Serious athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance. They often demand the very best from themselves and apply this philosophy to every area of life. When it comes to rehabilitation after an injury, most athletes are interested in finding ways to regain strength and movement while fighting pain with the most effective and healthy methods available. No one wants to get stuck in an unhealthy and unproductive cycle of painkiller usage, addiction, and disability.
Acupuncture is playing an increasingly important role in the pain management/ rehabilitation process for sports injuries. For both professional athletes and average people simply trying to stay shape, acupuncture is a safe, painless, and drug-free method of easing pain and allowing the body to begin the healing process.
Acupuncture boosts the effectiveness of other rehabilitative practices—such as physical therapy and chiropractic care—in order to round out the type of holistic care necessary for truly effective programs of recovery. The goal is to get athletes back in action after trauma, age, or repetitive actions have caused pain and injury.
Injuries related to athletic activity most often affect the musculoskeletal and neurological systems of the body. In general, athletes experience herniated discs (which can cause back or neck pain, sciatica, numbness, and tingling), tendonitis, whiplash, knee pain, muscle pain, ankle sprains, and a number of other conditions.
The Benefits of Acupuncture
- Pain Relief: Western medical studies have extensively proven what has already been evident among acupuncturists and acupuncture patients for hundreds of years—that this practice has powerful pain-fighting abilities. For example, one such study revealed higher levels of endorphins (endogenous opioid peptides) in the cerebrospinal fluid of acupuncture patients. Endorphins have the same effect on the brain as opiate painkillers such as morphine and oxycodone—but without the harmful side effects or risk of addiction.
- Improves Circulation: By improving circulation, acupuncture helps to accelerate the healing process.
- Relaxation: The rehabilitation process can be stressful, particularly for those hoping to get better as quickly as possible. It is essential to remain in good mental condition in order to promote the health and healing of the entire body. Acupuncture directly affects several different neurotransmitters—most notably serotonin—that regulate mood. Increased levels of serotonin also help to reduce the severity of pain signals as they travel to the brain.