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Complement Ther Med. 2016 Jun;26:55-60. doi: 10.1016/j.ctim.2016.02.014. Epub 2016 Feb 22.

Synergistic effect of moxibustion and rehabilitation training in functional recovery of post-stroke spastic hemiplegia.

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Department of Rehabilitation, the Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Nanyang 473009, China.
Department of ENT, the Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Nanyang 473009, China.
Department of Neurology, the Affiliated Hospital of Zhengzhou University, Nanyang 473009, China. Electronic address:



To evaluate the therapeutic benefit of combining moxibustion and rehabilitation training for functional recovery in post-stroke spastic hemiplegic patients.


We randomly divided 84 cases subjecting to inclusion criteria into moxibustion plus rehabilitation training group (MRT group, n=44) and rehabilitation training group (RT group, n=40). Evaluation of therapeutic effect was observed before treatment, 2 weeks during treatment and 6 months after treatment. Spasticity was evaluated using modified Ashworth scale (MAS) and Clinical Spasticity Index (CSI), recovery of motor function was assessed by Brunnstrom recovery stages and Simplified Fugl-Meyer Motor Scale, and performance of activities of daily living (ADL) was measured, and the quality of life was assessed by Patient Reported Outcomes (PRO).


Evaluation of upper limbs, hands and lower limbs based on CSI and MAS revealed significant improvements in patients treated with MRT, compared to RT alone, both during and after therapy. CSI and MAS also showed significant improvement in patients at each time point in the MRT group, compared to RT group. Marked improvement in Fugl-Meyer Motor Scale was also observed in MRT group at each time point. Based on Brunnstrom grades of upper limbs, hands and lower limbs, significant differences between the two groups were recorded at all time points during and after therapy. Barthel index (BI) and PRO also confirmed the dramatic differences between the two therapy groups.


Our results demonstrate that combination therapy with moxibustion and rehabilitation training offers greater clinical benefits in relieving spasticity, promoting function recovery of motion, improving the performance of ADL, and increasing quality of life in post-stroke spastic hemiplegic patients, compared to RT alone.


Moxibustion; Post-stroke spastic hemiplegia; Rehabilitation training; Spasticity, motor recovery

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