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Athletes’ muscles are under constant stress. Normally when a muscle experiences a minor injury it will heal and become stronger with rest. However, rigorous training schedules may not allow the body enough time to heal, turning a minor injury into a constant source of pain. Acupuncture helps release trigger points in muscles to relieve pain and promote healing.
Trigger points are tight knots in muscle tissue that can cause pain throughout the body. Besides hurting, trigger points in a muscle prevent it from performing to its full potential, reducing strength, flexibility, and range of motion. A muscle with a trigger point remains tense and shortened, and is not able to function to its full capacity.
Acupuncturists insert tiny, hair thin needles into trigger points, releasing uncomfortable knots and tension. Additional needles are used to stimulate the muscle, encouraging healthy healing and helping to ensure that the trigger point will not return.
Acupuncture is one of the most efficient ways to release trigger points in a muscle. Massage therapy requires intense kneading of the trigger point, which can be painful and impractical for certain muscles. Medical doctors often use large gauge needles to treat trigger points, often leading to bruising and longer healing times. Acupuncture releases trigger points quickly, with little bruising and downtime.
Sports injuries can be either acute or chronic. Acute injuries are immediate injuries that occur when an athlete is hurt during training or play. The body typically responds to an acute injury with swelling, muscle stiffness, and pain. Acupuncture helps acute injuries heal more quickly by reducing inflammation and relaxing stiff muscles.
Chronic injuries are pain that persists over a long period of time. Unlike acute injuries, which have a direct cause, chronic injuries often build up over time. Chronic injuries can be more difficult to treat, because the affected muscles are weakened and unbalanced. Acupuncture helps restore muscle balance and relieves chronic pain so healing can occur.
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