Does Acupuncture Help Sports Injuries?

If you are even remotely active, whether you have a weekly fitness routine or play sports, chances are you’ve experienced some sort of sports injury. Ignoring the injury is something many athletes do, but this should not be the case. It’s important to treat your injuries when they occur to promote longevity in your body. However, injuries are tricky and traditional methods don’t always work as well as many people think. That’s why alternative methods like acupuncture are something you should consider. Let’s talk about the benefits of acupuncture for sports injuries. 

Injuries From Your Early Life

Your body requires symmetry to function correctly. Structural symmetry is not enough; your movements need to be symmetrical because the asymmetrical movement can lead to injury. Asymmetrical movements may have occurred very early on in your life, such as when you were a toddler. Crawling lopsided is an asymmetrical movement or only learning to roll over one way. Even skipping tummy time can cause asymmetrical movements. So how does acupuncture heal injuries that are as old as you are? Acupuncture needles are placed based on the longevity of the injury, so this is something the acupuncturist would assess. They might also use additional methods, all of which promote blood flow and healing. 

Pain Relief

Acupuncturists can also place the needles around the area of injury. This method is most common for sports injuries. The insertion of the tiny needles sends signals of trauma to the body, causing it to send pain-relieving chemicals to the point of injury, the spine, and the brain. Pain feedback channels from the site of trauma to the brain are blocked as well, relieving some of the pain. 

Reducing Inflammation

The microtrauma from the needles also promotes anti-inflammatory processes. The release of chemicals causes blood vessel dilation and allows for more chemicals to flow through the vessels, also known as vascular permeability. These responses enable inflammatory mediators to leave the site of injury and let healing mediators enter the area. 

Trigger Point Release 

Another benefit of acupuncture is allowing tightened muscles called trigger points to resolve. Trigger points are also known as “muscle knots,” and they occur when there’s an over-contraction of tiny muscle fibers in one area. By placing needles in the middle of the knot, mechanical disruption occurs, causing the muscles to relax. There is also stimulation of blood flow as well as the delivery of oxygen and nutrients. The needles also reduce the electrical activity in the muscle. This form of acupuncture treatment encourages relaxation of the muscle knot. 

If you’re struggling with a sports injury and traditional medicine doesn’t seem to be doing the trick, call Tieperman Health and Wellness today! Our staff would love to talk to you about this procedure as well as other alternative methods that could help you get back to sports in no time!

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