There is increasingly strong scientific as well as anecdotal evidence that acupuncture is effective in the treatment of sports and musculo-skeletal injuries. In addition to rest, ice, elevation and exercises, acupuncture is a valuable adjunct in encouraging the body to heal and recover from damage.
Acupuncture is thought to reduce inflammation (redness and swelling), as well as reducing sensitivity to pain. It is also helpful in treatment of stress by promoting relaxation and reducing anxiety. (Wu 1999)
Examples of some of the more common sports injuries that are treatable with acupuncture are:
- Lower limb sprains (ankle and knee sprain) Shin splints, plantar fasciitis
- Shoulder injuries (frozen shoulder) elbow problems (tennis elbow, golfers elbow),
- Wrist sprains and tendinitis.
- Anything which may be caused either by repetitive movements or by sudden trauma as the result of an awkward movement.
- Injuries of the back, especially lower back
- Neck sprains, wry neck ( ‘stiff’ neck)
Get back on top with Acupuncture
Using acupuncture quickly may help to reduce both the severity and duration of the pain and disability. The aims of treatment are to relieve pain, control inflammation and promote muscle repair.
Many professional sports teams have acupuncturists on their staff to decrease healing times and to help resolve more persistent conditions. The use of acupuncture began centuries ago. It was, and still is, one of the primary means of rapid healing for the martial arts. Different styles and techniques have been developed to stop pain and dramatically improve recovery time.
In Traditional Chinese medicine the pain and reduced function is seen as a disorder of the body’s natural state. the treatment is geared around rectifying the disorder and restoring internal harmony.
Unfortunately because of the difficulty of creating completely unbiased trials and of the difficulty in designing sham treatments with large enough patient numbers to be of significance, the amount of available published scientific data is still sadly lacking.
If you are interested in some of the trials that have been done regarding this subject, the following link may be of interest: