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Chinese researchers have found that acupuncture can improve lower limb spasticity and motor function in stroke patients. Fifty-nine patients who had experienced a hemorrhagic stroke were randomised to receive either acupuncture treatment combined with conventional treatment or conventional treatment only. Acupuncture was given in 24 sessions spread over four weeks. Acupoints used on the head were Baihui DU-20 and Taiyang M-HN-9, along with two intermediate points located one-third and two-thirds of the distance between them. Limb points selected were Yinmen BL-37, Fuxi BL-38, Xiyangguan GB-33, Yanglingquan GB-34, Zusanli ST-36, Tiaokou ST-38 and Taichong LIV-3. Compared with the conventional treatment group, the acupuncture group showed a significantly greater decrease in knee and ankle spasticity over time. Improvement in brain and spinal parameters following acupuncture suggest that it may reduce spasticity by reshaping corticospinal plasticity and enhancing descending inhibitory output from the motor cortex to the spinal level.

Effects of Acupuncture Treatment on Lower Limb Spasticity in Patients Following Hemorrhagic Stroke: A Pilot Study. Eur Neurol. 2019 Apr 23;81(1-2):5-12

 

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