acupunture for stress incontinence

Acupuncture for Stress Incontinence

Have you considered acupuncture as a means of treatment for stress urinary incontinence? A recent study indicates that acupuncture for stress urinary incontinence in women resulted in positive outcomes for 86% of the trial participants.  This compares to 68.9% positive outcomes for a control group which was prescribed medication.

This is the first we’ve heard about acupuncture as a treatment for stress urinary incontinence.  Acupuncture is a key component of traditional Eastern medicine and has been practiced for over 5000 years.  Its now starting to make an appearance in conjunction with physiotherapy to aid in the release of muscles that are in constant spasm or tension. In Canada, extended health care benefits may cover visits to an acupuncturist, or some physiotherapists may have additional training in acupuncture as part of their treatment suite.

In this particular study, acupuncture alone (without physiotherapy) was being tested against a control group.  The acupuncture group consisted of 90 women with mild to moderate cases of stress urinary incontinence.  Acupuncture needles were inserted into three key areas “located on the bladder meridian of foot Taiyang” along the spine. Wang et al. note that “these three acupoints are combined to warm the kidneys, strengthen the spleen, restore yang qi, so that the normal function of the kidney and bladder can be recovered and incontinence can be relieved.” The treatment was manual acupuncture followed by electroacupuncture (ie. with an electrical charge) for 30 minutes once a day, six days a week, for four weeks.

The researchers indicate that the electroacupuncture treatment causes the pelvic floor muscles to be passively exercised, improving local blood circulation and helping to control incontinence. According to the study summary, “Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) has a long history concerning the treatment of urinary incontinence” and these results re-enforce the validity of acupuncture as a modern solution to stress incontinence.

Read the Study Results

Would you try acupuncture for stress incontinence recovery?  Let us know!


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