Acupuncture Heals Injuries and Improves Athletic Performance in Dallas
Acupuncture is not only gaining increased popularity among the general public, but in the sports arena as well. Athletes ranging from NFL stars like James Harrison to Olympic Gymnast Nastia Liukin find that this modality is a key component to help them compete at their best. Acupuncture improves recovery time, reduces inflammation, releases tight muscles, and treats/prevents athletic injuries. This treatment is not solely for the elite athlete, but can act as a wonderful compliment to anyone’s training regime at any level.
Powerlifters, Olympic weightlifters, and Stong(wo)men have experienced the benefits of acupuncture in my Dallas office. Athletes that regularly squat and deadlift heavy weights can often experience low back/hip pain and tightness through their gluteal muscles and piriformis. Acupuncture uniquely excels at reaching those deep hip muscles that seem like no other treatment is able to touch. Through releasing tight muscles and resetting elongated ones, we are able to create greater balance around joints. My patients have reported that they are better able to maintain proper form during lifts for greater efficiency, thus increased weight lifted. They are also able to train more consistently without nagging injuries interfering with their progress.
Marathon runners (and even casual 5K athletes) are especially susceptible for experiencing knee pain from the repetitive nature of extensive running. This may come as a result of inflammation in the actual knee joint or from tight muscles that attach around the knee. A very common cause of pain along the outside of the knee (or lateral area) is commonly due to Illiotibial Band Syndrome. The IT band is a thick band of fascia that runs along the lateral side of the thigh and attaches just below the knee. Acupuncture is very effective to treating both causes of knee pain. It is very helpful at reaching areas underneath the knee cap (or patella) that are otherwise very difficult to address. It can also work to loosen the IT band and surrounding tissues.
New injuries can easily turn into chronic re-occuring problems if they are not addressed and properly treated. Once there is an initial site of trauma, scar tissue can begin to accumulate and transform into a more brittle, less pliable area of the muscle. This site becomes much more vulnerable to strains in the future. In addition, aches, pains, and injuries that we think we are able to brush under the rug during our youth have a good chance of re-surfacing in a more intense form as we age.
Regular mobility work, proper rest, and a nutritious diet are important staples in any athlete’s training. Acupuncture is another modality that can be used in conjunction with these practices to help athletes reach their short and long-term goals. Not only should we focus on our performance today, but the ultimate health of our tissues in the long run so we may enjoy health, vitality, and athleticism throughout our lives.
Keep in mind that acupuncture should always be performed by a Licensed Acupuncturist. Please consult the NCCAOM directory to find a qualified professional near you.