Through clinical trials over the past few years it has been proven that acupuncture can aid in the accelerated healing of sports injuries. Using a combination of Eastern and Western acupuncture it has been proven to be one the best courses of treatment as it can fully restore both chronic and acute injuries.
There have been a variety of studies which have provided evidence of how acupuncture has a measurable effect on the increased blood flow to certain areas of the body, aiding athletes in improved performance. One specific study in Beijing involved a number of athletes running 5000 metres and then receiving acupuncture treatments before they had time to catch their breath. The results showed that the heart rates of those who received acupuncture recovered much quicker than those in the no treatment control group.
Another study from the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine a few years ago examined the effect that acupuncture treatment would have on cyclists. A control group of twenty athletes between the ages of 18 and 30 were monitored though three tests each week. They were divided into three groups of acupuncture, sham acupuncture and no acupuncture and then asked to ride a stationary bike for 20km as fast as they could. The study showed that the group who received real acupuncture had higher Rated Perceived Exertion (RPE) scores and completed their test at a higher acceleration when compared with the other groups.
A final study which went on to be published in the American Journal of Acupuncture looked at the effect acupuncture had on work capacity, focusing on anaerobic thresholds. The results showed that those in the acupuncture group were able to perform higher workloads and had lower heart rates throughout the trials when compared to the placebo groups.
These studies are just a small number of the research trials that have been carried out to support acupuncture as a treatment for sports injuries. As a result, Acupuncture is becoming an increasingly used form of treatment for both chronic and acute injuries and is used by over 15,000 practitioners on the NHS.