I have always been amazed at the clinical results that I have seen with injured athletes and acupuncture. For a while, my wife and I worked closely with a number of athletes from a world championship athletic team, the Santa Barbara Condors At the world class level, these athletes would be compared to world cup soccer players in the way their body is used and abused. My findings were that for most types of injuries, acupuncture had profound results. What is important is the distinction between acupuncture that is used to get rid of pain, and acupuncture that is used to relax the muscles and soft tissue (while freeing up the energy flow). Also, the distinction of separating sprain from strain and tear. The best results that I always found were from stress and strain. Tear, I would always refer to an Orthopedic Physician and suggest herbs to speed up the healing process. When it comes to knots, clicks, pops, soreness, tension, and aches, acupuncture is extremely effective.
As a warning, I would caution athletes to train as if they are competing. If you are interested in getting acupuncture, start in the off season, and stay with it through the year. If you are close to your championships and have never had acupuncture, you may get the results you are looking for, but with all complimentary medicine, expect the unexpected. You don't want to be too relaxed on the day of a competition, and if you are always high strung and relax deeply you may get a detox reaction. While a detox reaction is usually mild, such as light headedness, nausea, or fatigue, these changes in the body are not desirable just prior to competition.
Mark Fischer, LAc is a licensed Oriental medical physician. He has a clinical acupuncture and oriental medical practice in Boulder Colorado.