A muscle strain can be a simple overstretched muscle or tendon, or the result of a partial or complete muscle tear. Strains are often caused by overstretching, twisting, pulling, and overusing muscles. Symptoms include limited motion, muscle spasms, muscle weakness, swelling, cramping, or inflammation, and usually some loss of muscle function.
With a common sports injury like a muscle strain, the healing process usually begins with a well-known technique called RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation). The goal is to reduce the swelling and restore function to the affected area. RICE is a common treatment and it is usually applied within the first 24-48 hours.
If the injury is more serious and RICE doesn’t complete the job, there are other measures you can take to speed recovery, one of which is acupuncture.
Acupuncture in Healing Muscle Strains
Within traditional Chinese Medicine, when a person suffers a sprain, strain, or traumatic injury, the flow of energy surrounding the injury becomes disrupted, causing stagnation and pain. This energy stagnation prevents proper blood circulation to the area, which leads to swelling and/or bruising, and hinders recovery.
Acupuncture is often used to treat strains, sprains, and sports injuries to reduce recovery time. Acupuncture works directly to free the flow of energy (or Qi) through these areas of stagnation to assist healing and speed recovery. Acupuncture will relieve the pain and swelling, bring vital nutrients to the afflicted area and carry dead cells away from the site.
Unlike other treatment options, acupuncture can precisely target the muscle and area involved to directly treat the problem, not just the symptoms.
What to Expect with Acupuncture
If you are new to acupuncture, it’s important to know that acupuncture needles are not the types of needles you see at your medical doctor’s office. Acupuncture uses the slimmest needles strategically placed lightly into the skin. An acupuncture treatment begins by identifying the patient’s patterns of holding tension within the muscle that leads to the strain. Needles are then inserted along meridian pathways to trigger the body into reconfiguring its balance. Patients report barely even a pinch, and often feel a significant reduction in pain as well as a sense of relaxation after one session.
Depending on the severity of the injury, acupuncture treatments can be used exclusively or in conjunction with other rehab therapies to accelerate recovery. We highly recommend meeting with a professional to come up with a rehabilitation plan that will work best for your injury and lifestyle. Trying
to rehabilitate a strained muscle on your own can be dangerous as too much activity or the wrong activity could make the injury much worse.
If you are in the Centennial or south Denver area, we would love to help you heal from your muscle strain or injury. From Acupuncture to Electronic Muscle Stimulation and proper exercise, we have a variety of services that can accelerate your healing.
BY: Dr. Friedman
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