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Acupuncture/Numbness after laminectomy


Dear Sir:  I took a fall Nov2012 and pinched my nerve bundle. Had to have a laminectomy T2,3,4 to relieve pressure. I still suffer from numbness in both legs and muscle spasms, predominently in my right leg which run up to my groin, especially when my legs are elevated. I have seen a second neurosurgeon that tells me I do have some lower back concerns but they are in no way causing my touble. He says nothing can be done except physical and weight therapy. Can acupuncture help this in any way?    Steven

Steven -

Don't give up hope; you are still close in time to the injury and corrective surgery.  Occasionally, these type of injuries (and the surgery can be considered an "injury" also) take a while to settle down.  I agree that physical therapy and gentle strengthening with weights is of primary importance.

I have had several patients with similar presentations where acupuncture helped when used in conjunction with physical therapy.  Not all acupuncturists are familiar with how to combine neuro-anatomical and "TCM" styles of treatment.  If you choose to go to an acupuncturist, the basic needling prescription I use is as follows:  Ding Chuan needled deeply with strong rotation (to stimulate the stellate ganglion,) SI14, SI3/UB62 paired.  Hua tuo at C5 is also often helpful.

I wish you well in your journey back to strength and freedom from pain.

Mike Zanoni


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Michael M. Zanoni, MS, LAc


I am knowledgeable about severe and chronic pain from musculoskeletal or neurological conditions, especially trauma, headache, and fibromyalgia. I can provide guidance that will assist healing and recovery after illness or surgery. I have a particular interest in long-term chronic conditions that are becoming progressively worse or intermittently severe (such as viral hepatitis, Crohn's, or Takayasu syndrome.) I have extensive experience treating endocrine disorders, such as diabetes or thyroid problems, where the primary condition is being monitored by a Western-trained physician, and cancer where there are specific treatment goals other than cure (e.g., decrease of pain; reduction of side effects of radiation and chemotherapy; lessening of edema; palliative treatment of associated conditions.) I do not treat or answer questions about infertility, ALS, or senile dementia.


I have practiced Oriental medicine for over sixteen years in a variety of settings. Much of my practice has centered around a busy clinic specializing in severe long-term chronic pain conditions and palliative care. For several years I worked in a hospice program. I also established a non-profit community clinic providing care to under-served and homeless patients. My work has found me in an HIV clinic in San Francisco, a busy private practice in Oregon, to traveling on muddy 4-wheel drive roads to see dying patients. I now teach acupuncture and Oriental medicine at a school in Hawaii.

My training was at the American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine in San Francisco where I received a masterís degree in Chinese Medicine. I have current board certifications in Oriental Medicine, Acupuncture, and Chinese Herbology from the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. I also have certifications in Chinese tui na bodywork, Physical Rehabilitation Training, and biofeedback. I am licensed to practice acupuncture and Oriental medicine in Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington. I also have BA, MS, and PhD degrees in subjects not directly related to Oriental medicine.

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