Studies have shown that acupuncture has measurable effects on the flow of blood to certain areas of the body, which could in turn boost athletic performance. One such study conducted at the Beijing University of Traditional Chinese Medicine involved athletes running 5,000 meters, and then sitting for acupuncture treatments before they had a chance to catch their breath. The heart rates of the athletes who received the treatments recovered more quickly than those in the control group. Another study, published in the January 2008 issue of the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine, examined the effects of acupuncture on cyclists. Not only did the study show that the group that received acupuncture had a higher RPE scores compared to the other cyclists, but also that they completed their cycling tests at a higher acceleration than previously recorded.
Acupuncture can be used on athletes to help decrease swelling, spasms and inflammation. Additionally, it can be used to control pain, increase range of motion and helps to promote healing. Because of its broad range of applications, acupuncture can be used during any phases of injury. The focus is not only to treat the injury but also to treat any underlying conditions that may predispose an individual to injuries. This is especially important when treating chronic or recurrent injuries that interfere with life activities or athletic performance.
Injuries occurring from sports are mostly due to trauma or overuse syndromes involving the musculoskeletal system and its soft tissues. Trauma to these soft tissues, including ligaments, tendons and muscles are generally the result from falls, blows, sprains/strains, collisions, compressions crushing and disruptions of the healing processes due to inflammation.
Some commonly treated sports injuries are listed below. Click on the green hyperlinks provided to learn more about each ailment: