Spinal cord injuries have been one area where modern, Western medicine can be of only limited assistance. Traumatic injuries to the spinal cord, like the shock that occurs during the rapid deceleration and violent shaking of a car accident or the neck injuries that result from a diving accident in the waters of Hawaii or a Honolulu pool, are too overwhelming. The damage is so great, that the spinal cord is like the nursery rhyme’s Humpty Dumpty, in that it just cannot be put back together again.
So it is greatly encouraging that some help may come from other medical tradition. Chinese medicine has relied on herbal remedies for thousands of years. Recent research appears to suggest that a traditional medicinal practice known as Ji-Sui-Kang (JSK) can provide some improved functionality to rats with spinal cord injuries.
The spinal cord is complex and easily injured, from being severed to bruises that can cause dangerous inflammation. For rats treated with JSK, inflammation of damaged areas was reduced and some rats showed other improvements in the area, including less cell death.
The JSK treatment also seems to promote improved overall health with the treated rats demonstrating better functional abilities, like supporting their weight. Researchers examined the injured sections of spinal cord and found the treated rats damaged areas to be “significantly reduced.”
This research is clearly preliminary and the applicability to humans is unknown, but it would be a great advance in the treatment of spinal cord injuries if it were possible to reduce damage from some types of injuries.
Source: Voice of America, “Ancient Chinese Treatment Could Be Effective in Treating Spinal Cord Injuries,” August 20, 2013