Whether you jog for exercise, compete in a recreational baseball league, play high school sports, or are a professional athlete, you are at risk of experiencing an injury. Exercise and athletic competition are not in of themselves bad things but any time you participate in a sport – even if there is no contact involved – your body can get injured or experience things like inflammation. It can be tempting to simply take something like ibuprofen or ice an injury and hope it heals. But, over the counter anti-inflammatory pharmaceuticals are not always good for your health and often injuries can be exacerbated or persist. Alternative therapies, such as acupuncture, have grown in popularity among athletes for treating sports injuries because they are not only safer for overall health but have proven exceptionally effective.
When an athlete experiences a sports injury it can dramatically impact training and competition. For that reason, athletes are in constant pursuit of the fastest, safest and most effective way to treat sports injuries. Acupuncture is a traditional, ancient technique that involves inserting tiny needles into strategic points in the body to restore energy balance. Acupuncture is most commonly used to treat pain but can also be used to treat a myriad of other health conditions. The American College of Sports Medicine elaborates on how acupuncture can be used as part of a comprehensive and integrative approach to healthcare and the treatment of sports injuries, “Or, there is the most easy-to-understand effect of an acupuncture treatment: when you are experiencing an inflammation of a tendon or a slight strain of a muscle, the acupuncturist may insert a needle at or near the site of injury. The stimulation increases microcirculation in the area, thus increasing the blood to the tissues that are injured. This may assist in the healing of the problem – sometimes noticeably faster!… The use of regular acupuncture treatments during this period can be beneficial in various ways. One obvious example would be treating acupuncture points at the various sites of the muscles and tendons to prevent injuries that cause a decrease in the training schedule. This is much like the modalities of massage and physical therapy. Also, if you accept that some points may affect the immune system, keeping the body healthy may be an equal goal to increasing fitness. If you are running a marathon, losing a week or so to an injury or lingering viral symptoms may be the difference between a personal best and another average performance.”
Weekend warriors, amateur athletes, and elite athletes can all benefit from routine acupuncture treatments to minimize inflammation and pain related to sports injuries. Not only is it effective but it also does not have any other health risks, unlike other anti-inflammatory medications or some other treatments. The use of regular acupuncture treatments can help you remain active and maximize your sports performance. It is important to seek out an experienced and knowledgeable acupuncture practitioner to assist you in treating your sports injuries with acupuncture.