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Originally published September 27 2005

Acupuncture treats sports injuries

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

Recent studies suggest that acupuncture effectively treats sports injuries like shin splints, tennis elbow, stress and neck pain.

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese medical therapy which works to encourage the body to heal itself. Acupuncture can be used in two ways to treat injuries, either by treating the injured area only, or by following the principles of traditional Chinese medicine where the patient's complete picture of health is taken into account. It works on the whole body, as following an acupuncture treatment a variety of substances are released including endorphins, serotonin, and neuropeptides/neurotransmitters to aid pain relief and relaxation. There is evidence that acupuncture can aid healing and resolution of injuries, including reducing pain, increasing local microcirculation and attracting white blood cells to the area, both of which speed the healing rate, and aid dispersal of swelling and bruising. One third of these injuries are serious enough to result in medical treatment or to affect normal day-to-day activities. Acupuncture is one treatment that is increasingly used by top sports players and athletes to treat musculoskeletal problems. Professional sports teams are also now offering acupuncture to their players both to treat an injury and to keep them performing at their peak. Many high profile teams have dedicated acupuncturists on board, including the British Rugby team, many Premiership football teams and the British Olympic team. Shin splints Athletes with shin splints were treated with either acupuncture alone, acupuncture and sports medicine or sports medicine. Tennis elbow Sufferers treated with acupuncture had significant reductions in pain and improvements in arm function in comparison to those treated with sham acupuncture. Neck pain New research has found that office workers who suffer from chronic neck and shoulder pain felt the benefits for 3 years following a course of acupuncture treatment. Costs for a single treatment vary from between 35 to 70 with treatment prices varying across the country.

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