You recently injured yourself and you’re wondering what the next step is in the treatment process. Acupuncture likely does not come to the top of your mind, but think again. It can help you on your road to recovery more than you may think.

So what are some injuries you should treat with acupuncture? 
What you need to know about acupuncture

1)    Shin Splints

This comes up most often in long distance runners. The constant impact can cause pain either in front of the tibia (shin bone) or behind it. It can also occur in people who walk a lot on hard surfaces and perhaps don’t wear the right footwear resulting in excessive use of the foot extensors muscles. Acupuncture can help decrease the tension in these muscles, which is often difficult to treat with massage or rollers and achieve lasting results.

2)    Sprained Ankle

Usually after an ankle sprain people will ice it for a few days, hobble around a bit and gradually begin to weight bear again. Depending on the severity they may go see their family doctor to make sure it’s not broken or decide to do a few weeks of physiotherapy to help the ligaments heal properly. Often, once the pain goes away so does compliance to the rehabilitation process.  This injury is very important to treat early to avoid repeated injuries later on. Acupuncture can help decrease scar tissue formation and improve proprioception (knowing the position of your foot), which is decreased after an ankle sprain.

3)    Whiplash

Most often whiplash is associated with a car accident, however it can occur in many types of sports.  I personally experienced several whiplash injuries from wakeboarding when I would catch an edge and hit the water. Acupuncture was one of the most helpful forms of treatment for me. A tackle in football, a hit from behind in hockey, all these could cause whiplash and yet because these injuries are not usually associated with whiplash many people have a hard time determining the cause of their neck pain. Acupuncture is able to target the specific muscles and ligaments affected by whiplash mostly due to the formation of scar tissue.

The next time you have an injury or are experiencing pain, try using acupuncture as part of your recovery treatment plan.