Dry Needling with Cerebral Palsy patients

    • January 4, 2019 at 11:46 am #20243

      I traditionally practice in a sports medicine out patient setting but have a 17 yr old gentleman with cerebral palsy who apparently had dry needling in the past to help reduce spasm and allow him to walk with greater ease (spastic hamstrings and gastrocs). Does anyone have experience needling CP patients and can share their experience with expected results and how long benefits may last etc? (As well as any tips for treatment in techniques you found to be more beneficial for this population)?

    • January 18, 2019 at 5:58 pm #20728

      I have not had the opportunity to treat anyone with cerebral palsy or spasticity type conditions. There are acupuncture studies that have explored the effectiveness and safety of needling in these populations. I have included a link to a systematic review where acupuncture was used safely to treat children with CP. You will also find a link to an RCT for lower extremity needling treatment. As a recommendation because you are dealing with a child I would recommend starting very conservatively. I would start using 1/2” or superficial needling techniques for a sensory effect with basic needling technique. Depending on the Childs ability to follow instructions and ability to relax I may start with in/ out needling techniques to avoid irritation if the child moves with needles that have been left in-situ. As you get to monitor the response to treatment you may decide to leave needles is longer and/or increased depth for more sensory stimulation if warranted. I would consider starting with the Homeostatic points in the most involved extremities. Let us know how that goes and the response of the patient. I would be happy to work through the case together once you’ve established a basic response to treatment.



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