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Scalp acupuncture can improve walking in stroke patients, according to a clinical study from China. Thirty patients with subacute intracerebral haemorrhage (ICH) were assessed using three-dimensional gait analysis, before and immediately after scalp acupuncture treatment, or no intervention. Patients in the acupuncture group received manual scalp acupuncture treatment at four points on the affected side; Baihui DU-20, Taiyang M-HN-9, plus two other points located at one-third and two-thirds of the distance between them. Each needle was at inserted perpendicularly, then advanced 30 millimetres obliquely at a 15 degree angle. The needle was twisted rapidly at over 200 revolutions per minute for five minutes, such that a sensation of deqi was evoked. This was repeated three times at five minute intervals. After treatment, there were significant differences between the acupuncture and control groups in the parameters of step length, velocity and cadence, and double-limb support. The treatment group also showed a significantly decreased peak pelvic anterior tilt angle and an increased hip extension angle after scalp acupuncture treatment, whereas the control group demonstrated no such changes. The authors suggest that the improvements in gait pattern after acupuncture may be associated with augmented hip joint motion during walking.

Immediate effect of scalp acupuncture on the gait of patients with subacute intracerebral haemorrhage analysed by three-dimensional motion: secondary analysis of a randomised controlled trial. Acupunct Med. 2018 Apr;36(2):71-79.

 

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