THE ROLE OF ORIENTAL MEDICINE IN PAIN MANAGEMENT
Sae-II Chun, M.D. (Yonsei University College of Medicine, Seoul, Korea)
The oriental medicine consists of three major parts; namely, herbal administration, exercise therapy, and stimulation therapies. The stimulation therapies are further subdivided into traditionally acupuncture, moxibustion, digital compression, and cupping technique, although in recent days such new forms of energy as ultrasound, electricity, magnetism, and laser beam are added. Since the oriental medicine was introduced to the western culture, medical community responded with three distinctive behaviors which included blind skepticism, blind enthusiasm, and seriously exploring mind. This last group of serious researchers has made a significant contribution in identifying some validity of oriental medicine among western medical settings. Those modalities used in oriental medicine as stimulation are much similar to those physical modalities being used in rehabilitation medicine. Major parts of research and clinical usage were done mostly in the field of acupuncture since the idea of needling is more familiar and comfortable to them. There are ample scientific and clinical evidence that acupuncture are very effective on them selected cases of pain patients especially in chronic pain syndromes.
Locomotor training in paraplegic patients
Volker Dietz (Paraplegic Centre University Hospital Balgrist Zurich, Switzerland)
Based on observations of the locomotor capacity of spinalized cat, recent studies indicate that spinal locomotor centres can also be activated and trained in complete and incomplete paraplegic patients. However, the level of electromyographic activity in the gastrocnemius (the main antigravity muscle during gait) as considerably lower in the patients. During the course of a daily locomotor training program, the amplitude of gastrocnemius electromyographic activity increased significantly during the stance phase, while inappropriate tibialis anterior activation decreased. Patients with incomplete paraplegia benefitted from the training program so that their walking ability on a stationary surface improved. The training effects and pharmalogical influences on the locomotor pattern underlying this new approach to improve the mobility of paraplegic patients are discussed.