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Pilot Study Shows Promise in Using Acupuncture for Post-Stroke Recovery

By: Vanessa Vogel Batt L.Ac. MSOM

There is encouraging news for patients who have suffered a stroke and subsequently experience problems with lower extremity motor function. The results of a study called Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Poststroke Motor Recovery and Physical Function: A Pilot Study, reveal the advantage of applying acupuncture.

The trial consisted of 29 patients suffering from hemiparesis, weakness that occurs on only one side of the body, as a consequence of having a stroke. The experimental group received acupuncture treatment daily for two weeks, while the control group was treated with standard Western medical stroke rehabilitation therapies.

At the end of the study, when compared against the control group, researchers concluded that there is a 'statistically significant benefit' in restoring lower extremity motor function through the use of acupuncture treatments. A motor skill is the ability to intentionally instigate and use one’s muscles correctly. A boost in motor skills enhances the ability to balance and coordinate one’s movements, making activities such as walking, running and jumping easier.

Source: Alexander, D.N., Cen, S., Sullivan, K.J., Bhavnani, G., Ma, X., Azen, S.P. ASAP Study Group Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Poststroke Motor Recovery and Physical Function: A Pilot Study Neurorehabilitation and Neural Repair  Volume: 18 issue: 4, page(s): 259-267 Issue published: December 1, 2004


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About the Author: Vanessa Vogel Batt, L.Ac., MSTOM, studied at the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine, and practiced acupuncture and Oriental medicine in New York for several years. Vanessa enjoys traveling the world, and has published articles on acupuncture and Oriental medicine and related health topics for websites and publications in both the U.S. and abroad.

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