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Acupuncture and Strength Training Reduce Muscle Spasticity and Improve Motor Function in Chronic Stroke Survivors

Topic: Acupuncture and Strength Training Reduce Muscle Spasticity and Improve Motor Function in Chronic Stroke Survivors

Keywords: STROKE, MUSCLE SPASTICITY - Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine, Strength Training, Physical Therapy

Reference: "Electroacupuncture may help motor recovery in chronic stroke survivors: A pilot study," Liu W, Mukherjee M, et al, J Rehabil Res Dev, 2008; 45(4): 587-9. (Address: Department of Physical Therapy and Rehabilitation Sciences, University of Kansas Medical Center, 3901 Rainbow Blvd, Kansas City, KS 66160, USA. E-mail: wliu@kumc.edu ).

Summary: In a randomized, crossover study involving 10 chronic stroke survivors with moderate or severe muscle spasticity, acupuncture, added to strength training, was found to reduce muscle spasticity more effectively than strength training alone. For 6 weeks, subjects received strength training alone, or strength training plus acupuncture (electroacupuncture), twice a week. After the first 6 weeks, the groups were crossed over for another 6 weeks. After the combined treatment, improvements were found in quantitative measurements of wrist spasticity, active wrist extension range of motion (mean increase: 16.3), and clinical evaluation with Fugl-Meyer upper-limb motor scores (mean increase: 4.9 points), while no such improvements were found with strength training alone. These results suggest that acupuncture plus strength training may reduce muscle spasticity in chronic stroke survivors.

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