Acupuncture can assist with many neurological conditions, ranging from carpal tunnel to stroke recovery. A neurological condition involves the body’s complex nervous system and can manifest as pain, inflammation, impaired function in affected areas, and overly sensitive or numb skin. Nerve pain can exhibit both as periodic sharp shooting sensations, or as a more constant burning, tingling or numbness.
Neurological conditions that can be addressed with acupuncture include:
- Headaches – including migraines, tension headaches, headaches occurring around the menstrual cycle, sinus headaches and stress-related headaches
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome – Swelling or irritation of the nerves or tendons in the carpal tunnel results in pressure on the median nerve in the wrist
- Stroke Recovery – A stroke occurs when oxygen-rich blood to the brain is blocked, or bleeding damages brain cells. Acupuncture can help the brain rebuild neural pathways to bring back brain functions damaged during a stroke.
- Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) – An irreversible neurological disease that destroys the nerve cells that invigorate muscle tissue
Acupuncture can be effective in treating a wide array of neurological conditions, alone and in conjunction with other medical treatments, physical therapy, occupational therapy, and therapeutic yoga. The newly developing field of scalp acupuncture provides recovery to many patients suffering from complications from stroke, nerve pain, facial pain, migrains, Parkinson’s disease and other neurological conditions.
According to the World Health Organization (WHO):
Neurological disorders are diseases of the central and peripheral nervous system. In other words, the brain, spinal cord, cranial nerves, peripheral nerves, nerve roots, autonomic nervous system, neuromuscular junction, and muscles. These disorders include epilepsy, Alzheimer disease and other dementias, cerebrovascular diseases including stroke, migraine and other headache disorders, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson’s disease, neuroinfections, brain tumours, traumatic disorders of the nervous system due to head trauma, and neurological disorders as a result of malnutrition.
Hundreds of millions of people worldwide are affected by neurological disorders. More than 6 million people die because of stroke each year; over 80% of these deaths take place in low- and middle-income countries. More than 50 million people have epilepsy worldwide. It is estimated that there are globally 47.5 million people with dementia with 7.7 million new cases every year – Alzheimer’s disease is the most common cause of dementia and may contribute to 60–70% of cases. The prevalence of migraine is more than 10% worldwide.