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Can Acupuncture Treat Muscle Strains?

Can Acupuncture Treat Muscle Strains?

Muscle strains are very common: In fact, they’re one of the most common injuries among both athletes and non-athletes alike. Also called pulled muscles, muscle strains can cause a host of uncomfortable symptoms, and they can interfere with normal movements, too.

With locations in Boonton, Pompton Plains, and Jersey City, New Jersey, Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness is a top-rated provider of custom therapies for muscle strains, including alternative therapies like acupuncture. In this post, our team offers a quick overview of muscle strains and how acupuncture could help you feel better.

Facts about muscle strains

Muscle strains happen when you stretch or extend a muscle beyond its normal capacity. If you stretch a muscle too far, it can rip. Most muscle strains happen when they’re used incorrectly or used repetitively. Strains are also more common when you work out with cold or tired muscles.

Muscle strains are associated with lots of sports activities, like running, throwing, and weight lifting. But everyday activities can cause muscle strains, too, especially if they involve prolonged use of a muscle or strenuous use of an underused muscle. Postural habits like hunching over or slouching can lead to strained muscles, too.

While a muscle strain can occur just about anywhere, common locations include the lower back, shoulders, neck, and calves. Strains cause a variety of symptoms, including pain, tenderness, stiffness, and reduced range of motion, and symptoms can range from mild to severe.

Benefits of acupuncture for muscle strains

Acupuncture uses a series of very thin needles placed in specific spots to trigger natural healing responses. Here are four of the main benefits acupuncture can offer.

Relieving pain

Acupuncture releases natural pain-relieving chemicals called endorphins. These chemicals change the way we perceive pain so symptoms aren’t as severe. During an acupuncture session, we place needles at specific points to trigger the release of endorphins where they’re most needed.

Reducing inflammation

Most muscle strains involve inflammation. While some inflammation may aid in healing, too much inflammation can prolong recovery, interfere with normal healing, and contribute to pain. Acupuncture helps reduce inflammation through specific neural pathways, prompting the release of anti-inflammatory chemicals to set the stage for enhanced healing.

Improving circulation

The thin needles used during an acupuncture session create controlled “injuries” that promote natural healing responses. That includes increasing circulation to the area. Enhanced blood flow helps healing by bringing in oxygen and other nutrients while carting away toxic byproducts associated with injury and inflammation.

Reducing muscle tension

Muscle strain is frequently associated with muscle tension, often causing localized areas of pain and tenderness called trigger points. Acupuncture or a related technique called dry needling may help relieve muscle tension and muscle spasms that can lead to long-term pain and decreased range of motion.

Combined effects

Taken together, the potential benefits of acupuncture promote healing, relieve painful symptoms, and improve range of motion. These benefits can enhance other therapies, like physical therapy, medication, and RICE (rest, ice, compression, and elevation).

Like any medical treatment, acupuncture won’t work for everyone, but for others, it can offer significant benefits that enhance your body’s natural healing responses. To learn more about acupuncture and other techniques that can help relieve your muscle strain, book an appointment online or over the phone at Jersey Integrative Health and Wellness today.

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