If you know me at all, you will know that I am very passionate about sports and living an active, healthy lifestyle. I have experienced a variety of sports injuries – the leading injury to date ended with two knee surgeries. I ruptured my ACL, tore my MCL and medial meniscus – the triple threat as the surgeon called it.
There are typically two types of sports injuries. The first type is overuse or chronic – usually the result of repetitive training.
Whether its tight muscles, recovering from a chronic injury or from an acute injury; athletes want to get back out on the court/ice/field/ etc. as soon as possible with a minimal chance of re-injuring yourself. First, lets see how acupuncture can help with tight muscles and overuse injuries.
Tight muscles can really inhibit an athlete’s performance by restricting movement and pain. When a muscle is tight, it is the Trigger points/ motor points that cause the pain. They inhibit range of motion by keeping muscles short and can also weaken the muscle. Not all trigger points are painful, but when you feel that knot in your calf or trap (shoulder area), you’re feeling the motor/trigger point. If it is left long enough, excessive muscle contraction can potentially disarticulate joints or even cause nerve entrapment. Acupuncture is veryeffective when it comes to releasing a trigger point. The needle is inserted directly into that specific area and you will actually feel the muscle jump a lot of the time – it is such a neat and unique feeling! By releasing the tension in the muscle it will allow it to ‘reset’ in a way. Combining
Overuse injuries occur over a period of time or from not taking care of an immediate injury, they can be linked to tight muscles as well. Typically the pain with a chronic injury is described as a deep, dull ache or numbness and tingling.
The second type of sports injury is an acute traumatic injury. These are the sprains, strains, etc. that usually initiate an inflammatory response and have a more intense pain than overuse injuries. Many professional sports teams have Acupuncturists on staff for this very reason. Acupuncture helps reduce the pain and inflammation as well as improving movement to help you move closer to your goal of playing again.
Acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries literally from head to toe. Recent studies have shown that it can also improve performance and give athletes a competitive edge.
If you have any questions at all please don’t hesitate to ask, I would love to help you get back out playing your sport as soon as possible!