While traditional acupuncture is very effective at treating both acute and chronic sports injuries, Chinese medicine includes other modalities that may also prove effective. In addition to acupuncture, other techniques such as electric stimulation, cupping, gua sha, and therapeutic massage may also be used.
Electric stimulation or “E-stim” is often used in the treatment of sports injuries. E-stim helps to stimulate the needle, producing a stronger effect of the chosen acupuncture point. E-stim also helps to alleviate pain by further stimulating the neurotransmitters involved in reducing the pain response.
Cupping is great for treating sports injuries. Cupping will help to bring stagnant blood to the surface of the affected area, allowing healthy blood to recirculate and expedite the healing process. This technique is particularly great for sore and tight muscles, helping to reduce inflammation and relieve tension.
Gua Sha is a scraping technique, which is often used in the treatment of chronic sports injuries. Gua Sha is helpful in breaking up scar tissue and tension within the muscle and fascia, relieving pain and improving mobility and range of motion.
Tui Na/Therapeutic Massage
Therapeutic massage or “Tui Na” is a great stand alone or adjunct treatment for sports injuries. Tui Na massage helps break down adhesions in the muscle fibers and restores circulation to the injured tissues aiding in recovery. Many Chinese medicine practitioners also use Chinese herbal liniments in combination with therapeutic massage to stimulate blood flow to the injured area and to reduce pain.