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Christine Marcarian  
Hackensack, NJ

Active Center for Health and Wellness
Hackensack, NJ
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An effective method of acupuncture for sports injuries: trigger point acupuncture therapy

Oct 24, 2011 - 0 comments







One of the ways acupuncture for sports medicine and injuries is often effective is through acupuncture trigger point therapy.  Trigger points are exquisitely tender points along a connective tissue plane that refer pain to another region in the body.  The idea that a problem is located at the location of the pain is a frequently missed opportunity to solve a particular problem. Many conventional treatments focus on the location of the pain. The actual cause can often be a trigger point that is not located directly where the pain is experienced.
An example of a common sports injury that skilled acupuncturists treat well is plantar fasciitis.  Plantar fasciitis is an often painful inflammatory process of the plantar fascia, the connective tissue on the sole (bottom surface) of the foot.
A skilled acupuncturist in trigger point therapy will examine the fascia under the foot and its related acupuncture meridians, acupuncture points and trigger points.   They will also look at the temperature of the foot – is it hot or cold to the touch?  and ask other questions such as is the patient getting a lot of headaches?  Do they have low back pain? Is the injury chronic or acute? What about the abdomen?  How is their digestion?  Their cycle?  Moods?  Are they sleeping well?  These are all questions that help an acupuncturist figure out how to come up with a treatment protocol.  Once the acupuncturist has completed the intake and determined a constitutional treatment (to support some of those seemingly unrelated things like moods, headaches and digestion), they will check for trigger points in the soleus muscle, which refers pain to the back and bottom of the heel and also to the Achilles tendon.  

Janet Travell, Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, says, “Occasionally, one sees such totally unexpected patterns of pain referred from TrPs in other muscles, which emphasizes the importance of obtaining a detailed and comprehensive pain history.”

Are there any side effects from acupuncture trigger point therapy?
Patients who have these trigger points released will often feel a muscle-twitch sensation followed by pain relief or a decrease in muscle tension in the calf area.  The involuntary twitching can cause a sensation comparable to advanced muscle fatigue.  The sensations are very localized and some soreness can occur for about 24 hours after the treatment.  

Where do trigger points come from?  
Misuse, overuse, stress and injuries.

Is acupuncture trigger point therapy the only way to treat injuries?  
No, trigger point therapy is only one way an acupuncturist can treat a sports injury.  Traditional acupuncture therapy, electro-stimulation, heat, cold, cupping, massage are all other methods a skilled acupuncturist may use in order to help aid a patient in recovery from a sports injury.

How can I find a skilled acupuncturist in trigger point therapy?
When going to see an acupuncturist, ask if they have had any training in trigger point therapy.