Acupuncture and Sports Medicine

Sports medicine has added acupuncture to the roster of complementary medicine to help athletes maintain peak performance.  Acupuncture can prevent injuries by making the tendons, ligaments and muscle more flexible and supple. It can also greatly speed the recovery from injuries. The first sports figures that used acupuncture to treat sports related injuries were John Elliot, an offensive lineman for New York Jets, Jaromir Jagr of the Pittsburgh Penguins, Grant Hill - Phoenix Suns, Jeremy Shockey – New Orleans Saints and Matt Hasselbeck – Seattle Seahawks. Currently the list of professional athletes using acupuncture is much too long to list.

Acupuncture is minimally invasive procedure that has a great effect on the central and peripheral nervous system, immune system and pain relief.    Anti-inflammatory drugs will stop the perception of pain but in doing so they may “turn off the alarm” so to speak meaning that the bodies natural healing signal gets turned off. Acupuncture increases circulation of blood, relaxes muscles and connective tissue and reduces swelling by helping the flow of lymph. Acupuncture can help accelerate healing and manage the pain from injuries and overuse.  Integrating Oriental Medicine and acupuncture into strength and conditioning training can be invaluable for athlete’s optimum performance level by decreasing recovery time and thus minimizing overtraining and potential injury. Below is a list of the different sports related conditions that are commonly seen in an acupuncture office:

 

  • Runner’s knee

  • Foot pain

  • Plantar Fasciaitis

  • Heel pain

  • Ilio-tibial  band syndrome

  • Shin splints

  • Hip pain

  • Hamstring strain

  • Calf pain/cramps

  • Ankle pain/strain

  • Shoulder pain

  • Rotator cuff

  • Neck pain

  • Elbow pain

  • Wrist pain

  • Back pain

  • Sciatica

  • Numbness/tingling

  • Psoas strain

  • Hip flexor strain

  • Tennis elbow

  • Golfers elbow

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