Acupuncture is a holistic approach and can be used in conjunction with other forms of sports medicine, including physical therapy, massage, stretching and chiropractic care. These modalities work together well to help athletes achieve optimal results. The acupuncturists at the North Portland Wellness Center will work with you to determine the best treatment for your particular sports injury.
If you have a sports injury, acupuncture can help speed up the healing process by increasing blood flow to the affected areas. The needles stimulate the body to release more nitric oxide. The mechanism of nitric oxide is to widen and relax blood vessels which in return opens up the arteries. This decreases bruising, soreness from micro tears in muscles and lactic acid build up giving athletes faster recovery and reduced pain. In addition to treating pain, acupuncture is used for preventative care because it boosts the immune system by enhancing the production of T-cells which destroy harmful bacteria and viruses in the body. Maintaining a strong immune system is key for consistent training and progression in sports.
Studies have shown acupuncture can help balance your mood by affecting your hormones. Acupuncture triggers the response to release more endorphins which may feel similar to a runner’s high and it also blocks the receptors that produce your cortisol stress hormone commonly known as your fight or flight mode. This can be be damaging under chronic conditions. Acupuncture will enable you to relax from daily stresses, long training sessions or even race day jitters.
Getting a good night sleep is important in general, but athletes definitely need rest so their bodies can recover from their physical and mental workout. Acupuncture helps regulate the body clock to support the REM/NREM cycle so the body has time to repair without waking up or suffering from side effects sleep aids may cause. When your body and mind feel refreshed, you are able to maintain body awareness to prevent injuries or accidents during exercise or competition.
The world health organization endorses acupuncture as a viable method for pain relief. Acupuncture is becoming more widespread within the professional sports community including the NFL, NBA and Olympics. Seattle Seahawks quarterback Matt Hasselbeck and fellow team members are regular followers of acupuncture. “There are a lot of muscles that are hard to stretch,” Seahawks defender Patrick Kerney has said. “Acupuncture hits those and releases them and makes you feel a lot better.”
Sports injuries are predominately of a musculoskeletal origin. As neuro-musculoskeletal experts, the chiropractors at North Portland Wellness Center have the knowledge and resources to assess, diagnose, treat and rehabilitate a wide range of sport-related injuries. As athletes ourselves, we understand the desire for a quick recovery.
Chiropractic care can also be beneficial to those athletes with chronic pain or discomfort. Through a functional evaluation of movement, chiropractic physicians can uncover movement asymmetries, muscle imbalances and compensation patterns. Active rehabilitation can help reduce muscle imbalances and compensation patterns, thereby allowing for maximal performance.
Several professional athletes and a number of athletic organizations support chiropractic care for injury management and prevention, including the National Basketball Association, the National Football League and the United States Olympic Committee.