Hemifacial spasm is an involuntary twitching of the facial muscles on one side of the face. It is a rare condition. In most of cases the spasm starts near the eye and spread down the face over time. The twitching is usually not painful and can interfere with normal expression and vision. The most common cause of facial spasm is that facial nerve was compressed by artery. Facial nerve controls facial muscles that move the eyebrows, close the eyes and move the mouth and lips. The conventional treatments include using anticonvulsants to reduce facial nerve firing and muscle relaxants to make muscles relax.
Acupuncture is an option for facial spasm treatment. A study of effect of acupuncture on facial spasm was published about 10 years ago. In this study 86 patients with facial spasm were involved. They compared the effect of acupuncture with acupressure and they found that acupuncture had better effect than acupressure for facial spasm. Recently Jiang XJ studied the effect of acupuncture on facial spasm. 127 patients with facial spasm were involved in the study. Different acupuncture (fire needle and filiform needle) were used at the same acupoints Taiyang (EX-HN5), Zuanzhu (BL2) and Quanliao (SI18). The effect rate was 92.4% and 87.5% in fire needle group and filiform needle group respectively. This study showed the effectiveness of acupuncture on facial spasm and fire needle method had better effect. Lu ZX used acupuncture combined laser treatment for facial spasm in 190 patients with this condition. They found the effect rate was 93.7% after 30 days treatment which was better than medicine treatment with effect rate 62% (200 cases). From this case report, acupuncture could be a treatment option for patients with facial spasm. A study has shown that most commonly used were acupuncture and facial massage: 71% used acupuncture; 17.6% used facial massage.
Jiang XJ Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2007) 27:509-10
Lu ZX Zhongguo Zhen Jiu (2006) 26:475-6
Li Y and Peng C J Trandit Chin Med (2000) 20:33-5
Int J Clin Pract 2013 67:801-6
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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