Can Acupuncture Help Running Injuries?
As the good weather comes on us, I start to see my patients that are runners as they start to up their mileage as they train. This is especially true for what I call the “seasonal runners.” You are the runners that start training in the spring for all the runs that occur throughout the summer and fall ultimately ending with the Portland marathon and Hood to Coast get’s thrown into the schedule along with a few 5K and 10K runs sprinkled throughout the summer. People will often ask me, “Can acupuncture help running injuries?” And of course it can, AND what my patients have learned is that it’s even better to use it to prevent the injury before it happens.
I found a recommendation for the use of acupuncture from Lisa Rainsberger, who was the winner in the Boston Marathon in 1985 and now coaches. As an aside, no American woman has finished first at the Boston Marathon since Rainsberger won in 1985.
She says “The rigors of training for endurance events like a marathon or a triathlon often cause unwanted overuse injuries. As a former Professional Athlete and winner of the Boston Marathon I have found the hardest part of being an endurance athlete is getting to the starting line healthy. One of the training tools that I personally use and prescribe to the athletes that I now coach is acupuncture; Acupuncture treatments for common overuse injuries can get an athlete up and training again and to the starting line.”
Prevention of injuries is the best medicine!
Not only does it help once you have the injury, but by getting regular treatments, before you actually sustain the injury, it can act as a preventative maintenance strategy, to prevent the injury from occurring in the first place. If you’ve started in that training mode, and are starting to feel the wear and tear, acupuncture help running injuries prevention. As you train for your next event, you now have another tool in your bag to keep healthy.
If you are still feeling the after effects of your post marathon soreness; you may want to get some acupuncture to aid you in the after effects of running a race. Acupuncture is very effective in the recovery as it moves energy and releases lactic acid.
Then there is the Runner Mystery!
One thing that I find fascinating among runners is the mindset of, if it doesn’t hurt, we must not be training hard enough. It’s a phenomenon that I am so curious about. I don’t happen to like pain, so it doesn’t compute with my brain that pain is seen as a “badge of honor” to run through. While I can understand running through the lactic acid burn, or oxygen deprivation pain, both short term lasting effects; it just doesn’t compute running through pain where muscles, ligaments, tendons etc. are being damaged. If someone could explain that to me, I’d feel enlightened. I see no reason to run in pain if you don’t have to. Call me crazy.
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