Acupuncture is well known for its effectiveness in reducing most types of pain, including pain from sports-related injuries due to trauma or overuse syndromes involving the musculoskeletal system and its soft tissues. Trauma to these soft tissues, including ligaments, tendons and muscles are generally the result from falls, blows, sprains/strains, collisions, compressions, and disruptions of the healing process due to inflammation.
Due to its broad range of applications, acupuncture can be used during any of the phases of the injury healing process. Acupuncture and Oriental medicine may be used to help decrease swelling, spasms and inflammation, in addition to assisting in pain management, increasing range of motion and promoting healing. The focus is not only to treat the injury, but also to treat any underlying conditions that may predispose an individual to injuries. This is especially important when treating chronic or recurrent injuries that interfere with life activities or athletic performance.
Acupuncture helps reduce pain and enable activity for athletes experiencing Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome (PFPS), Plantar Fasciitis, ankle sprains, and soft tissue adhesions, according to the Acupuncture Research Resource Center (UK). In a study that covered a range of injuries and acupuncture techniques, researchers found that the underlying diagnostic principles of Oriental medicine could be useful for treating sports injuries.
Researchers at the University of Tokyo found that administering acupuncture above a healthy Achilles tendon led to increased blood flow and oxygen supply to the region, which indicates that this treatment could also help an injured tendon to heal.
Furthermore, athletes with chronic rotator cuff tendinitis who received acupuncture experienced significantly less pain, according to a study from the University of Heidelberg.
Call an acupuncturist in your area today to see how acupuncture and Oriental medicine can help you meet your fitness goals and assist in recovering from an injury!
Trina Lion, L.Ac., Dipl.Ac., is an American acupuncturist currently living in Shanghai, China, where for the past three years she has been teaching Traditional Chinese Medicine concepts including nutrition, herbs, and acupuncture. She has apprenticed in two clinics in Shanghai, practiced for two years in an expat clinic, and taught at Jiao Tong University, one of the oldest universities in China. In December 2013 she completed her first textbook for students describing TCM terminology. Prior to becoming an acupuncturist, Trina was an educator and literacy specialist who created educational materials for institutions that included the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, the American Museum of Natural History, and the New York Public Library, among others.