Can Acupuncture be a Good Option for Sports Injuries

Jermaine Delgado Wellness Leave a Comment

Professional athlete receiving acupuncture treatment

Sports injuries are never fun, whether you’re a professional athlete or just playing recreationally. Depending on the severity of the injury, you could be down and out for quite a while. Sports injuries are often the result of faulty equipment, incorrect equipment, or lack of proper training, but they’re just as often the result of an unavoidable accident. Athletes who find themselves in this situation are always looking for the best, fastest treatment to get them off the bench and back in the game.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese tradition of strategically inserting needles into the skin in order to relieve pressure and promote healing of muscles. There are mixed opinions about the scientific validity of the procedure, though there are a number of professional sports teams that have a certified acupuncturist on staff for the athletes. One of the main goals of acupuncture is to manage the pain of the injury. The most common injuries that are treated using acupuncture are swollen muscles, sprains, soreness, shin splints, and muscle pain in the neck, shoulders, and major joints.

It may sound frightening at first (especially if needles are not your thing), but acupuncture has a great track record with helping to heal sports injuries. The first thing to note is that there are different types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. An acute injury is one that is tight, specific, and often sharp. Chronic pain is often an old injury that builds on itself over time, or continuing damage to muscles due to repetitive motion.

The ability of acupuncture to decrease swelling in those types of injuries is what contributes to a faster healing process. It appeals to a large number of patients who prefer to treat ailments with holistic methods in order to avoid potentially harmful medications or steroids. Despite how aged this Chinese technique is, there are many different practitioners in Western medicine who have been able to combine these methods effectively. Should you decide to try acupuncture in order to treat a sports injury, it is recommended to start the treatment right away. This is a general rule with any injury; outcomes look better for injuries that are taken care of promptly. Treating it quickly can help keep an acute injury from becoming a chronic one.

The length of time you’ll need to dedicate to acupuncture treatment will depend on the severity of your injury. Recent acute injuries typically take less time and fewer acupuncture sessions to treat the ailment, whereas chronic ones may require a longer period of time. Your acupuncture specialist will be able to offer advice regarding your specific needs.

Proponents of acupuncture claim that it is a superior treatment to ice or surgery. Ice has a tendency to cause your blood vessels to contract and even thickens the blood in that area, which doesn’t promote healing. Everyone wants to avoid surgery if at all possible, but even if you’re left with no other options, acupuncture can help speed that recovery process.

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