Electroacupuncture has traditionally been used to treat pain, but its effect on pain following brachial plexus injury is still unknown.
The number of β-endorphin positive cells was significantly increased after 28 days of electroacupuncture therapy (immunofluorescence staining).
Credit: Neural Regeneration Research
In a recent study reported in Neural Regeneration Research (Vol. 9, No. 14, 2014), rat models of an avulsion injury to the left brachial plexus root (associated with upper-limb chronic neuropathic pain) were given electroacupuncture stimulation at bilateral Quchi (LI11), Hegu (LI04), Zusanli (ST36) and Yanglingquan (GB34).
After electroacupuncture therapy, chronic neuropathic pain in the rats' upper limbs was significantly attenuated.
Immunofuorescence staining showed that the expression of β-endorphins in the arcuate nucleus was significantly increased after therapy.
Thus, Shenyu Zhang and co-workers from Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, China, indicate that electroacupuncture can attenuate neuropathic pain after brachial plexus injury through upregulating β-endorphin expression.
Article: " Electroacupuncture attenuates neuropathic pain after brachial plexus injury," by Shenyu Zhang1, Hailiang Tang2, Junming Zhou1, Yudong Gu1 (1 Department of Hand Surgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University; Key Laboratory of Hand Reconstruction, Ministry of Health; Shanghai Key Laboratory of Peripheral Nerve and Microsurgery, Shanghai, China; 2 Department of Neurosurgery, Huashan Hospital, Fudan University, Shanghai, China)
Zhang SY, Tang HL, Zhou JM, Gu YD. Electroacupuncture attenuates neuropathic pain after brachial plexus injury. Neural Regen Res. 2014;9(14):1365-1370.