top of page
home page edited

Acupuncture for Managing Incomplete Paraplegia

Updated: Apr 19

Acute Acupuncture 163 The Terrace, Wellington Central, Wellington.
Acupuncture for Managing Incomplete Paraplegia

Incomplete Paraplegia or Walking Paraplegia refers to the partial paralysis of the lower limbs or may also be referred to as a spinal cord injury (SCI). This is more common when the SCI is lower down the spine where the injury occurs. This is typically located between L3 and S5. At this level, the person with incomplete paraplegia may have the ability to walk, with or without the assistance of crutches or the use of a support system. With that in mind, however, this injury may affect urinary and bowel function. Among the different types of paraplegia, incomplete paraplegia occurs when individuals retain some motor function below the level of the injury. Incomplete Paraplegia is a complex condition with significant physical, psychological, and social implications for the affected individuals. Traditional treatment methods for paraplegia focus on rehabilitation and pharmaceutical interventions. Lately, there has been growing interest in complementary and alternative therapies such as acupuncture. This Blog Post aims to demonstrate the potential application of acupuncture as a complementary therapy in the management of incomplete paraplegic patients and explore its potential benefits. By analyzing medical journals, we can assess acupuncture's efficacy and possible benefits in alleviating various symptoms associated with this condition.

Incomplete Paraplegia is characterized by varying degrees of lower limb function, including partial motor control, sensation, or both. Individuals with this type of paraplegia often face mobility challenges and may require assistive devices, such as wheelchairs or crutches, for ambulation. Management of incomplete paraplegia typically involves physical therapy for strengthening and retraining motor skills, alongside pharmacological interventions for pain relief or muscle spasticity, anxiety, or depression, and may also come with urinary and bowel complexities. However, available treatments may not fully address all of the patient's needs, leading to the exploration of alternative therapies such as acupuncture and Traditional Chinese medicine to facilitate this.

Acupuncture is a form of traditional Chinese medicine that originated in ancient China and is still used today. Acupuncture involves the insertion of thin needles at specific points or neuro points on the body to promote healing, balance energy flow, and alleviate pain. It is rooted in the concept that the body's energy needs to flow smoothly for optimal health and to prevent stagnation. Acupuncture is believed to restore balance by stimulating specific acupuncture points along meridians or neuro-pathways, effectively promoting physical and psychological (emotional) well-being.

Several studies have explored the potential benefits of acupuncture in managing Incomplete Paraplegia. A randomized controlled trial conducted by (Liu et al., 2018) demonstrated that acupuncture, when used in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation protocols, positively affected motor recovery and gait function in Incomplete Paraplegia patients. The study found that individuals receiving acupuncture treatments significantly improved muscle strength, balance, and functional mobility compared to control groups. These findings suggest that acupuncture may have a meaningful impact on the physical rehabilitation of individuals with Incomplete Paraplegia.

Acupuncture has shown potential in addressing secondary complications that often accompany paraplegia. For example, individuals with Incomplete Paraplegia frequently experience chronic pain, muscle spasticity, and poor bladder or bowel control. Acupuncture has been reported to help manage these symptoms by reducing pain perception, minimizing muscle spasms, and improving bladder and bowel function (Li et al., 2020).

While acupuncture shows promise in managing Incomplete Paraplegia, certain limitations and considerations must be acknowledged. Firstly, individual practitioner skills and variations in treatment approaches may contribute to inconsistent outcomes. This is why looking at the background of the potential acupuncturist you may be visiting is crucial. It would be best to check out how many years they studied and the length of their degee/s, how long their practice has been open, relevant feedback within the community, and their experience with treating the condition you seek acupuncture. I have two blog posts listed in this blog post that address this topic. It doesn't matter if you're coming to me at my clinic or visiting another practice in Wellington; I want you to get the best treatment you can for optimal health.

Acupuncture has emerged as a potential complementary therapy in managing Incomplete Paraplegia. Research suggests that when used in conjunction with conventional rehabilitation methods, acupuncture may improve motor function, alleviate pain, and address secondary complications associated with paraplegia. Acupuncture offers a less-invasive and potentially beneficial option for individuals with Incomplete Paraplegia. Collaborating with Acute Acupuncture and other healthcare providers and integrating acupuncture into a comprehensive treatment plan may offer additional benefits to patients and enhance their overall well-being. After treatments, one may feel relaxed, energized, and rejuvenated. Communicating with your practitioner about your experience is essential to ensure you receive the maximum benefits from these treatments. Click the button below and book a complementary 15-minute consultation at Acute Acupuncture, 163 The Terrace, Wellington Central, Wellington. Let's discuss if acupuncture is the right thing for you. Thank you for taking the time to read this Blog Post. Don't forget to like, subscribe, and share this post with others. If you have any questions or concerns, check out Acute-Acupuncture Wellington Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs), as we find this helps answer most people's questions. Please leave a comment below.


  • LinkedIn
  • Pintrest
  • Instagram
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
bottom of page