There are 2 types of muscular injuries I see often in clinic, acute or chronic. The acute injuries tend to be sporting related, ranging from sprained ankles, muscle cramps to swollen knees and torn muscles. The more chronic cases tend to be ongoing muscle stiffness and joint issues, often involving slipped discs and a lot of post surgery recovery. Most are caused by prolonged manual labour, or an acute injury which has never fully healed itself. Obviously all chronic pains and injuries were acute when they started, but either the injury was so severe or something has blocked it from healing fully that has resulted in an ongoing problem. This is where Acupuncture has strengths over the ‘westernised’ approach of dry needling. The diagnostic framework behind Acupuncture allows me to find the cause why your chronic injury hasn’t healed itself. This can be caused by cold, causing a frozen shoulder not to regain movement. I’ve even seen lower backs not heal fully due to grief and stress.
An acute injury, like a muscle spasm, joint sprain or muscular tear is a sudden stagnation of Qi and Blood in Acupuncture. This causes swelling and pain and often a feeling of heat from the inflammation. Acupuncture works well to remove inflammation, so while many people don’t know, receiving treatment ASAP can help you recover sooner and heal faster. The needles help the body remove the inflammation faster which allows the body to begin repairs more quickly. It can also help provide immediate pain relief, which isn’t damaging to your digestion like Neurofen. Torn muscles are treated by helping the body remove the damaged tissue and regenerating new tissue. By stimulating the blood flow to the area, to can help the body heal more effectively, reducing the amount of scar tissue generated, so the muscle can retain as much flexibility and strength as possible.
Acupuncture for Chronic Injuries
Chronic injuries are often more complicated. An acute condition is always an excessive condition, as it is an acute stagnation as described above. Chronic cases though tend to be a mix, as the injured area has become deficient over time causing the chronic pain, but tends to flare from time to time becoming excessive for a short while. So a mixture of techniques are used to nourish the deficiency to help provide long term relief, but also some dispersing techniques to alleviate the acute pain. Like with any problem the sooner you seek treatment the better. Many chronic patients I see in my clinic are trying Acupuncture as a last resort, so the problem has been ongoing for months or even years. Whilst this does make treatment more difficult it doesn’t mean we can’t achieve a good result, A Meta-Analysis performed in the Journal of Pain in 2017 reported: “Acupuncture is effective for the treatment of chronic musculoskeletal, headache, and osteoarthritis pain. Treatment effects of acupuncture persist over time and cannot be explained solely in terms of placebo effects. Referral for a course of acupuncture treatment is a reasonable option for a patient with chronic pain.”