Shoulder-Hand Syndrome is sometimes classified as being part of Regional Pain Syndrome. It can appear after a stroke or heart attack and can also occur after an injury with nerve damage. Symptoms include severe unrelenting pain in the arm and shoulder with accompanying limited range of movement. As the disease progresses the bones deteriorate and muscles atrophy. The pain can be described as a shooting pain and the skin can have a bright red or purplish colour to it.
Pharmaceutical intervention with the common use of anti depressants and corticosteroids in this condition is of little benefit and opiodes cause constipation and are addictive.
Now research has confirmed that acupuncture for Shoulder-Hand Syndrome is useful.
Liaoning University of Chinese Medicine researched Shoulder-Hand Syndrome to assess the effectiveness of acupuncture and reviewed different types of acupuncture to determine which method was most effective.
It was revealed that electro-acupuncture was more effective than standard acupuncture but was also revealed that a combination of acupuncture and moxibustion gave the best outcomes. Moxibustion is a Chinese medicine technique where the herb mugwort is burnt close to the skin above the acupuncture points, gently stimulating the points with the heat that is emitted. Even though the arm may feel inflamed and hot, the warming action of the moxibustion actually helps with the recovery.
In another study, Japanese researchers performed acupuncture twice a week over a two month period. They believed the results that were achieved were due to the action of the acupuncture improving blood circulation which helped the swelling, pain and pins and needles.
In Traditional Chinese medicine, there is a specific pattern of disharmony called Blood Stasis which can cause many problems and complicate the disease process. Over the centuries, Chinese medical physicians have developed many techniques to treat blood stasis using acupuncture, moxibustion and Chinese herbs.
In modern times, this age old treatment of addressing blood stasis can treat heart disease, high cholesterol and even stimulate regeneration and rejuvenation to promote wellness.