Urinary incontinence (UI) is defined as an involuntary leakage from the urethra when the abdominal pressure is raised. acupuncture could significantly alleviate UI and increase bladder capacity of patients with stroke, which had better efficacy than indwelling catheter therapy.
Certain studies have indicated that acupuncture may influence the autonomic nerve system.
There is a complex rationale behind the choice of acupuncture points for incontinence. The muscles controlling micturition are controlled by the autonomic and somatic nervous system. The detrusor muscle is relaxed by sympathetic stimulation that originates from the lumbar spinal cord T11-L2 region, and contracted by parasympathetic stimulation from the sacral spinal cord S2-4 region. The external urethral sphincter is under somatic control. Therefore, the coordination of the autonomic and somatic nerves to the bladder and urethra is important not only in micturition, but also in incontinence.
In addition, acupuncture can reduce the severity of stroke, release neurotransmitters near the acupuncture, relax the blood vessel wall, and increase the blood vessel capacity.