Acupuncture as a Cerebral Palsy Treatment

Acupuncture is a treatment that involves the insertion of thin needles into the skin at specific points on the body to treat pain, stress, and other conditions. Chinese culture has put acupuncture to use to balance the flow of energy or life force through the body (1).

Though it’s not a proven treatment, acupuncture has been used as a complementary therapy to treat cerebral palsy (CP). This means that acupuncture has been used in conjunction with other types of basic therapies, including intense physical, occupational, and hydro-therapies.

One study focused on what benefits acupuncture can offer as a complementary therapy. The study split 200 children with cerebral palsy into two groups. Half of the children were in the control group, meaning they were treated with only rehabilitation training. The other 100 children were in the treatment group, meaning they were treated with both rehabilitation training and acupuncture therapy (with 13 specific acupoints points of what’s referred to as the Governing Vessel chosen as the acupuncture points) (2). These 13 points have been referred to as the clearing of the Governing Vessel.

The analysis tested the following:

  • CT scan to view structures of the brain
  • MRI to view structures of the brain
  • Motor function observation

The effective rate of medical care was found to increase by 55% in the control group and 87% in the treatment group. This meant that rehabilitation training was beneficial to the children with CP, but rehabilitation training combined with this type of acupuncture was more beneficial still (2).

One meta-analysis studied several randomized controlled trials that compared the results of rehabilitation training with acupuncture with rehabilitation training on its own. The analysis showed that acupuncture improved gross motor function and total therapeutic efficacy when combined with rehabilitation training (3). However, due to small sample sizes and lack of controlled trials available, further randomized controlled trials should be done to determine the efficacy of acupuncture to treat CP.

These results reveal that acupuncture in conjunction with other rehabilitative therapies may be helpful for some patients with CP. Further studies are necessary, however, to determine the details of the acupuncture administered and the therapies that should be the foundation of these treatments.

About ABC Law Centers

ABC Law Centers was established to focus exclusively on birth injury cases. A “birth injury” is any type of harm to a baby that occurs just before, during, or after birth.

It is considered medical malpractice if a birth injury or a related disability could have been prevented with proper care. Your child could have their lifelong treatment, care, and other crucial resources covered by a birth injury case settlement.

If you believe you may have a case for your child, please contact us today to learn more. We are happy to hear your story and answer your questions free of any obligation or charge, even if you decide not to pursue a legal case with us. If you do, you would pay nothing throughout the entire legal process unless we win.

Call us today