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Evidence-Based Complementary and Alternative Medicine
Volume 2013, Article ID 543174, 9 pages
Research Article

Electroacupuncture Improves Bladder and Bowel Function in Patients with Traumatic Spinal Cord Injury: Results from a Prospective Observational Study

1Department of Acupuncture, Guang An Men Hospital, China Academy of Chinese Medical Sciences, No. 5 Bei Xian Ge Street, Xicheng, Beijing 100053, China
2Beijing University of Chinese Medicine, No. 11 North Third Ring Road East, Chaoyang, Beijing 100029, China
3Department of Health Care Studies, Daemen College, 4380 Main Street, Amherst, NY 14226, USA

Received 23 June 2013; Accepted 14 November 2013

Academic Editor: Albert Moraska

Copyright © 2013 Zhishun Liu et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


In order to explore the effect of electroacupuncture (EA) for chronic bowel and bladder dysfunction after traumatic spinal cord injury, 14 patients were treated with electroacupuncture once a day, five times a week for the first four weeks, and once every other day, three times a week for the following four weeks. The patients were then followed up for six months. After treatment, four (4/14, 28.57%) patients resumed normal voiding; six (6/14, 42.86%) resumed normal voiding for no less than half of all micturition behaviors; four (4/14, 28.57%) required supplementary urination methods for higher than half of all micturition behaviors. These effects persisted during followup. Mean postvoid RUV decreased by  mL ( ) after treatment and by  mL ( ) during followup. Patients’ weekly urinary incontinence frequency decreased times/week ( ) after treatment and decreased times/week during followup. After treatment, four (4/14, 28.57%) patients resumed normal bowel movements ( ); five (5/14, 35.71%) reduced the dependence on supplementary defecation methods; five (5/14, 35.71%) had no changes. In patients with chronic bowel and bladder dysfunction after traumatic SCI, EA may provide a valuable alternative tool in improving patients’ self-controlled bowel and bladder functions with minimal side effects.