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Korean J Anesthesiol. 1979 Mar;12(1):89-94. Korean. Original Article.
Kim IK , Ahn KY , Kim YS , Kim WS .
Department of Anesthesiology, Hanyang University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea.

In 1965, Melzack and Well proposed the gate-control theory which is based on modern neurophysiological principles. Its clinical application in western medicine remains in the area of pain control to relieve pain in certain diseases such as in the neck, scapula, elbow, wrist, knee, ankle joint pain, low back pain, facial palsy, headache, etc. Recent study, gradually developed in the western countries, has reported that the mechanism of action is by the method of the opiate receptor binding -sites and the release of intrinsic morphine like substances two related pentapeptides, 5HT (5-Hvdr oxyltriptamine), Na-glutamate, and by bradykinine, serotonine, histamine and prostaglandine E, etc. by peripheral nerve stimulation. It seems that the mechanism of stimulation involves neuropliysiological and neurohumoral inhibitory effects at the level of the spinal cord, brain stem (thalamus) and cortex. As yet it is not clear, but further study will improve the understanding of pain mechanisms in developed countries in the near future. Since 1976, the pain clinic in Hanyang University Hospital has used peripheral electrical acupuncture stimulation and found it to relieve pain which had not responded to various drugs and other methods. Here, the techinic and procedure of the treatment are described. The results for the forty-seven cases showed: marked improvement in 27 cases(57. 4%), improvement in 17 cases (36. 2%) and transient improvement in 3 cases (6. 4%).

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