Acupuncture effective for post-stroke spastic paralysis

Background: Despite the potentially good efficacy of acupuncture therapy in the management of post-stroke spastic paralysis demonstrated in previous studies, further verification through meta-analysis can be conducive to eliminating the inconclusive of treatment outcomes in prior findings. This systematic review and meta-analysis were thus performed to comprehensively investigate the effects of acupuncture on the daily living abilities, upper and lower limb motor function, and related functional indices of post-stroke patients with spastic paralysis. 

Methods: We conducted a computer search to collect data from PubMed, PEDro, Clinical SportDiscus, and Scopus. The inclusion criteria followed the Population-Intervention-Comparison-Outcome (PICO) principle. Literature screening, data extraction, and quality assessment of the research articles were performed by two independent investigators. Standard mean difference and 95% confidence intervals of the data were analyzed using either a random-effects model or a fixed-effects model. 

Results: Acupuncture therapy appeared to be effective in mitigating the limb pain of post-stroke patients with spastic paralysis (RR = -0.04, 95% CI: -0.26, 0.17), ameliorating their daily life ability (RR = 4.66, 95% CI: -0.74, 10.05), and improving their hand function (RR = 0.65, 95% CI: 0.40, 0.90) and lower limb function (RR = 0.35, 95% CI: 0.09, 0.62). 

Conclusion: Acupuncture therapy provides more pronounced improvement in the daily life ability and limb motor function of post-stroke patients with spastic paralysis than conventional treatment regimens. Thus, acupuncture therapy can be a viable treatment option for the management of spastic paralysis following stroke.


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About Attilio

Doctor of Chinese medicine, acupuncture expert and author of My Fertility Guide and My Pregnancy Guide.

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