Although acupuncture is an ancient practice, more and more people from pro athletes to average fitness enthusiasts are using it to treat injuries and improve their performance. When treating injuries, acupuncture can speed up the healing process and relieve pain, and when used to improve performance, acupuncture can increase coordination and enhance sport-specific skills.
When treating sport-related injuries, acupuncture can be utilized to signal your body to release chemicals that relieve pain. Along specific areas of injured muscles are trigger points, and by inserting therapeutic needles into them chemicals such as endorphins are released. This alters the feedback that the injured muscle sends your brain, therefore reducing the amount of pain you experience.
When reducing inflammation, acupuncture utilizes a similar mechanism that “tricks” your body into speeding up the natural process of healing inflammation. Microtrauma caused by acupuncture triggers your body to release chemicals that dilate blood vessels, therefore allowing properties that result in inflammation to travel away from the injury, and properties that reduce inflammation to travel to the injury more quickly.
Muscle groups can become extremely tight when used in repetitive motions for long periods of time. Oftentimes, reduced mobility and acute muscle pain occurs due to this. Those who regularly participate in sports are vulnerable to injuries related to muscle tightness as they require sport-specific repetitive movements. For example, baseball pitchers can injure their shoulder muscles from pitching with the same technique for entire seasons. Acupuncture can be used on areas of overly tight muscles to trigger them to relax and relieve tension. Thus relieving pain, increasing mobility, and improving blood flow allowing for faster healing.
The proprioceptive system is what allows your muscles to communicate with your nervous system and sense where they exist in relation to the rest of your body. But when your body is stressed from athletic performance, imbalances that affect your proprioceptive system may arise, and your sport-specific skills may worsen. Acupuncture works by addressing these areas on site, and restoring a balanced flow of energy which allows your proprioceptive and nervous system to work together efficiently, improving your coordination and overall athletic performance.
Whether you are a pro athlete or a weekend warrior who enjoys playing basketball on your days off, acupuncture is a great way to address or prevent any sport-related injuries that you may have, and improve your performance. If you think acupuncture can be used to address any issues you currently face, please contact us and book an appointment today!