If you’re an athlete, a sports injury can be your worst nightmare. Even a seemingly insignificant sprain can turn you into a benchwarmer for the season. If you’ve sustained a recent sports injury and you want to speed up your journey on the path to recovery, acupuncture can help. Acupuncture is the supportive measure of choice for many active individuals, and it can help you, too. But, what exactly are the benefits of using acupuncture for sports injuries?
Acupuncture’s ability to reduce inflammation and enhance athletic performance makes it an invaluable tool for treating sports injuries. Acupuncture can be used in tandem with physical therapy and other measures to control pain and prevent long-lasting damage.
How does acupuncture treat sports injuries?
Even though acupuncture is excellent for pain management, it doesn’t work like pain medication. Acupuncture doesn’t just mask your symptoms and make them easier to cope with in the short term. Instead, acupuncture supports your body on a cellular level, enabling you to recover from your sports injuries more quickly.
As hair-fine needles are inserted into strategic points throughout the body, this increases blood flow to damaged tissues. The rush of oxygen and red blood cells provides the body with the raw materials it needs to make necessary repairs.
This increase in circulation also helps by reducing inflammation. Better blood flow enables the body to usher inflammatory byproducts away from the injury site. Additionally, acupuncture supports lymphatic drainage, to keep heat and swelling under control.
The increase in circulation to the injured tissues reduces inflammation and mitigates swelling. But acupuncture’s benefits don’t stop there. Acupuncture can further aid you on your path to recovery by improving your mood. Acupuncture triggers the release of endorphins, and enhances serotonin activity in the brain. This improves your mood naturally and reprograms how you perceive pain.
Which types of sports injuries can acupuncture treat?
Because acupuncture is so effective at promoting healing, it has the potential to treat a variety of ailments. Here are just a few of the sports injuries we’ve treated with the help of regular acupuncture sessions.
- Sprained ankle
- Calf pain
- Meniscus tear
- Achilles tendonitis
- Hip pain
- Facet joint pain
- Golfer’s elbow
- Tennis elbow
- Frozen shoulder
- Rhomboid pain
- Tensor fasciae latae pain
- Quad strain
- Lower back pain
- Psoas pain
Most athletes think of acupuncture as a treatment for acute injuries, like sprains and strains. And, to be sure, acupuncture can be very helpful in speeding up the recovery process for these types of injuries. But if you’re dealing with pain and stiffness associated with a past injury, even if that injury is decades old, you can still reap the benefits that acupuncture has to offer.
Acupuncture helps break up scar tissue left behind by old sports injuries. These adhesions can essentially glue your muscles and ligaments together, severely restricting your range of motion. Eliminating this scar tissue allows you to regain your flexibility, enhancing your performance at the gym, on the field, and in your daily life.
Acupuncture can help prevent sports injuries
If you’re looking for a holistic alternative to pain medications to support you as you recover from your sports injury, acupuncture can help. But did you know that acupuncture can help you avoid sustaining additional injuries in the future? Pretty cool, right? But, how exactly does it work? Well, it all goes back to acupuncture’s holistic supportive nature.
One of the main causes of sports-related injuries is poor form. Say you have arthritis in your knee. Over time, the pain can alter the way you move, resulting in poor spinal alignment, shoulder pain, hip pain, and more. This widespread dysfunction leads to musculoskeletal imbalances. One minute injury means your entire body has to compensate for it. This predisposes you to injury.
Acupuncture reduces swelling and inflammation systemically, treating minor imbalances before you even know you have them. In this way, acupuncture supports a healthy musculoskeletal system, one in which every muscle group is functioning as it should without placing a strain on other parts of the body. Regular acupuncture sessions allow you to move fluidly. When you can use your body synergistically, this dramatically reduces your risk of developing a sports injury.
How acupuncture enhances your physical performance
Keeping inflammation under control is essential for athletes, who consistently place a huge amount of strain on their bodies. But reducing inflammation isn’t the only reason why we recommend sports acupuncture to all of our active clients.
Acupuncture helps keep your muscles loose and limber and flexibility is key when it comes to training. Muscles that contract and relax easily are less likely to get stiff or develop painful knots after a workout.
Since acupuncture also raises your pain threshold, it takes longer for you to “feel the burn” during your sessions at the gym. This enables you to push yourself harder and make better gains in your training program.
If you find your progress is stalling, acupuncture can help break you out of your plateau. We also have several other therapies we rely on, including electrostimulation, cupping, and soft tissue mobilization, to help our clients break out of their training rut and get things moving in the right direction again.
Get in touch with us today
At Lycoming Orthopedic & Sports Acupuncture, we work with athletes of all skill levels to help them overcome their sports injuries and enhance their athletic performance. Acupuncture is an excellent holistic therapy that can support you on the field and off, so you can get the most out of your workouts.
Used alone or in tandem with other treatment measures, like physical therapy, acupuncture supports your body’s ability to heal itself. To learn more about how acupuncture can benefit you, get in touch with us today. We’ll help you book an appointment so you can get started.
From your very first visit, we’ll work with you to come up with a treatment strategy that aligns with your goals and allows you to maximize your physical performance. Take the first step on your healing journey. Give us a call today to learn more.