Acupuncture & Sports Injuries

With skiing and snowboarding season approaching, sports injuries start popping up everywhere. This article will cover the most common snow sport injuries and how acupuncture can help the body recover from injury faster to get you back on the slopes as soon as possible!

Medial Collateral Ligament (MCL) Tear:

Knee injuries and skiing or snowboarding unfortunately go hand-in-hand. The MCL is usually damaged when there is a hard hit on the lateral side of the knee which then tears the medial side on the knee. The MCL stabilizes the shin (tibia) and thigh (femur) bones and when it is injured, it is easy for the knee to overextend causing more pain and problems.

Anterior Cruciate Ligament (ACL) Tear:

The ACL also stabilizes the knee. It is easily injured when athletes make sudden twists and turns. To avoid this, skiers and snowboarders are safest keeping their knees bent when landing jumps or when falling. It is also important not to try getting up while they are still moving down the slope.

Wrist Fractures:

When falling in the snow, it is a common reaction to try to catch your fall and brace yourself with your hand. This can lead to fracturing the wrist on impact of the fall. A scaphoid fracture is most common when falling with an outstretched hand and will result in pain at the base of the thumb. The radius can also break with the hand outstretched and is called a Colles Fracture. A Smith Fracture is when the hand is bent inward (wrist flexed) when falling on it. This also involved the radius bone. Occasionally the smaller bone in the forearm (the ulna) can break also.

Shoulder Injuries:

Glenohumeral dislocations, clavicle fractures and acromioclavicular separations and rotator cuff strains all occur while flying down our Colorado mountains on skis and snowboards. These most commonly happen with the use of poles and in aerial stunts when falling. Here are some shoulder injury statistics from the British Journal of Sports Medicine Volume 43, Issue 13; “Shoulder injuries account for 4 to 11% of all alpine skiing injuries and 22 to 41% of upper-extremity injuries. During snowboarding, shoulder injuries account for 8 to 16% of all injuries and 20 to 34% of upper-extremity injuries.”

Head and Spinal Injuries:

According to the Injury Prevention Articles by BMJ publishing, traumatic brain injury (TBI) and spinal cord injury (SCI) are on the rise due to alpine skiing and snowboarding accidents. Helmets are able to decrease the rate of head injury by 22-60%, so definitely hit the slopes with your head protection buckled on.

Healing from Injury: It is very important to take care of these injury right away. When the injury first occurs there is usually a lot of swelling bringing white blood cells and fluid into the area to begin the healing process. Acupuncture and other modalities offered at Lakewood Community Acupuncture clinic can speed this healing and recovery process up.

How Acupuncture Helps

Acupuncture studies show that acupuncture can significantly reduce the time it takes muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to heal. Acupuncture works directly with calming down pain receptors response to pain and can even be used instead of anesthesia for surgeries. When there is an injury, this also blocks or stagnants the meridians in the body which circulate our vital life force called Qi. Acupuncture unblocks meridians and channels to alleviate pain and get Qi and blood circulating properly again. Acupuncture can be used to break up scar tissue from old injuries or reduce swelling and inflammation of new injuries.

Other modalities offered at Lakewood Community Acupuncture are also very useful in the recovery from injury. Electro-acupuncture, cupping, guasha, Tuina bodywork and herbal medicine (topical and internal) are able to increase blood flow and circulation to the area of injury, therefore helping it heal faster without the negative side effects of pain medications. 


Acupuncture and other chinese medicine modalities are crucial in the fast and efficient recovery from ski and snowboard injuries. The long term benefits of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Sport Injuries, outweigh the short-term effects of Western medicine pain killers and other drug interventions. Many times, surgery can be avoided when receiving acupuncture from old or new injuries. The quicker you come into the clinic after an injury, the quicker results are usually seen but even those stubborn old injuries from sliding down the snowy slopes can be treated. Enjoy our beautiful Colorado mountains this winter.


British Journal of Sports Injury:

Injury Prevent by BMJ:

Ben Ramirez
Ben Ramirez
Great service and results!
Emily helped me combat some pretty deep depression and anxiety yesterday. I had come to my wits end and western med was no longer helping me. She recommended herbs that are significantly decreasing the debilitating mental health symptoms I was experiencing and her treatment of acupuncture/reiki helped calm my nervous system. I’m noticing this all in less than 24 hrs, wow! THANK YOU 🙏
Lindsay Hovland
Lindsay Hovland
I received a healing treatment from Crystal yesterday and the day before— acupuncture and cupping, along with ear seeds. She was so attentive and deeply caring for my personal needs and desires. I genuinely cannot wait to go back. Truly, it is honorable they are a non-profit organization for all the hard work and hours they put in. I will always go back. Thanks to the hardworking (shen) hands of Crystal.
Melissa Bell
Melissa Bell
Would recommend! Very professional, clean, empathetic, experienced. Seen Jamie a few times and he's wonderful. Acupuncture can help with almost anything along with their other services.
Tammy Osolinski
Tammy Osolinski
Brought in my 15 year old who was suffering from a sports related back injury. She has had two appointments (acupuncture and acupuncture with cupping) and has been experiencing good results. The healthcare team is extremely knowledgeable and comforting. They explain everything they are doing and ensure you are comfortable with every step. Would definitely recommend.
Jay Clement
Jay Clement
I've been to other acupuncturists before, and Emily @ Lakewood did a fantastic job - way better than the others I've been to. Very thorough on intake, learning what to focus, and overall creating a great space. Thanks so much!
Shawna Seldon McGregor
Shawna Seldon McGregor
Lakewood Community Acupuncture is amazing! I've received acupuncture, cupping and bodywork here. It was an outstanding experience. I felt amazing when I left and it addressed my chronic pain. I highly recommend LCP!
Coleen C
Coleen C
Amazing practitioners who are dedicated to serving the community with powerful healing! Each session is greeted with compassion and incredible care. I came to the office experiencing a lot of pain in my back and neck. The day after receiving Tuina bodywork and Acupuncture, my pain was gone. I am so very grateful. Thank you!!
I've been here a couple times and both were great.


7114 W Jefferson Ave, suite 112
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756


Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-7pm
Wednesday: 9am-7pm
Thursday: 9am-7pm
Friday: 9-7pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
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