When practiced without sufficient modern knowledge of anatomy, acupuncture needling may injure the central and peripheral nervous systems. It has been reported (see Table 16-2) that needle-induced injuries of the nervous system involve the cerebrum, cerebellum, brainstem, spinal cord, nerve trunks in the limbs and face, and visceral nerves. Of these injuries, subarachnoid-space bleeding is the most common.
Peripheral nerves, cranial nerves, and spinal nerves are the targets of acupuncture needling. Among injuries of the cranial nerves, the most common are injury to the facial nerve and injury to the trigeminal nerves. Reported injuries of spinal nerves have involved the sciatic, common peroneal, radial, median, ulnar, and diaphragmatic nerves.
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