Acupuncture May Decrease Post-Stroke Shoulder pain

According to a new study published in The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, acupuncture may relieve shoulder pain after a stroke.

Acupuncture is the practice of inserting needles into specific points along the body as a means to relieve pain & treat disease.

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Traditional practitioners claim that, by manipulating a system of meridians believed to course across the body, acupuncture can restore the balanced flow of qi, thus healing the body of malady. The term acupuncture also refers to the entire theory & practice of one of the major modalities of Chinese medicine.

Based on available research & acupuncture's long history of use, both the World Health Organization and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) have identified many conditions for which it may be recommended. There is reasonable scientific evidence supporting acupuncture for several indications, including various types of pain and several types of nausea and vomiting.

In the study, researchers combined data from seven different studies published in China. In all the studies, participants were experiencing post-stroke shoulder pain. Each participant was randomly placed in one of two groups. Acupuncture was performed on the experimental group. The control group underwent another type of rehabilitative therapy, such as exercise.

Data analysis showed that acupuncture was an effective method of reducing post-stroke shoulder pain. The researchers suggested that the combination of exercise and acupuncture is appropriate for rehabilitation following a stroke. More research on this topic is warranted.

The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine
15 November 2012