The Lowcountry is a sports lover's paradise, offering a wealth of outdoor activities to choose from. If you live in one of the retirement communities such as Sun City, chances are you are out there playing pickleball! But with all that activity comes the risk of injury. As a licensed acupuncturist, I frequently treat patients who have suffered sports-related injuries such as tennis elbow, sprains and strains, sore backs, swollen joints, and even broken bones. Fortunately, acupuncture can be an effective treatment for these and other sports injuries.
To help you avoid sprains and other sports injuries, let's start with the basics. According to Mayoclinic.com, a sprain is a stretching or tearing of ligaments that connect one bone to another in your joints. The most common location for a sprain is the ankle, and symptoms include pain, swelling, bruising, and limited joint mobility. A strain, on the other hand, is a stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. Strains can occur in the lower back and hamstring muscles in the back of the thigh, among other places. Symptoms include pain, swelling, muscle spasms, and limited muscle mobility.
If you experience any of the following symptoms, seek medical attention immediately:
To prevent sports injuries, it's essential to strengthen, stretch, and rest. Plan your return to your favorite activity carefully and gradually increase your endurance. Perform exercises that use the same muscles you'll be using in your sport, and stretch those muscles to their full range of motion. Finally, listen to your body and rest when you feel fatigued.
If you do experience a sports injury, remember the acronym R.I.C.E. - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation. And don't forget to see your acupuncturist. Acupuncture can reduce inflammation and pain, speed up your healing process, and get you back on the playing field faster.
Enjoy the sports season safely and injury-free with the help of acupuncture!