athletic injuries and acupuncture

Sports injuries and the body’s response

Acute sports injuries most often include strained muscles and sprained joints. Essentially an acute injury is any injury that occurs suddenly during activity. Muscles are quite frequently strained when they are overstretched, causing a tear to the muscle or tendon. Chronic sports injuries occur when the body’s natural resilience is compromised and weak points in the body break down in response to repetitive strain. In both cases, the body attempts to heal itself, with varying levels of success. The body’s healing response often includes painful swelling and inflammation that in many cases adds to the healing time. 

Acupuncture optimizes the body’s ability to heal itself

The importance of this cannot be stated enough. No matter the shape you are in, our bodies are incredibly resilient for preventing injury in the first place and incredibly adept at healing them once they happen. Unfortunately, the stresses that we put on our bodies often accumulate to become too much- and in this way they can use an extra layer of defense. Acupuncture is the natural force that facilitates the proper movement of energy through your body, allowing the body to heal and recover the way it should.

Acupuncture for athletes in Park Slope

We are specialists in using acupuncture for athletic injuries. Our acupuncture treatment is firmly rooted in Traditional Chinese Medicine and focuses on balancing the athlete’s energy pathways to provide optimal functioning at all points of the athletic process. If you are interested in using acupuncture for optimizing your athletic life, give our office in Park Slope a call to schedule an appointment today. 

scar tissue

The regeneration of tissue after injury is a necessary and standard part of the body’s healing response. The same way a cut on your skin will bleed, scab and scar, a similar process happens on the inside of your body, when trauma (from acute injury or repetitive motion), causes cells to die off. Cells must necessarily regrow and the new fibrotic tissue that forms during the reparative process is often called scar tissue. The main problem is that the new tissue is, by some estimates, only 60% as elastic as the original tissue, meaning that an area with excess scar tissue can be stiff and painful. The problem is worsened when scar tissue adheres to the healthy connective tissue nearby, trapping a region and subjugating it to reduced range of motion and pain.

Chiropractic is an excellent treatment for dispelling excess scar tissue after injury. Modalities such as the Graston Technique, Active Release Technique, and Myofascial Release are effective at breaking up scar tissue and returning mobility to a region. Even simple, targeted massage can get into the knots of tensions known as trigger points and break them up. If scar tissue is adhering to healthy tissue, then there is a force actively pulling your body out of alignment and this can be easily combatted with gentle, hands-on manipulation. 

At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture of Park Slope, we can help determine if your pain and range of motion restriction is caused by scar tissue build up, and if so, treat it effectively and efficiently. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C. 

 

jumping

Bed rest was once the prescribed course of treatment for many debilitating injuries involving back pain and stiffness, including: herniated discs, pulled muscles, muscle spasms and spondyloisthesis, among others. However, time has shown that bed rest can actually be counterproductive to health plans that are attempting to heal an injury and return the sufferer to a, “normal level of activity.” With all but the most serious of back injuries, a health plan that includes a good deal of low-impact activity and stretching is now considered the key to a successful recovery. 

Bed rest can actually delay recovery because it perpetuates a system whereby muscles atrophy and supportive soft tissues weaken. Consider the example of a herniated disc in the lower back, where pain is severe enough to dissuade the sufferer from attempting any activity. As days pass by spent in the illusory, “comfort,” of the sofa and bed, muscles in the core weaken from lack of use, meaning that they cannot be reliably called upon to share the burden of the upper body’s weight with the intervertebral discs. Furthermore, those same discs are losing water and stiffening which makes them vulnerable to injury. 

It seems ridiculous to say, “just get up and get moving,” in this sense. But to give this sufferer the best chance of a successful rehabilitation, we need to help them move somehow depsite the pain. We provide the chiropractic adjustment, acupuncture treatment, spinal decompression, therapetuic massage, and other modalities that will address the injury and reduce pain. From here, we show you how light aerobic activity such as swimming or walking, when combined with proper nutrition and a good dose of stretching, can help you heal quickly and return to a state of normal activity. 

Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac. 

 

well being and fitness

At Community Chiropractic & Acupuncture, we want to get you moving. Movement benefits all aspects of your life, from physical and mental performance to happiness and peace of mind.

For the insatiable athlete, we seek to optimize your mechanical advantage. As you attempt to specialize your body and discipline your muscles, we provide you with chiropractic care that keeps you flexible and free of injury. Our treatment is effective at quickening recovery times and strengthening the body to prevent recurrent injury.

For the incurable couch potato, we begin gently with advice on posture and simple stretches that maintain the balance of your muscles and prevent them from stagnating. Stretches and breathing techniques can be practiced from the comfort of the couch, although we would love to see you trade the TV for a hike on the trail.

For those of us who are incidentally in the middle, we want to ensure your body’s prime state of health so that daily tasks are not burdensome. Exercise strengthens your body and influences your state of mind. Here are the core benefits of exercise:

  • Enhance balance and coordination
  • Improve breathing
  • Increase flexibility
  • Increase strength and endurance
  • Make you more resilient to injury during all phases of physical activity.

Through communication, chiropractic care and consistent application of healthy principles, we can effect positive changes in your life. Do not underestimate the power of a simple stretch or an evening walk: keep your body limber by calling our office in Brooklyn at (718) 398-3100 today.


Dr. Karen Thomas, D.C., L.Ac