If You're a Runner Optimize Your Fitness With Regular Acupuncture
Has the new year inspired you to join Prospect Park's "Couch to 5 K" monthly running group? Are you a member of stroller strides? Maybe you're training for the annual Physical Therapy Run for research. Whether you're a newbie at the park or have been an avid runner for years, ongoing, regular acupuncture can help you enjoy running free from knee pain. No matter what your fitness level, everyone can benefit physiologically from incorporating acupuncture into their wellness routine.
How Acupuncture Can Help Reduce Knee Pain After Jogging In Prospect Park
1. Prevent, reduce or eliminate muscle knots. All runners know the feeling of a muscle knot setting in. Muscle knots can be a result of dehydration, lack of stretching before and after running, over-compensation, nutritional deficiencies and a variety of other related health concerns. Let's explore the anatomy of the knee to understand how acupuncture can provide dynamic relief for muscle knotting in the knee.
Muscles, fascia, tendons surround the knee and ligaments that are responsible for carrying out optimal range of motion as we walk, run and perform physical activity. No matter what the cause, when muscle knots set in, they can cause misalignment of the knee. This often results in discomfort and pain for runners. At your visit we'll perform a thorough examination and query to develop an acupuncture prescription that will address your personal experience of muscle knotting.
To get an idea of how well acupuncture works to alleviate knee pain, consider Aaron Johnson's experience. Aaron was running everyday through the park when her muscle knots became so severe she was favoring her right leg to walk due to misalignment. At her visit, I palpated her knee to determine the location of the knots and associated anatomical structures that were involved. Aaron's knots were occurring in the muscle fibers close to the medial ligaments.
I was able to reduce, then eliminate the muscle knots with regular, ongoing acupuncture treatments. Her treatment involved inserting hair thin acupuncture needles into the muscle spindle fiber. These needling actions ???resets??? the muscle spindle fiber by sending a message to the brain and then back to the target tissue to help it relax. By reducing inflammation and needling this target tissue, knots dissipate and the knee gradually realigns.
2. Increase circulation, reduce inflammation and reduce pain. A recent, encouraging 2013 study showed that acupuncture was one of the more effective treatment modalities for alleviating knee osteoarthritis. If you have experienced acupuncture, you may have heard "improve the flow of qi and blood to improve circulation." This essentially translates to the idea that regular needling will help to reduce inflammation of surrounding tissue that may be damaging blood vessel walls and anatomical structures of the knee that can lead to knee osteoarthritis. When the "flow of qi and blood" are improved and inflammation is reduced, blood flows to the knee. As blood flows in, this improves the rate of nutrients flowing to the target tissue for healing. Not only do patients report improved range of motion and decreased pain, but overall confidence about their running abilities.
3. Treat the knee by treating the whole you. Acupuncture addresses pain on a continuum- the theory behind acupuncture is that the body is one, cooperative organism. This means that if pain is experienced in one area of the body, another part is involved and may be the result of this involvement. During your intake we'll determine if you're experiencing other health concerns that may be contributing to your experience of pain.
By treating you holistically, acupuncture helps improve the communication between the nervous system and the rest of the body. When Jessica came to see us she was experiencing knee pain after running. After a thorough examination, I learned that Jessica's right ankle had been sprained, but never fully recovered and was contributing to knee misalignment and pain. Once I treated the sprain and it was healed, her knee pain diminished and then was fully eliminated.
If your pain is keeping you from entering the 5K you have your heart set on, don't wait another minute before calling us for an appointment. Don't let pain keep you from enjoying the activities you love most- let us help you become pain free the natural way. We look forward to helping you become free of knee pain at a visit soon.