Acupuncture for Sports Injuries? Just Do It!
Updated: Nov 19
If you had a chance to read my most recent blog post, you may have learned a thing or two about the differences between pain and soreness. Whether you’re settling into a new physical fitness routine, or if you’re a professional athlete, some days it can really feel like the aches and pains are just par for the course.
If your legs, glutes, or lower back are flaring up after hitting the trails hard over the weekend (I don't blame you...I tend to go all out when the fall weather is nearly perfect, too!), your first thought me be to add in a few extra stretches to your cooldown routine, or take some over-the-counter pain medication. These options can be done with just a bit of time and with ease. Your next thought, if your condition persists or intensifies, might be to reach out to a massage therapist or a general practitioner. All of these are valid choices for when it comes to improving excruciating pain. But, one option that more and more people are turning to for sports medicine–one based on your body and your specific needs, with limited side effects, and that has been used for thousands of years–is acupuncture.
Research continues to show us that acupuncture is effective at treating various forms of pain, including common sports-related injuries like myofascia, back pain, and even osteoarthritis.
Here’s some more information on acupuncture's vital role in sports medicine:
Acupuncture and Sports Medicine
As you know, acupuncture is a practice in Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves a inserting small, thin needles through the skin and often into the superficial layers of the muscle to relieve pain and address many health acute and chronic health conditions.
From a Western medicine perspective, what the needles are doing is stimulating the body’s muscles, connective tissue, and central nervous system, which can help your body recover from pain and illness. Essentially, what acupuncture is helping your body help itself.
When treating sports injuries, I use the foundations of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and I also am sure to incorporate functional anatomy, muscle testing, and range of motion testing for my patients. This allows me to easily identify complex injuries, and the sources of the pain.
How Acupuncture Helps Sports Injuries
Here are a few ways that acupuncture can be useful when treating sports injuries:
1. Reduces Pain
Acupuncture is frequently used to reduce various types of pain and is increasingly recognized as an alternative to painkillers. One reason for acupuncture’s pain relieving effect is that it’s known to release endorphins, which can help decrease pain and boost your mood!
2. Decreases Inflammation
Doctors of Chinese Medicine will often use acupuncture to reduce inflammation in patients following injuries. This helps increase blood circulation to targeted muscles, fascia, tendons, and ligaments, which helps reduce swelling and repair injured tissues.
3. Corrects Muscle Imbalances
Acupuncture can enhance proprioception—the body’s sense of its position and movement—by addressing trigger points and knots in the muscle tissue,
For athletes, proprioception is incredibly important because it plays a role in balance, coordinating movements, and adjusting muscle activity. When proprioception is low, sports injuries may be more likely to occur.
If the weekend warrior in you went a bit too far, or if you're an athlete who is looking to reduce pain and improve proprioception, acupuncture is non-invasive and effective in helping you feel great and perform at your best. By using a holistic approach, I can have you moving with joy and ease. Contact Everybody Healing Center today to manage your chronic pain and begin living life fully again!