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Pain Management and Sports Injuries

Physical pain is a common occurrence for many Americans. Recent national surveys have found that more than 25% of U.S. adults had recently experienced some sort of pain lasting for longer than a day. Many people try physical and occupational therapy and massage, as well as over-the-counter and prescription medications. Most people have either complete relief, some relief, or no relief of their pain symptoms. For those who have only some relief or no relief, acupuncture is an option for treatment in an effort to relieve pain.

In addition to everyday pain caused through daily movement while doing housework or while working, for example, acupuncture can assist you with improving your athletic performance and may be used for treating any injuries endured while training and competing.

Use of Acupuncture for Pain

Acupuncture, involves the insertion of tiny, hair-like needles into the skin to balance the body and improve overall health and well-being.

Acupuncture works through the stimulation of specific points on the body located on meridians or pathways. When these energetic pathways are blocked, the result is imbalance, illness and pain. Stimulation of acupuncture points improves both energy flow and blood circulation and improves energy levels and provides relief from both acute and chronic pain. The brain is stimulated to release endorphins and this triggers the immune system to help injuries heal. If done when an injury is "new," acupuncture can significantly reduce recovery time.

What to expect from a treatment

During a treatment, an acupuncturist may place the needles in the location of the pain or injury, or he or she may choose to place the needles distally – in another area of the body. For example, needles may be placed at the wrists to heal an injury of the foot. This style of treatment is especially beneficial for an ankle sprain where directly needling a swollen or inflamed area might be painful. Acupuncture also builds energy in the body to assist in recovery after training or competing.

Acupuncture is part of a broader system of Traditional Chinese Medicine that involves needling, as well as the use of Chinese herbs (both internally and topically), and electro-acupuncture (electro-stimulation) whereby cords are attached to the needles and electrical current sends “pulses” to muscle fibers to move energy, relieve blood stagnation ad thus, relieve pain.

According to the 2007 National Health Interview Survey, 3.1 million Americans said they had used acupuncture in the past year. Acupuncture data from an earlier National Health survey found that pain or musculoskeletal complaints accounted for 7 of the top 10 conditions for which people use acupuncture. Back pain was the most common, followed by joint pain, neck pain, severe headache/migraine, and recurring pain.

Acupuncture has also been studied for a wide range of pain conditions, such as postoperative dental pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, fibromyalgia, headache, low-back pain, menstrual cramps, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow.

Recent Research:

According to current research, thousands of Americans try acupuncture each year and they are able to attest to its benefits. It is currently being studied for its effectiveness to alleviate many kinds of pain. There are promising findings for some conditions, such as chronic low-back pain, osteoarthritis of the knee; general joint and neck pain, and for headaches. Acupuncture aids healing by restoring both energy and blood flow to promote better physical, mental and emotional health. Further research studies are sponsored by The National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine (NCCAM) to see if acupuncture is beneficial for other pain conditions as well.

Research also shows strong evidence that acupuncture alleviates pain in many places in the body and specifically in the back, knees, shoulders, elbows, wrists and neck. For runners and cyclists, acupuncture can was used to treat fatigue, muscle and joint pain, tight tendons, ankle sprains, shin splints, sciatica and planter’s fasciitis to name a few ailments. Acupuncture received on a regular basis – once a week – for example can assist in preventing injury due to overuse of muscles, tendons and ligaments.

Acupuncture has no side effects

Acupuncture is generally considered safe when performed by an experienced practitioner using sterile needles with relatively few complications from acupuncture having been reported. Additionally, there are fewer adverse effects associated with acupuncture than with many standard drug treatments (such as anti-inflammatory medication and steroid injections) used to manage painful musculoskeletal conditions like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, osteoarthritis, and tennis elbow.

Treating pain and sport injuries with TCM and acupuncture, instead of conventional treatments such as ultrasound and interferential/electrotherapy, is now routine, rather than a novelty.

In recent years, acupuncture has been used by many well-known professional marathoners, and baseball, basketball and tennis players. And so, next time you experience fatigue or an injury or would like to improve performance, acupuncture can assist you in getting ready for your next race or athletic event!

Pain Management and Sports Injuries -

If you are wondering if the health concern you are facing can be treated by acupuncture, please go to Conditions That I Treat in the drop down menu at the top of this page. For questions that are not answered by the information provided on this website, please leave a message at: 585-271-3130. I will return your call within 24 hours.

Appointments must be scheduled by calling : 585-271-3130


Pain Management and Sports Injuries -