Acupuncture for Sports Injuries
Are you an avid athlete or a weekend warrior who struggles with recurring injuries? If you feel like you've tried everything and are out of treatment options – think again. Acupuncture, an alternative approach to injury treatment, might be a solution worth trying.
Diane Kloecker, an acupuncturist with TriHealth Integrative Health & Medicine, explains the benefits of acupuncture with healing sports injuries.
- Related: Acupuncture Treatment for Tinnitus
What Injuries Does Acupuncture Treat?
Regardless of your age or fitness level, injuries can occur in anyone at any time. While we all respond to treatments differently, if you’re looking to take a natural approach, consider acupuncture. It treats a wide range of injuries and conditions, including:
- Medial and Lateral Epicondylitis (tennis elbow)
- Plantar Fasciitis
- Frozen Shoulder, Impingement Syndrome
- Sprains and Strains
- Joint Dysfunction
- Shin splints
How Often Will I Need Treatment?
If you’re curious as to how often you’ll need treatment, Diane says it depends on both the severity and duration of the complaint. “If a patient is older and has severe osteoarthritis of the knee, they’re going to require more treatments than a sixteen year-old with a recent case of tendinitis," Diane says.
On average, patients are advised to have 1-2 treatments for 2-4 weeks, and then are re-evaluated for a continued plan of action, including:
- Optimal response - patient does not require more treatment
- Moderate response - patient requires additional treatments for desired quality of life
- Poor response or non-responder - patient will most likely be discharged from care
“Many times, patients will have a noticeable improvement with quality of life after just one treatment, but not always,” Diane explains. “It’s common for patients to not have an improvement in symptoms for 2-3 treatments as well.” If a patient does not have improvement right away, that does not mean the condition will not respond favorably to acupuncture, it will just require additional therapy.
Needles Aren't My Thing
So, what if you’re not a fan of needles? Diane recommends her patients be honest about their feelings and keep open lines of communication about their comfort level. “The needles are hundreds of times less thick than injection needles,” Diane points out. “Most acupuncture points, patients will have no sensation whatsoever.”