Submissions from Readers

Hand coordination

Question: My mother suffered a mild stroke about 12 months ago and she his now suffering dysfunction in both hands. She cant use cutlery properly or hold a cup of tea without risk of dropping or spilling. Could you please advise if acupuncture is a worthwhile extra tool/therapy, to assist with hand and finger coordination? Thank you. Julie


Answer: According to the Evidenced Based Review of Stroke Rehabilitation (www.ebrsr.com), there is evidence that acupuncture does not improve upper extremity function. Evidence based reviews only include studies that meet certain standards so these are based on better research studies.

I have seen some studies that say it does help, however, I do not know if the studies that showed positive results were done with rigorous methods, and obviously since the EBRSR says that it has not shown to help, then I believe these positive studies may have been excluded due to the way they were organized or were in opposition to most other studies they looked at. If you go to Google Scholar and enter the term acupuncture and fine motor coordination, it will show you various research results. I've had patients that have done acupuncture and gave it glowing reviews though I don't believe any of them did it specifically for the purpose of improving fine motor skills.

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