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More than half of all recreational runners will find themselves hurt at some point during the year. Some of those running injuries may heal themselves with just a little time off, some complimentary strength training, Chiropractic, Acupuncture, adjunctive care or any combination of these. Others may go from nagging to chronic to acute, and require more intense interventions to get you back on the road or trail. And whether you’re chasing Olympic gold, personal records or just a few moments of peace, a recovery plan that involves NOT running is one most runners don’t like to consider. It’s usually when runners hear or fear the worst that they begin looking for alternatives like acupuncture.
People of all walks have looked to acupuncture to treat injuries and illness for thousands of years. This ancient practice involves inserting hair-thin needles into the skin to stimulate or block the flow of energy along specific points on the body. That energy, function, or Qi, flows along a system of “rivers” or meridians mapped on the body. Acupuncture aim to restore a balanced flow of that energy when it is blocked or otherwise compromised.
Certainly not every ache or pain brought on by running requires a sentence strapped to the sofa or the stationary bike. Serious pain or injuries should start with a diagnosis and proper evaluation to determine the cause and the best course of treatment. Acupuncture is an effective treatment for the most common running injuries like strains and sprains and tight hamstrings, to ITB syndrome, patellar tendonitis (runner’s knee), plantar fasciitis, Morton’s neuroma, and piriformis syndrome.
Acupuncture is not only an effective stand-alone treatment for pain associated with common running injuries, but also an excellent complimentary treatment to speed recovery from serious injury or surgeries. Acupuncture’s ability to channel energy toward the injured area and restore the body’s natural balance can work harmoniously with other “alternative” treatments like chiropractic, massage and Active Release Technique (ART), and traditional “Western” practices.
Dr. Scott Greenapple is a fellow of the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture and has studied under some of the top sports acupuncturists in the world. He continues to study and is pursuing his diplomat status as a Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner applying its application to whole body healing and wellness, injury treatment and prevention. Dr. Greenapple is also certified in Dry needling and has studied at one of the top schools for dry needling located in Boulder Colorado. If you’re suffering from a running injury, sports injury or are interested in performance enhancement, schedule a consultation with Dr. Greenapple to learn how acupuncture can be part of your recovery plan.