Injury is the most dreaded possibility for athletes, amateur or professional. The down time waiting for the wounds to heal can be mind-numbing and infuriating. When they finally think that they’re ready to get back at it, the injury may flare up again keeping them from performing their best.
This has caused athletes, athletic doctors and physical therapists to search for better ways to treat injuries incurred during the sport and faster ways to heal. Recent studies prove the belief among athletes that acupuncture can help them recover faster from athletic injury.
Research included tests with three groups:
- A control group which received acupuncture
- Another group which received sham acupuncture
- A third group which received neither
The study tested the subject’s heart rate, oxygen consumption and blood lactic acid as signifiers of the health of the athlete’s performance.
The acupuncture group tested better in all three categories.
Further tests are in the works to truly pin point the efficacy of acupuncture on athletes and their injuries but results are promising as they prove a previously, widely-held belief of many athletes- acupuncture works!
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Luckily, TCM has numerous ways of treating sports injuries and helping in the rehabilitation process:
Acupuncture: Acupuncture can help to increase blood flow to an area, reduce pain, inflammation and help tissues heal.
Chinese Herbal Medicine: Herbal formulas can be applied topically in the form of liniments, plasters, poultices, creams and ointments. Certain herbal formulas are also appropriate to be taken internally to help with pain or associated symptoms during the recovery phase. Depending on the herbal formula, it may target pain, tension, inflammation, swelling, or circulation. Herbal formulas can be tailored to fit any of the diagnoses mentioned above. Clinically, we often use topical applications of herbs for soft tissue injuries such as tendonitis, muscle strains and sprains. Certain formulas are also appropriate for bone injuries such as fractures, breaks, and spurs.