Acupuncture for Sports Injuries at Monmouth County, NJ Chiropractic Office

Acupuncture has increasingly gained recognition within the Sports Medicine field. Acupuncture has been proven effective in treating chronic and acute sports injuries such as strains, sprains, pain in neck, shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip and ankle, swollen muscles and shin splints. Acupuncture stimulates the peripheral and central nervous systems, as well as the immune system, all which contribute to the perception of pain. Acupuncture will help increase circulation, reduce swelling and relax muscles and connective tissue.

There is also a mind body connection, in which acupuncture can help. The harmony within the body can be disrupted through both external and internal factors. Psychological dynamics play a large role in competitive sports. Such stresses can include demands from family and coaches, self- confidence, nervousness during a game and/or anxiety. Emotions can alter the physiological responses of the body, including heart rate, respiration rate, as well as muscle tension and fatigue.

Acupuncture can help an athlete relax and focus, which will benefit them emotionally and physically, and allow them to be at their peak performance.

Some common conditions treated with acupuncture:

  • Hip Pain
  • Hamstring Strain
  • Calf Pain & Cramps
  • Runner’s Knee
  • Rotator Cuff
  • Neck Pain
  • Plantar Fascitis
  • Shin Splints
  • Sciatica
  • Ankle Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Emotional Support

Acupuncture and Sports Injuries

Acupuncture is extremely useful in the treatment of sports injuries because it addresses two major issues associated with trauma: pain and inflammation. It can help to increase range of motion, decrease recovery and healing time, and strengthen the body as a whole. Acupuncture also improves local blood circulation, which can help with the delivery of nutrients to the site of injury.

Acupuncturists categorize sports injuries into two groups: acute injuries and chronic, unresolved conditions. Chronic injuries are sustained over time, while acute injuries occur suddenly and are immediately apparent. It is extremely important to assess both types of injuries before proceeding with any type of treatment. A full examination and proper diagnosis must be made, which generally incorporates some form of imaging such as x-rays or an MRI.

Acupuncture treatment should begin as soon as possible for acute injuries. The inflammatory processes that occur after an injury may present as heat, swelling, redness, and pain. Pain and inflammation signal the body to stop whatever activity is causing damage, but they can also slow down the healing process.

Acupuncture is effective in accelerating healing and, in the process, helps the body to avoid chronic, long term pain conditions by addressing injury immediately. It aids the body in repair by speeding up the breakdown and rebuilding of damaged cells and tissues.

 

How Does Acupuncture Work?

The practice of Chinese medicine is centered on the concept of restoring internal harmony for better health. The pain and reduced functioning associated with sports injuries are viewed as a disorder of the body’s natural state. Therefore, the goal of acupuncture is to reestablish balance in the body’s systems.

Chinese medical practitioners, including acupuncturists, believe that the balance of ‘life force’ or ‘Qi’ is extremely important. Qi is meant to flow throughout the body in an interconnected pattern on channels known as meridians. Any disruption in this pattern can cause health problems. For example, acute injuries are often associated with Qi stagnation, a condition of excess. In this case, the flow of Qi is disrupted and diminished, leading to pain and swelling.

A study at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey* used functional MRI (fMRI) imaging, a technology that reveals brain stimulation, to track the changes that take place during acupuncture treatments. The patients in the study were first subjected to painful stimuli before receiving acupuncture. In the majority of patients, the fMRI revealed considerably diminished levels of brain activity in areas associated with pain during and after acupuncture treatment.

This reduction in pain can be attributed to a release of endorphins (natural painkilling chemicals) that takes place in the brain during acupuncture treatment. This ancient practice also improves circulation of the blood throughout the body, oxygenating tissues and cycling out cortisol and other waste chemicals that can weaken the immune system and cause inflammation. Because the experience of acupuncture is often very calming, it can also lower heart rate and blood pressure.

Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation and Sports Injuries

Our Red Bank, New Jersey office provides holistic wellness strategies for every type of sports injury. We offer a number of approaches that can be used in concert, including acupuncture, chiropractic, physical therapy, and massage therapy.

Treatment begins with a full orthopedic and neurological examination that often includes the use of x-rays. We work in conjunction with traditional medical practices, and are certified to read and review the results of MRI technology.

Acupuncture at Monmouth Pain and Rehabilitation is a safe, painless, drug free option for patients suffering from the effects of sports injuries. Unlike many painkilling or anti-inflammatory medications, there are no side effects. Acupuncture may also help some patients to avoid the consequences of serious medical intervention such as surgery.

Please contact our Monmouth County office today to learn more about our holistic approach to sports injuries.

*Bowman L. Research Quantifies Value of Acupuncture. Nando Media/Scripps Howard News Service, December 2, 1999.

Susman E. Bran Scans Show Acupuncture Dulls Pain. Excite News, December 1, 1999.