Acupuncture has been practiced for centuries. Some of the earliest uses of acupuncture were to heal injuries and increase stamina of Chinese warriors and soldiers. It has survived for 2000 years because it works!
Today many professional sports and Olympic teams have acupuncturists on staff. From 2014 Tour de France winner Vincenzo Nibali of Team Asana to Green Bay Packers Quarterback Aaron Rogers athletes are looking for ways to shorten recovery time and boost performance.
Acupuncture is highly effective for both acute and chronic injuries. In fact, the World Health Organization recognizes acupuncture as a safe and effective treatment for injuries, orthopedic conditions, and acute and chronic pain.
Acupuncture can accelerate the healing time of acute injuries such as strains, sprains and even broken bone by increasing blood flow to the area and decreasing swelling and bruising. Increased blood flow allows cells responsible for tissue repair and remodeling to get to the area of injury and start working. Acupuncture is especially useful when tendons and ligaments are involved as they have less blood flow by nature; acupuncture creates microcirculation thus increasing blood flow.
Acupuncture is also very effective for chronic pain related to common sports injuries such as IT Band Syndrome, plantar fasciitis, Achilles tendonitis, tennis and golfers elbow and shoulder pain. These common injuries can cause athletes to reduce training or stop altogether. Left untreated they can snowball into a variety of compensation injuries as athletes try to continue training and unintentionally change their movement patterns to protect the injured area. Similarly to acute injuries, acupuncture increases blood flow allowing for tissue repair and remodeling. Additionally, acupuncture points are frequently located at trigger points in muscles and get great relief when needled. Other acupuncture points are located at muscle motor points or at nerve rich tendons thus having both a nervous system and muscular system effect.
Another common area of concern for athletes is overtraining. Having multiple workouts in a row with fatigue and tired and/or heavy legs can be a sign of overtraining. Rest, good nutrition and acupuncture can help you climb out of that hole before it gets too deep!
While it is great for athletes that acupuncture relieves pain and resolves injuries but it is even more beneficial before those things surface. Acupuncture naturally boosts energy levels, aids recovery from hard training and races and improves overall performance. Studies have shown that athletes who received acupuncture for muscle soreness 24 to 48 hour exercising to exhaustion reported significantly less pain then those who did not receive acupuncture. Several athletes that I treat for issues unrelated to performance have posted PRs with less effort and quicker recovery.
Looking to heal and injury or improve performance? Call Karen at 404.695.0905 today to schedule and appointment!