San Diego Sports Medicine
Sports medicine acupuncture is an integrative treatment that incorporates the methods of both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Sports medicine. Combining these two different principles is why sports medicine acupuncture delivers viable and long-lasting outcomes. Sports medicine is incredibly efficient for treating different types of sports injuries, muscular dysfunctions, improper movement patterns, postural issues, and other problems that might lead to severe consequences in the future. Sports medicine aims to deliver the most appropriate treatment based on a proper assessment. Using several different techniques, a sports medicine physician can identify what is not working correctly and find the best treatment solution to address the root of the problem.
Makari Wellness: A Leading San Diego Sports Medicine Clinic
Makari Wellness is a leading alternative sports medicine clinic that treats any sport-related injuries and pain resulting from other sources. We offer professional acupuncture, acupressure, dry needling, Active Release Techniques (ART), herbal remedies, and electroacupuncture for your specific needs. With us, you can forget about any pain and discomfort.
Our holistic therapies will relieve any kind of pain while increasing mobility and range of motion. All you need to do is call us at (888) 871-8889 and book your initial appointment at the best San Diego sports medicine clinic.
Sports Acupuncture Overview
Acupuncture is one of the most popular complementary treatments among athletes who seek pain relief, recovery, and efficient injury treatment. Acupuncture can also be used to treat conditions entirely unrelated to sports injuries, including migraines, amenorrhea, or various neurological disorders that Western medicine cannot always assess successfully.
Acupuncture originates from Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and it has been widely used for over 2,000 years. The principles of TCM are based on the qi concept, described as the energy of life. It consists of two opposing elements – yin and yang – which must be in balance to deliver optimal health. Qi is believed to follow through invisible pathways in the body, called meridians.
An imbalance in yin and yang is often the cause of illness. A licensed acupuncturist addresses it by inserting small, thin, and stainless steel needles in specific acupoints located near the meridians. That way, it encourages blood and energy flow, reestablishing the balance and revitalizing the patient’s organism.
Chinese Sports Medicine: Electroacupuncture
Electroacupuncture (EA) is one of the most popular forms of acupuncture. Since the needles are stimulated by electric current, this method may deliver more potent and more long-lasting results.
Electroacupuncture reduces pain and inflammation, improves range of motion and flexibility, athletic performance, concentration, and supports faster recovery from the most common kinds of sports injuries.
Chinese Sports Medicine: Acupressure
Acupressure is an excellent training tool for athletes. It is quite convenient for those who don’t respond well to needles, and its effects are equally potent as those provided by traditional acupuncture.
There are various acupressure points acupuncturists use to combat pain and boost athletic performance. It is not recommended to perform acupressure by yourself – it is not always easy to identify the specific pressure point, and any wrong move may result in intensive pain.
Chinese Sports Medicine: Gua Sha
Gua sha involves scraping the skin with a smooth object such as a ceramic spoon. The addressed areas are located directly over the muscles, which boosts the therapy’s overall effect. Gua sha promotes blood flow to the muscles, encouraging them to release stagnant blood and cellular debris built up in the connective tissue.
When performing gua sha, a well-trained and professional acupuncturist will determine the best pressure level for your specific condition to deliver the best results.
Who Needs Sports Acupuncture?
Sports acupuncture is convenient for athletes, but other people can also benefit from the treatment. This approach has proven effective for:
- Acute/chronic sprain and strain injuries
- Acute trauma (motor vehicle accidents, falls, etc.)
- Muscle and nerve pain
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Bulging disc
- Impingement syndrome
- Frozen shoulder
- Scar tissue
- Rotator cuff injuries
- Overuse/repetitive strain (tennis elbow, for example)
- Recurring injuries.
Sports medicine and acupuncture are generally convenient for anybody dealing with physical pain. Regular sessions may alleviate pain, improve muscular function, and enhance flexibility and movement.
Is Chinese Sports Medicine Safe?
Many patients are concerned about the safety of acupuncture and other TCM treatments. But you shouldn’t be worried. Acupuncture has become “Westernized” over the past couple of years, meaning that practitioners started to combine Eastern practices with conventional medicine principles. Licensed and modern acupuncturists use only sterile, disposable, and stainless-steel needles to stimulate selected acupoints. The exact number of needles depends on the patient’s specific condition and its complexity. A practitioner may use more needles to address widespread pain, which is the case with fibromyalgia, while some patients may require only a couple of needles. With an experienced, well-trained acupuncturist, you won’t have to worry about side-effects. Acupuncture might cause bruising and mild pain in the place where the needles were inserted, but this is something that shouldn’t concern you.
Sports Acupuncture Efficiency Rate
Many clinical studies have proven acupuncture efficiency for treating different kinds of pain and more complex conditions assessed by sports medicine specialists. Acupuncture encourages the increase of endorphin, which works as the body’s natural painkillers. Besides, sports acupuncture supports the immune system, lowering fatigue and enhancing good mood during and after exhausting exercise.
Acupuncture delivers better results when combined with other treatments, including herbal formulas, dry needling, electroacupuncture, acupressure, Active Release Techniques (ART), Functional Movement Assessment, etc.
Orthopedic Sports Medicine: Dry Needling
Orthopedic dry needling is another beneficial treatment for athletes and people with any type of sports injury. Although many people confuse it with acupuncture, you should know that dry needling involves a bit different needling approach.
What is Dry Needling?
Dry needling is a technique that involves using tiny needles to release muscles. Needles are inserted into myofascial trigger points, described as sensitive knots that form in muscles, tendons, ligaments, or near nerves. Dry needling supports the healing of different musculoskeletal conditions, eases pain, and stimulates recovery.
Dry Needling vs. Sports Acupuncture
Unlike acupuncture, dry needling is entirely science-based. It doesn’t focus on energy flow and meridians, but it directly addresses the pain and dysfunction.
Benefits of Dry Needling
Dry needling stimulates blood flow to different areas of your body, supporting the healing process. Besides, it is beneficial for muscle extensibility and contractibility. This technique is highly recommended to all those who suffer from acute and chronic pain, or some more complex conditions, such as:
- Shoulder impingement
- Tennis elbow
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- And more.
Do you want to know more about dry needling and its best practices? Read the Ultimate Guide to Dry Needling and see why this therapy might be the best for you.
Sports Medicine and Herbal Remedies
To boost the overall therapy effect, Traditional Chinese medicine practitioners often recommend herbal supplements you should include in your diet. TCM practitioners see nutrition as one of the most critical factors that support health, especially in athletes. Therefore, you should implement certain diet modifications to get the best results and long-term improvements.
A TCM practitioner might suggest certain foods that replenish your body and soul, including:
- Fresh foods (fruits and vegetables)
- Meats (grass-fed beef)
- Naturally sweet foods
- Warm spices, such as ginger or cinnamon.
On the other hand, you should avoid:
- Processed foods
- Excess salt
- Fried foods.
A licensed Chinese herbalist may suggest particular herbal remedies to enrich your diet and treat your specific condition. Herbs are a part of powerful and natural medicine aimed at treating long-term imbalances resulting from poor food choices.
A TCM practitioner will prescribe the best herbal formula to regain the lost strength. Chinese herbal remedies are individual, meaning that you shouldn’t take them without your practitioner’s supervision.
Chinese Sports Medicine: Active Release Techniques (ART)
Active Release Techniques (ART) is one of the best treatment methods in sports rehab and physical medicine approaches. The ART is a set of techniques applied to treat the body’s soft tissue and restore the injured area’s function. Certified ART practitioners rely on over a hundred protocols to assess every muscle, tendon, ligament, fascia, and nerve in the body.
Sports medicine physicians and professional athletes highly recommend Active Release Techniques. They are incredibly efficient in breaking up scar tissues resulting from recent surgeries or injuries. Regular therapies may restore range of motion, reduce inflammation, and foster a faster recovery.
Who Needs Active Release Techniques?
Active Release Technique is suitable for athletes and those who suffer from any kind of muscular pain. The following signs may indicate the presence of scar tissue followed by pain and muscular dysfunction:
- Stiffness in neck, hands, knees, back, or elbow
- Painful exercise
- Stabbing pain in the bottom of your foot, close to the heel
- The sense of numbness, pain, and tingling in your fingers
- Reduced flexibility and range of motion
- Decreased strength
- Joint inflammation.
ART consists of more than 500 different moves, meaning that a practitioner can create a custom-tailored treatment plan based on a patient’s unique needs. Whether you are a professional or recreational athlete, a patient with chronic pain, or someone who couldn’t solve the problem with conventional treatments, ART is an ideal solution for you.
Chinese Sports Medicine: Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA)
Athletes must achieve a pain-free movement and enhanced flexibility to perform their activities with the highest efficiency level. Any kind of pain and muscular dysfunction may result from a much deeper issue that requires a comprehensive assessment.
Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA) helps practitioners identify key dysfunctional movement patterns and provide the right treatment for your specific condition. The results obtained by SFMA assessment allow practitioners to treat pain and its source using one of the following approaches:
- Orthopedic dry needling
- Active Release Techniques (ART)
- Nano acupuncture
- Gua sha
- Corrective exercises.
5 Essential Benefits of Acupuncture for Athletes
If you are still unsure about choosing acupuncture for athletes, the following benefits might change your mind:
1. Successful Pain Management
Acupuncture reduces pain by relieving inflammation and its byproducts – swelling, redness, and heat. Besides, it positively impacts the nervous system, encouraging it to release endorphins, the body’s natural painkillers.
2. Supports Faster Recovery
Acupuncture accelerates the body’s healing process by increasing circulation to the injury area and relaxing tight muscles and tendons.
3. Increases Flexibility
Regular acupuncture treatments can reduce muscle tightness, release knots, and relieve spasms. At the same time, it alleviates inflammation, swelling, and bruising that might limit your mobility and range of movement.
4. Increases Energy Levels
By releasing qi, vital energy that flows through invisible pathways in the body, acupuncture increases the body’s energy, too. This can help you train harder and achieve better results in competitions.
5. Provides Greater Strength and Endurance
Acupuncture is excellent for boosting your strength and endurance. By stimulating the adequate points, an acupuncturist may help you gain stamina and give you a much greater power to endure even the most exhausting training or outdoor adventures.