Acupuncture and Integrative Medicine Can Help Sports Injuries!
Have you noticed you are not recovering as fast after running, cycling, or playing sports? Have you recently been injured and not responding as expected to treatments? Are you looking for more natural and effective ways to speed healing and reduce pain? Acupuncture can provide excellent results as an integrative treatment to drugs and surgery. Acupuncture can work very well for acute or chronic pain in the muscles, ligament, tendons and joints.
Acupuncture For Joints and Muscles
Acupuncture is particularly useful in treating back and neck pain, muscle and joint problems and headaches. Such musculoskeletal conditions can be treated very successfully as it not only alleviates pain, but reduces muscle spasm, and inflammation thereby increasing mobility.
Joint damage often results from muscle misuse, and a lot of patients complain of joint pain before any dramatic changes are recognizable by X-ray. In these cases, acupuncture can bring about a significant improvement, avoiding permanent damage.
Acupuncture has been used time and again to help athletes relieve pain. But acupuncture and the accessory modalities associated with it can do so much more. Using acupuncture treatments can actually enhance an athlete’s performance and recovery from any sports-related injury.
What are the benefits of Acupuncture?
Acupuncture also has the effect of constricting or dilating blood vessels. This may be caused by the body’s release of Vasodilators (such as Histamine), in response to the Acupuncture stimulation. This is another way that Acupuncture can reduce pain, decrease oedema, increase range of motion and reduce long standing complaints following accidents.
With an injury or a condition due to overuse, by reducing your pain (and drug therapy) with treatment you will be able to start your recovery and return to normal activities in the shortest possible time. If you have a chronic condition the emphasis is always on helping you to have more control of your symptoms and to become independent of acupuncture.
Sports Injury Causes
Many sports injuries are caused by:
• Gait/Structure imbalances
• Pulled muscle or torn ligaments
Sports Injury Symptoms
Most people report pain, swelling, stiffness in joints, sharp or dull nerve pain, and reduced range of motion after an initial or repeat sports injury.
Sports Injury Treatments
Studies have shown that acupuncture can help to repair nerves, reduce pain and inflammation, and speed recovery in acute and chronic injuries.
When an athlete is in training, he or she is constantly pushing themselves to be better: a better time, a longer jump, a further distance, etc. An athlete’s body is put through constant stress.
Muscles are pushed to their maximum and sometimes tiny microscopic tears form. If the athlete were able to rest properly, these micro-tears would heal. But, when an athlete is in training, the micro-tears don’t have time to heal properly. So the body becomes fatigued, sometimes painful and the probability of serious injury increases. Acupuncture helps the body to heal and strengthens the body inside and out, thus accelerating the athlete’s recovery time.
What can you expect?
During your initial consultation, we will determine if you are a right candidate for our treatments. We look at these three elements:
1. What is the underlying cause?
2. How much nerve damage has been sustained?
3. How much treatment will be required?
What are our goals and how can we help?
Our treatments which may include acupuncture, cupping, Electrical stimulation, and guasha have been shown to:
1. Help increase blood flow
2. Stimulate nerve fibers
3. Decrease brain-based pain
4. Enhance your quality of life
Will Acupuncture work for me?
The effect of acupuncture is usually accumulative and its pain relief/anti-inflammatory benefits builds up as treatment progresses. Some patients may feel worse initially, and most generally require at least four to six treatments before noticing any change. Acupuncture does not work for everybody or for every condition, but good results are frequently achieved when more conventional treatments have been tried and failed.
What the research says
Many controlled studies of acupuncture for muscle and joint and spinal pain (including arthritis) have provided evidence to show it has better results in comparison to standard therapy treatment (such as physio and drug pain relief). In fact, The National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) guidelines on best practice now recommend that GPs use acupuncture as a first line treatment for persistent, non-specific low back pain.
Much research has demonstrated that patients with acute pain can respond well to acupuncture treatment, sometime relieving the pain immediately. Chronic conditions generally require more treatment (approximately 6-10 treatments) to get a significant improvement in symptoms.
Another study found that patients who were taking analgesics before acupuncture therapy were able to either discontinue them completely, or reduce their doses dramatically. However, if you are being prescribed analgesics, please speak with your doctor before reducing or discontinuing them.
If you have experienced trauma and pain from a major accident, please note that studies also supported the use of acupuncture for after-treatment of patients who have suffered major accidents.
This published evidence includes the following conditions:
Arthritis and Osteoarthritis (and knee pain)
Lower Back Pain
Cervical Spondylitis and Neck pain
Inflammation and Swelling
Tendonitis / Tennis elbow
Muscular Skeletal Pain / Sports Injuries