Spinal Cord Injury - acupuncture treatment

Definition, Causes, Effects and Classifications

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The sooner the spinal cord injury treatment begins, the faster and more effective the recovery may be. 

We suggest spinal cord injury patients to consider an integrated therapy approach (i.e. the combination of acupuncture, exercise, massage, physiotherapy and other therapies). Patients will benefit from the advantages of all these therapies, leading to a speedier recovery. That being said, the patient should schedule such therapies wisely to avoid overuse of bodily energy. Exhaustion can weaken the body and slow down the recovery process instead.  

Acupuncture treatment is one of the most effective therapies for spinal cord injuries. Specific acupuncture points may help to stimulate nerve rejuvenation. The following acupuncture procedures are especially effective for treating spinal cord injuries: neurological acupuncture, navel acupuncture, auricular  acupuncture, etc. 

Acupuncture can help to relieve the following problems:

  • pain, stinging, tingling sensations, and/or numbness of limbs
  • restoration of sensitivity to pain, heat, cold and touch
  • improve the range of motion of affected limbs
  • urinary problems such as incontinence (lack of urinary control), or retention
  • promote bowel movement 
  • restore energy
  • decrease anxiety
  • improve sleep and/or relieve symptoms from sleep disorders
  • improve sexuality 


The earlier, the better. In order to stop deterioration from the injury and begin the restoration of function, timely treatment of acupuncture is critical.

Acupuncture treatment can begin as soon as the patient is medically stable (i.e stable vitals).

The frequency of acupuncture treatments is based on the severity of the injury. In most cases, we suggest that patients receive treatment every day, or every other day, for the first few weeks. When we see improvement, treatment frequency can be reduced to 1-2 times per week, or even less. 

For faster and more effective results, it is highly recommended that patients integrate acupuncture treatment with other treatments, such as physiotherapy, occupational therapy and physical exercise.

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National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke -https://www.ninds.nih.gov