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My knees hurt so bad I wasn't sure I would be able to finish the season. Thanks to Pat not only did I play the whole season, but I was jumping higher and rebounding better at the end of the season than I was at the beginning. -Michelle, high school basketball player
Mainstream acceptance of acupuncture has caused a few changes in the outlook for this field of medicine, one of which is the ability to specialize. Sports medicine has long been a branch of Western medicine, and it is now an emerging field in acupuncture. Sports medicine acupuncture combines the energy work of Chinese medicine with anatomy and physiology from a Western perspective. This allows the practitioner to open injured areas to energy and circulation. Health clubs and adult sports leagues do a brisk business as Americans make fitness a priority in their lives. Unfortunately, these passions, as well as accidents and day-to-day overuse, can sometimes lead to muscle or joint injuries. More and more of these fitness enthusiasts and competitive athletes are using acupuncture to stay in the game.
Sports medicine acupuncture is a branch of Chinese medicine that deals specifically with these types of issues. Low back pain is the number one reason for emergency room visits, but shoulder and knee pain also commonly limit how we perform. Often times, the usual plan of treatment means a cortisone shot, pain meds, and possibly surgery. Tendons and, especially, ligaments, are notoriously slow to heal because they have a limited blood supply that removes waste products of healing and brings in fresh nutrients. Well-placed acupuncture needles speed the healing process, in part, by increasing circulation to the injured area. In addition to faster healing, acupuncture can also limit the need for pain medication and surgery. An additional advantage of acupuncture is that multiple issues can be addressed with each treatment.
Acupuncture, by itself, helps the body heal any orthopedic issues. If you are currently in physical therapy, your return to pain-free activity will be greatly accelerated. There are many types of acupuncturists out there. If you are injured or looking for a performance boost, look for an acupuncturist that specializes in sports medicine and get back in the game.