Neuritis is a general term for inflammation of a nerve or the peripheral nervous system in general. Depending on the nerve affected, the symptoms might be paresis (weakness), muscle paralysis, partial or complete numbness, paresthesia and disfunction of reflexes. Pains might radiate widely, but usually they follow the direction of the nerve.
These painful symptoms, according to Chinese medicine, might develop from the following internal pathogenic factors: damp cold, infection, and trauma.
Neuralgias affect usually the elderly. The function of the nerve is not damaged and the pains last from several minutes to several hours. Local acupuncture points at the exit of the nerve are always painful on palpation.
Acupuncture must be administered as soon as the described symptoms occur, because they are much easier to treat at an early stage.
Depending on a particular case, acupuncture treatment will have different strategies and different points will be needled. Other modalities, like moxabustion and bloodletting, might also be used in conjunction with acupuncture.
For example, when treating acute neuritis, points along the chosen meridians might be needled with some bloodletting (a drop or two). Sometimes needles might be left in for a longer period of time.
In case of peripheral paralysis and peripheral paresis, the goal is to improve the blood supply in the area of the affected nerve. The meridians in the area of the paralyzed muscles are tonified. Also, moxabustion might be administered around the affected area, and some bloodletting of the last points of the involved meridians and bloodletting along the nerve might be performed.
Acupuncture is a great compliment to the Western methods of treating neuritis and neuralgia and should always be considered.
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