Acupuncture and Spinal Cord Injury

Published: April 28, 2007  |  Source: americanchronicle.com
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Spinal cord injuries are extremely serious. Acupuncture for a spinal cord injury can bring relief to chronic pain and improve your quality of life.

Among the most devastating types of traumatic injuries is injury to the spinal cord. The major problem with spinal cord injury is the inability of the nerve cells to regenerate. It is thought that the cells do not regenerate for a couple of reasons. The network of nerve connections between the brain and the body is a complex network. If new cells and branches began to grow after injuries, there would be no telling what would be connected to what anymore. The other reason is there is a limited amount of room in the spinal column and growth of cells would be impossible. Since the cells do not grow, once the spinal cord is damaged or severed, the condition is permanent.

Acupuncture and spinal cord injury are an ideal therapeutic match. It is important to understand that Traditional Chinese Medicine is not a form of magic. The scientific facts about spinal cord Regeneration do not change and acupuncture can not do what is impossible. What it can do is to bring improvements in the quality of life to the patient who has suffered a severe spinal cord injury.

Clinical studies on the effect of acupuncture on spinal cord injuries have shown results of increased sensation, reduction of muscle spasms, and improved bowel and bladder function. Other studies have shown that the sooner after the trauma that the treatments are begun, the more dramatic the improvements in the control of spasms and increased function and sensation. The studies have also shown that the best results come from continued treatment over a long period of time. Some of the treatments had a duration of almost five years with treatments given at least twice a week.

There have been some reports of treatments in Europe using laser acupuncture to treat spinal cord injuries. Some of them claim to have restored function where that would have been considered impossible through the use of lasers and acupuncture in a sort of combined alternative medicine approach. A complete evaluation of these reports was reported as not being possible due to the fact that the subjects spoke a foreign language.

This combined treatment approach is mentioned to point out an important fact about acupuncture treatments in general. Acupuncture is a part of Traditional Chinese Medicine and has been used successfully in the treatment of the ailments of mankind for centuries. It is not some type of New Age miracle cure. When you see claims that make it appear to be just that, it should send out red flags of warning. Spinal Cord injuries are terrible things, and the most serious ones lead to permanent Disability. Acupuncture can be useful in controlling the symptoms and improving the quality of life, but it is not a miracle cure.

Alien Sheng