Background: Acupuncture as a complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) modality appears to be a helpful integrative therapy for multiple sclerosis. Due to the chronicity of the disease and persistent symptoms, a large number of patients seek to use CAM for the multiple sclerosis treatment. Therefore, the present review aimed to determine the effectiveness of acupuncture in the treatment of multiple sclerosis.
Methods: PUBMED database was searched for English articles (at least English abstracts) in September 2021, including all articles published since the earliest literature until September 2021. Review articles were searched for relevant data. The searched keywords in titles and abstracts included ((acupuncture) OR (electroacupuncture)) AND (multiple sclerosis).
Results: Totally, out of 75 studied articles, 31 were included in this research. The advantages of acupuncture are mainly reflected in regulating neuro-immune system, improving the quality of life, reducing fatigue, improving the bladder function, reducing the spasm and pain of the limbs, delaying the progression of the disease, and reducing relapses.
Conclusions: According to the review of the recent articles, traditional Chinese acupuncture and scalp acupuncture appear to help improve the symptoms of multiple sclerosis (including fatigue, neural functional deficits, pain, gait impairments, and bladder dysfunction) and reduce relapses. Therefore, acupuncture could be used as an integrative therapy in patients with multiple sclerosis.