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Repairing Running Injuries

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Using Acupuncture To Correct Damage

Running has become an increasingly popular way to get fit and keep fit. From running on gym treadmills to races, more Americans are running. Most running-related injuries occur when you push yourself too hard, but even a well-planned training schedule can cause running injuries.

One of the most effective treatments for running injuries is also the oldest – acupuncture. While acupuncture treatment for running injuries isn’t new, its use in sports medicine in the U.S. is still growing. Acupuncture is a safe, natural and effective method to treat many common running injuries. By focusing on the acupuncture points or the trigger points of an injured area, acupuncture stimulates the body’s ability to manage inflammation and assists in repairing muscle, tendon, ligament, bone and nerve tissue. Several common running injuries can be treated effectively by acupuncture and will reduce or remove inflammation, while also restoring blood and energy flow.

Common Running Injuries

Runner’s Knee

Strenuous activity can produce pain around our kneecap. In fact, knee injuries are the most common running injury. Runner’s knee is the irritation of the cartilage under our kneecap. A landmark 5-year National Institutes of Health study conducted at the University of Maryland’s School of Medicine concluded that acupuncture is an effective treatment for knee pain. Other treatments include rest and icing the knee.

IleoTibial Band Syndrome (ITBS)

The IT band is located on the outside of our thigh, from the hip to the knee. ITBS occurs when the IT band gets irritated because it rubs over the thighbone during the motion of running. Treating the trigger points in the IT Band with acupuncture relieves the inflammation and irritation. Other treatment includes decreased running, stretching before running and icing afterwards.
Muscle Pull. In running, our leg muscles can spasm or become weak with constant use. Acupuncture treatment focuses on the strained muscle to relax the spasm and restore normal muscle function. Other treatments include decreased running, stretching and deep tissue massage.

Plantar Fasciitis

The plantar fascia is a thick band of connective tissue from our heel to our toes. Plantar fasciitis pain is typically focused just in front of and toward the inside of the heel. Acupuncture helps reduce the inflammation of the plantar tendon. Other treatment includes calf stretches, rest and icing the affected area.

Ankle Sprain

This injury occurs when ankle ligaments over-stretch or tear while running, often when the foot twists or rolls inward. The ankle swells and becomes painful, and the weak tendons are more likely to re-sprain. Acupuncture treatment on key ankle points reduces inflammation and promotes healing of the tendons. Other treatments include rest, ice, compression and elevating the affected ankle.

Achilles Tendinitis

The Achilles tendon is the large tendon that connects our calf muscles to the back of our heel. Under too much stress, the tendon tightens and becomes irritated (tendinitis). Achilles tendinitis causes pain and stiffness, especially in the morning and with any physical activity. Besides acupuncture, other treatments include calf stretches, rest and icing our tendon.

Acupuncture treatment works very well by itself or in combination with other common treatments such as physical therapy, massage therapy, and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs in the treatment of running injuries. It helps to balance energy, which makes you stronger, gives you more stamina to tolerate the physical stress of running, revitalizes muscles and joints and can address minor injuries before they become major.

If you’ve had a running injury recently or are preparing for a race, please call us at (904) 296-9545 to schedule an appointment.

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