Acupuncture & Sports Injuries

by Crystal Jancovic, LAc, LMT

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.

Summary:

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.


References:

British Journal of Sports Injury: https://bjsm.bmj.com/content/43/13/987

Injury Prevent by BMJ: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2598302/


Carrie Butler
Carrie Butler
2024-01-24
Jamie was amazing! He was so nice and very knowledgeable. It was my first time getting acupuncture and he explained each step and what to expect. I would definitely recommend him.
Ginny
Ginny
2023-12-30
Crystal was able to get me in quickly. Highly recommend.
Sarah Randall
Sarah Randall
2023-12-14
I recently had an incredible experience at this place, and I don't even know where to begin. I found myself in unbearable back pain, unable to stand up straight, and unsure of what caused it. Fortunately, I was able to schedule a prompt appointment, and Jamie's expertise was truly amazing! After receiving both cupping and acupuncture treatments, I noticed a remarkable improvement right away and within just two days, i was 95% back to my normal self. Don't hesitate to book an appointment here—it made a significant difference for me.
Linda Pissare
Linda Pissare
2023-12-10
Wei is a professional and really cares about treating your specific issues.
Thomas Najar
Thomas Najar
2023-11-20
Great service at a good price. Convenient location, knowledgable staff, clean and inviting clinic.
Tracy Carr
Tracy Carr
2023-11-10
This is the best place ever! I get cupping and acupuncture when my back starts acting up and leave feeling like 50 pounds was lifted off my back. Crystal and Jamie are very thorough in their questions to understand what’s going on and the treatment they provide. And the prices can’t be beat. 10/10
Liz Spanos
Liz Spanos
2023-11-10
I have been going to Lakewood Community Acupuncture for over a year and can’t imagine my life without it now!! It can truly help with so much - from physical pain (I have issues with my pelvic floor and multiple herniated discs) to emotional blocks, energy deficiencies and more! I ALWAYS feel better after acupuncture. I’ve seen all the practitioners and they are all extremely skilled, but Crystal is my go-to. She is not only very gentle and effective but always a delight to connect with. For the quality of service, atmosphere and price, you cannot do better. It’s been a game changer for me. Wholeheartedly recommend!!
T S
T S
2023-10-19
Have had one visit so far and will be going for many more. Very professional. Office is clean and calming. Their prices are very affordable and I can tell they really care. Highly recommend! 4 years later, I am still a customer and still impressed. Thank you L.C.A.!
Bronson Doom
Bronson Doom
2023-10-19
Crystal is great! I have a compressed l4 l5 and my back has been really tight due to the disk pushing into a nerve. I have completed 2 acupuncture sessions and can already feel the muscles relaxing!

Contact

7114 W Jefferson Ave, suite 112
Lakewood, CO 80235
(720) 242-9756
info@lakewoodacupuncture.org

Hours

Monday: 9am-6pm
Tuesday: 9am-7pm
Wednesday: 9am-7pm
Thursday: 9am-7pm
Friday: 9-7pm
Saturday: 9am-3pm
Best Acupuncture in Lakewood
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