By Jiang Liu, Diplomate of Oriental Medicine
AR Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist
Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic
2024 Arkansas Valley Dr., Suite 402
Little Rock, AR 72212
Acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine are becoming very popular in the sports medicine. Many countries include acupuncture and related therapies in their regular training regimens. Many teams and clubs are also catching on and offering acupuncture to their members. A growing number of professional and amateur athletes visit acupuncturist for the treatment of injuries, enhancement of sports performance, acceleration of recovery time, improvement of mental focus and rebalance of body energy.
Regardless of your age or skill level and no matter whether you play recreationally or professionally, sports injuries are very common. Sudden voluntary contraction of a muscle or sudden overstretching can cause tearing of muscle tissues. Repetitive use or overuse of our body parts results in repeated micro-trauma of tissue. These injuries often happen to wrist, elbow, shoulder, low back, shin splints, hamstring, Achilles tendon, or plantar fascia. The tissue injury initiates an inflammatory response, which results in redness, swelling and pain, as well as reduced range of motion of the joint. If acute tissue damage is not given proper treatment, it becomes chronic. Thus, the injured tissues such as muscle, tendon or bone produce degenerative changes or become fibrotic, which lead to weakness, loss of flexibility and sustained pain.
Locally, acupuncture improves blood circulation, reduces inflammation and swelling, and relaxes the tension of muscle and tendon, which result in alleviation of pain. Acupuncture not only provides immediate relief but also long lasting benefit. Acupuncture is particularly effective for tennis elbow, arthritis, back pain, shoulder pain, knee pain, repetitive strain injury, sprains, stiffness, or numbness. Systematically, Acupuncture will help balance your body, reduce your stress and irritability and anxiety, improve insomnia, eliminate fatigue, and accelerate recovery time. Whether your sport is golf, biking, running, skiing, basketball, hockey, tennis, soccer, martial arts or weightlifting, acupuncture can provide healing benefits to improve your sports performance and enjoyment.
Acupuncture is part of a broad-based treatment approach. Acupuncture may be combined with other modalities of Chinese medicine such as herbal medicine, TuiNa, cupping, gwasha, moxibustion or acupressure to alleviate pain and accelerate tissue healing.