensity. The participants will be asked to mark, on a 10 cm visual analogue scale (0, absence of bothersomeness; 10, the worst bothersomeness imaginable), the average degree of bothersomeness due to sciatica experienced within the most recent 1 week from the day of the assessment. This measurement has substantial validity. Bothersomeness of sciatica will be measured at baseline, 1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, 12-, 16-, and 24-week.

Secondary Outcome Measures Numeric Rating Scale for pain intensity is a simple method evaluating the subjective intensity of pain. Pain intensity will be measured in the same way as visual analogue scale for bothersomeness. Validity of its reliability has been demonstrated. The Chinese version Oswestry Disability Index is used to measure back pain-related dysfunction. Health-related quality of life will be measured using the well-validated EuroQol 5 dimensions (EQ-5D). A higher score is indicative of a better general health status. Participants satisfaction will be evaluated with 5 point scale (1 is worst, and 5 is best)

We will perform the Shapiro-Wilk normality test to determine whether or not the sample values followed a normal distribution and finally assumed normality according to the test result. For the description of baseline characteristics, mean with standard deviation (SD) for continuous data and frequency with percentage for dichotomous data will be described. Also, for the homogeneity test of baseline characteristics between 3 groups, 2-sample t tests for continuous data and chi-square test for dichotomous data will be performed. A mixed-model approach of repeated-measures 2-factor analysis will be used to analyze the difference and mean change in baseline, 1-, 2-, 4-, 8-, 12-, 16-, and 24-week visual analogue scale score, Oswestry Disability Index, EQ-5D, patient satisfaction difference and mean change between groups, interaction between groups, and periods.

Condition Sciatica, Sciatica
Treatment Acupuncture, Platelet Rich Plasma, Steroid
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT03801512
SponsorTaipei Medical University Hospital
Last Modified on23 January 2021


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Female or male, 20 to 80 years of age
Participants who had dermatome between L3 to S1, or participants whose straight leg raising test was positive, or participants had Meyerding Grade I to II spondylolisthesis or herniated intervertebral disc or spinal stenosis diagnosed by X-rays, Magnetic resonance imaging or computed tomography
Participants whose sciatica symptom doesn't have occur time limit
Participants who agreed to follow the trial protocol
Participants who could complete the study treatment and assessments
Participants who had steroid or pain control injection can participate the study after receiving injection more than 3 days

Exclusion Criteria

Participants with severe progressive neurological symptoms (e.g. cauda equina compression)
Participants who had undergone surgery for lumbar disc herniation within 6 months
Participants whose sciatica symptom wasn't caused by lumbar radiculopathy
Participants with cardiovascular, liver, kidney, or hematopoietic system diseases, severe psychiatric or psychological disorder, or cancer
Women who were pregnant
Participants with a pacemaker, metal allergy, or severe fear of needles
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note