Background: Previous neurophysiological studies have provided empirical evidence explaining how afferent stimulation through acupuncture can improve motor function after stroke. Acupressure provides afferent stimulation through the application of appropriate pressure using the hands or fingers to spots of the body suitable for acupuncture. However, any therapeutic effects of using acupressure coupled with physical training for patients with stroke have not yet been studied. Aim: This case report describes how an intervention protocol in which acupressure and task-related training were combined to improve lower limb motor functions of an individual 5 years post stroke. Methods: The participant was a 65-year old man who had a stroke 5 years previously. After a 4-week observation period, the participant was given a 4-week (3 days per week) programme consisting of 20 minutes of acupressure to four acupoints in the affected lower leg, followed by 40 minutes of task-related training. Outcome measures included plantarflexor spasticity, isometric muscle strength in the lower limbs, walking speed, and functional mobility. Results: After the 4-week programme, the strength of the participant's knee extensors, ankle dorsiflexors and plantarflexors, walking speed, and Up and Go times had improved. Those gains were maintained 4 weeks after the interventio]n ended. The spasticity level of the affected ankle plantarflexors remained unchanged throughout the study. Conclusion: Combining acupressure with a task-related training programme is safe and effective in improving the lower limb motor function of an individual 5 years post stroke.
|Number of pages||7|
|Journal||International Journal of Therapy and Rehabilitation|
|Publication status||Published - 1 Jan 2014|
- Sensory stimulation
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation