Spinal cord inflammation or the medical term known as transverse myelitis is an inflammation of both sides of one section of the spinal cord. This neurological disorder often damages the myelin of the nerve cell, results in pain, muscle weakness, paralysis, sensory problems and bladder and bowel dysfunctions.
Recently a case report originating from Taiwan and published in Acupuncture In Medicine Journal, a peer-review journal, which is index in the science citation list and has an impact factor of 2.129 (2019), has reported that acupuncture treatment has significantly improved the patient’s muscle strength and power and did not report any side effects during the whole treatment.
A 4 year Taiwanese girl was diagnosed with acute transverse myelitis in November 2017 and presented a clinical picture of high fever, weakness of all four limbs and muscle pain with symptoms of runny nose, nasal congestion and sore throat. Upon diagnosis, the deep tendon reflex examination showed a mild responsive in the upper and lower limb and MRI scan in the spine showed myelitis of the fifth cervical vertebrae. Her symptoms only mildly improved after medication treatment and because her medical condition last for 4 months, her family decided to visit the Chinese medicine department of that hospital.
The acupuncturist used the following acupuncture points: Shi Sheng Cong, Ba xie points, DU20 DU24 and bilateral GB13, SP9, SP6, ST36, ST40, GB30, GB34, GB39, LI11, LI4, SJ5, BL54, BL57, BL56 and Jinxia point. Electro-acupuncture was used in ST36, gb30, bl54 for twice a week, each session last for 20 minutes.
The patient has demonstrated significantly improved score for her muscle strength and power after 9-month treatment period, and in a scale of 1-5, she improved from 3 scale to 5 scale although mild drop foot in her left lower limb remained. Moreover, no side effects during the whole treatment course was reported.
Huang C-W, Chen L-L, Chou Y-J, Yen H-R, Chang C-H. Acupuncture treatment in pediatric acute transverse myelitis: a case report. Acupuncture in Medicine. February 2021. Doi:10.1177/0964528420987564