One of the most frustrating parts of being an athlete, at any level, is the inability to perform at your highest potential because of injuries, fatigue or lingering pain. Over time, these injuries not only affect your performance but can also affect your quality of life.
Acupuncture can offer a natural, pain and drug free treatment option for treating sports injury. In fact, there is little that acupuncture cannot do to help sporting injuries, assisting rehabilitation, reducing pain and preventing recurrence with regular treatment.
Acupuncture has a two-fold benefit when it comes to sporting injuries. Not only is it very effective at treating acute injuries such as strains, sprains, swollen muscles, shin splints, neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle pain, it is also very effective at realigning up any weaknesses in the body, accelerating recovery time and improving performance.
The body’s response to an acute injury is tightening of the muscles, reduced mobility, inflammation, swelling, pain and stiffness. These are seen as energy or “Qi stagnations” in chinese medicine terms and need to be resolved in order for the body to regain optimal health. Acupuncture frees up these blockages and releases the tight muscles and trigger points so that Qi and blood can flow freely, thereby promoting healing and recovery.
Over time, if acute injuries are ignored or mistreated, the body’s energy levels are broken down and usually lead to worse injuries or additional injuries in the surrounding tissues. As the body’s internal recovery system is weakened, it exposes the entire body to potential injury. Acupuncture enables the body to heal itself by tonifying underlying deficiencies, such as Qi and blood, which facilitates natural healing of the body to maximise recovery.
According to the Western medical perspective, acupuncture has been proven to:
Relieve pain – by delivering analgesia via alpha-adreno-receptor mechanisms
Reduce inflammation – by promoting release of vascular and immune-modulatory factors
Improve muscle stiffness, joint mobility and dispersal of swelling – by increasing local microcirculation
Accelerate repair of injured body tissue
Improve function and mobility
Relieve stress and promotes wellbeing, thereby facilitating recovery – by stimulating nerves located in muscles and other tissues, which leads to release of endorphins
A 2008 study published in the Journal of Alternative & Complementary Medicine found that participants who received acupuncture for muscle soreness 24 and 48 hours after they had exercised to exhaustion reported feeling significantly less pain than those participants who didn’t receive acupuncture. With that in mind, ideally maximum benefit is achieved if you have an acupuncture treatment within the first 24-48 hours of receiving a sports injury.
In Chinese medicine diagnosis focuses on the root or cause of your problem, rather than merely symptoms. This means not only great results for you at the time of your treatment, but a good chance of preventing recurrence and longer lasting results. By using the diagnostic tools of an in-depth consultation, pulse, tongue and palpation, we can assess any underlying imbalances and develop a treatment plan specific to your body’s needs. Then by using acupuncture, cupping, moxa and other healing methods, we recharge your body so that it’s functioning at its optimum level.