Weekend warriors as well as professional athletes push their bodies beyond their comfort zone and sometimes that leads to injury. At my acupuncture clinic in downtown Miami I treat many different athletes ranging from tri-athletes to mixed martial artists. Athletes put great demands on their bodies and may often still train when they are not at 100%. Acupuncture is a great tool for everyone – especially athletes. The insertion of needles by a trained acupuncturist helps reduce swelling and increases blood flow to the injured area. This means that a person can heal fast and get back to training.

Pain is one of the most common complaints that athletes have. This pain can range from strains and sprains to more severe injuries. Most athletes feel the need to continue training even through injury, although often with less intensity. Minor injuries usually respond very well to acupuncture, especially injury to tendons and ligaments which take more time to heal. Acupuncture, herbs and lotions can all be used to help this process along.

My recommendation to athletes is to always get treatment especially if they plan to continuing their training. The reason is two-fold. First, rapid recuperation will help put you back on your regular training regiment. Second, treatment will keep you healthier as you go through the aging process. I treat countless ex-athletes for old injuries that were never properly treated when they were younger.

Each patient and injury may require specialized treatment protocols for the best results. In general, I recommend my patients to apply ice to an injured area for the first 24 hours after the injury. Make sure the ice bag is insulated and not placed directly on the skin as well as limiting the time to 15 minutes. Applying ice in the same area for too long can cause tissue damage. After the first 24 hours the application of warmth can help increase blood flow to the area to allow the body to heal itself.

So when you start training for your next marathon and start to develop knee pain 1 month before the race, get some acupuncture to put you back on track to the finish line.