Sport Injuries and Acupuncture

Acupuncture for plantar fasciitis:

It’s been a tough year for the Phillies. Some of the team’s key players have been sidelined with a tragic chain of injuries. Recently, Carlos Ruiz, who is arguably the team’s heart center, has been dealing with plantar fasciitis.

When I watch the games, I can’t help but wish that the Phillies would have a team acupuncturist. Most sports injuries respond favorably to acupuncture. Because of Chinese medicine’s long history with martial arts, the field of traumatology and orthopedic acupuncture is well developed. Ancient and modern literature and research is filled with effective strategies for treating and managing acute and chronic injuries.

If Carlos were my patient, I know that acupuncture would reduce inflammation and accelerate the healing of the plantar fascia. Here is a link to a research abstract which proves this:

Chase Utley suffered through a complex knee injury: Chondromalacia patella as well we patellar tendonitis. The first is syndrome that involves a softening of the tendon’s cartilage underneath the kneecap. The latter is an inflammation of the patellar tendon, which connects the knee to the shin. This is kind of like having two opposite scenarios in the same area. That having been said, research shows that acupuncture is useful for both conditions: this study shows that nearly 92% of patients with Chondromalacia patella responded favorably. Pubmed has one citation that specifically address the use of acupuncture and patellar tendinitis, but it’s positive effect on all tendinitis is well known.

Roy Halladay dealt with injury to the latissimus dorsi of his throwing shoulder. The treatment of sprains and strains with acupuncture is like the bread and butter of a Chinese medical practice. Nearly all sprains can be healed up to 50% faster. Nearly every acupuncturist is trained to treat this kind of injury efficiently.

Most recently, Kevin Frandsen suffered a stress fracture. Maybe now you are wondering what can acupuncture do to help heal a bone break? The answer is, at least in my practice, is the application of topical herbal compresses and internally, drinking bone knitting herbal formulas. A search on pubmed, which is the National Institute of Health’s research library, reveals at least five studies demonstrating that Chinese herbs stimulate osteoblast production, which are the cells that build bone tissue. In the office, we also would use electrical stimulation of the needles to speed healing.

Throughout history, traumatology specialists in Chinese medicine have used different formulas and applications for early, middle stage and late stage injuries. They have used different formulas that are specific for muscles, bones and tendons and ligaments.

Sports teams have physical therapists; massage therapists, orthopedic doctors and surgeons to tend to their bodies.

So here’s my wish: I wish that the Phillies, the Eagles, the Sixer’s and the Flyers would have at least one acupuncturist on their payroll. Not as “alternative” form of therapy, but as an essential part of their treatment plans.

Phillies: just call me: I’ll assemble a team of acupuncturists with the Rothman Institute quality of expertise within a week. We’ll help keep the team on the field. It’s not too late to have a winning season!

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Cara started helping me over 16 years ago. I had been trying to get pregnant for 7 years. She gave me ‘real’ herbs to boil and make tea. After getting pregnant, Cara helped my son Sam with food allergies. I now also have a daughter (age 13) and another son (age 9). I was recently approached at a party after I said that herbs and acupuncture cured my infertility. Thanks, and thank you Cara, for your help. Being a mom…it’s the best part of my life.

Renee K