Updated: May 4
What is sports acupuncture, and how can it help my pain?
Sports acupuncture often combines trigger points, motor points, neurofunctional acupuncture, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization techniques (IASTM) to restore mobility and range of motion to the affected tissues and joints. This article will explain trigger points, motor points, and neurofunctional acupuncture. For more information on IASTM techniques, check out my recent blog post, where I go into more detail about cupping and gua sha therapy. These therapies are usually performed after acupuncture to affect the soft tissue. Soft tissue techniques can help to break up adhesions and improve mobility.
What are motor points?
A motor point is where the nerve enters the muscle belly and causes the muscle to contract when functioning correctly. When there is motor point dysfunction, the nerve cannot elicit a proper muscle contraction, causing weakness in the muscle and pain in the corresponding area.
Some reasons a muscle can weaken include new and old injuries, arthritis, bad posture, and overtraining. When the muscle becomes inhibited, the joint can become affected, and over time, this can cause further pain and injury and inhibit mobility and performance. Motor point stimulation with acupuncture and electric stimulation strengthens weak muscles, restores function to the muscle and joints, and reduces pain and inflammation.
What are trigger points?
A trigger point is an area in a specific muscle that causes pain when applying pressure. This is most commonly referred to as a muscle knot. A trigger point causes pain, prevents muscle lengthening, weakens the muscle, and can refer pain to other body areas.
Acupuncture needles help release this area of tension by stimulating a muscle twitch response. This will allow the muscle to reset to its standard length leading to pain reduction and restoring function.
What is neurofunctional acupuncture?
Neurofunctional acupuncture is a technique founded on the nervous system's ability to regulate some of its activities in response to external or internal stimuli. Acupuncture needles and electrical stimulation are combined to local areas of pain and areas above and below pain levels corresponding to spinal cord segments. This will increase blood and oxygen to the affected tissue, decreasing the body's perception of pain and promoting local tissue healing.
Who can benefit from Sports acupuncture?
Athletes - professional and amateur
Anyone who exercises, including cross-fitters, yogis, runners, swimmers, bikers, golfers, tennis players & military
Anyone with chronic pain
Common pain conditions treated with Sports acupuncture
Some pain conditions that Sports acupuncture can treat but not limited to:
Low back pain
Numbness/Tingling of extremities
If you are curious about how orthopedic acupuncture can help your condition, contact me, and I'd be happy to answer any of your questions.