Abnormal or prolonged healing responses can lead to the formation of abnormal scars such as hypertrophic scars (HTS) and keloid scars. Scar tissue may cause adhesions between layers of skin and connective tissue (fascia) resulting in disordered circulation around the scar and adjacent areas. Scar tissues are often raised, red, itchy and painful from abnormal healing. C-nociceptor (sensory receptors) is involved in itch (low level stimulation) and pain (high levels of stimulation).
Acupuncture was widely accepted in treating chronic pain such as lower back pain, knee knee pain, and headaches etc. It is adapted into a conventional biomedical practice based on anatomy, neuroscience, pathology and evidence-based medicine. A recent review analysed efficacy of acupuncture in treating scars following tissue trauma to assess the current level of evidence for the use of acupuncture for treating abnormal scars such as hypertrophic or other symptomatic scars. They found five case studies, one retrospective cohort study, one cohort study and three clinical trials that investigated the use of acupuncture for scars. The result has shown that all studies reported positive outcomes for the use of acupuncture for scar symptoms; however, treatment frequency, duration, number of treatments and points used varied between studies.
The mechanism involved is that mechanical stimulation of sensory receptors induces neuropeptide release that further stimulates chemically sensitive nociceptors and leads to neurogenic inflammation of the scar tissue, disrupting and prolonging the healing process. Acupuncture treatment stimulates mechanoreceptors and nociceptors in the skin and underlying tissue and is suggested to enhance the activity of inhibitory neural mediators, thereby modulating neurogenic inflammation
Tuckey C et al Scars Burn Heal 2019 Mar 11;5:2059513119831911. doi: 10.1177/2059513119831911. eCollection 2019 Jan-Dec.
Welcome to my blog, discover acupuncture with Dr Maggie Ju
Qualified as a medical doctor in Western medicine in China with a Medical degree from Beijing, China and a PhD degree from the UK. Many year research and clinical experiences. This blog is for information only.
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