Healing Traditions Integrated Wellness    
     7114 W. Jefferson Ave. Suite 208      Lakewood,      Colorado      80235    
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Orthopedic & Sports Related Pain Conditions

 

Orthopedic & Sports Related Conditions and Injuries Treated at

Healing Traditions Integrated Wellness

 

  •  Specializing in the treatment of sports related injuries and pain

  •  Injuries to Muscles, Tendons, Ligaments and Bone (sprains, strains, tears, fractures)

  •  Acute and chronic pain

  •  Musculoskeletal & Orthopedic issues (pain, joint dysfunction, soft tissue injury or strain, muscular-structural imbalances, arthritis)

 


Menu:

Tendonitis | Arthritis/Joint Conditions | Other Injuries/Pain Syndromes | Enhancing Athletic Performance

 

Injuries and Conditions Discussed:

Shoulder | Neck | Elbow | Hand-Wrist | Knee | Hamstring | Hip | Low Back | Leg | Foot/Ankle | Heel


 

TENDONITIS

  • Tendonitis: Inflammation of the Muscle Tendon (site where muscle attaches to bone)

  • Acupuncture has been found to benefit and relieve many types of tendonitis, both acute and chronic. Treatment involves acupuncture to the effected tendon(s), surrounding muscles and soft tissues, thus, increasing micro-circulation and therefore relieving pain, reducing inflammation, and enhancing healing time.

 

  • Commonly Treated "Tendonitis" Conditions with Acupuncture:
    (For a more detailed discussion on the following conditions, please refer to "Injuries and Conditions Discussed" - see below)

    • Shoulder/Rotator Cuff Tendonitis
    • Achilles tendonitis
    • Lateral epicondylitis (“tennis elbow”)
    • Medial epicondylitis (“golfer’s elbow”, “climber’s elbow”)
    • Patellar Tendonitis
    • Shin splints (both anterior and medial)

 

 

ARTHRITIS AND JOINT CONDITIONS

  • Joint & Cartilage Health - Degenerative Joint Conditions and Arthritis often responds well to acupuncture, although treatment may take a bit longer, meaning, the treatments required to decrease and manage the pain, may be more frequent and scheduled closer together, especially at the onset of treatment. Both the knee and the hip are two very common sites of osteoarthritis & joint deterioration and inflammation.  Both are well-treated by the acupuncture techniques used in our clinic. However, smaller joints (ie: in the hand & wrist) may also respond well to acupuncture.  By treating the surrounding soft tissues and fascia, increasing micro-circulation at or near the joint, addressing other structural issues and potential muscular imbalances, as well as, addressing any potential internal &/or metabolic disorders, patients with arthritis or degenerative joint conditions usually experience relief at some level.

    • Nutritional & Collagen Supplementation for Joint Health - Essential support for joint health and cartilage support, is the integration of collagen supplementation with your acupuncture, diet, exercise and training regime.  Healing Traditions Oriental Medicine and Wellness offers doctor formulated, science backed, premium collagen supplements that are highly bioavailable, providing the essential nutrients and protein building blocks needed to support and maintain healthy cartilage and joints.  To Learn More about the Collagen Supplements offered at Healing Traditions Oriental Medicine and Wellness, please Click Here.
       
  • Pain Management of The following Arthritis Conditions May respond Well To Acupuncture:
    (For a more detailed discussion on the following conditions, please refer to "Injuries and Conditions Discussed" - see below)

    • Shoulder joint arthritis and bursitis
    • Knee Osteoarthritis (anterior, medial, or lateral compartments)
    • Arthritis of the Hip
    • Osteoarthritis of the 1st Metatarsal-Phalanges Joint (the “big toe”)
    • Arthritis of the smaller joints of the wrist and hand

 

 

OTHER INJURIES AND PAIN SYNDROMES RESPONDING WELL TO ACUPUNCTURE:

(For a more detailed discussion on the following conditions, please refer to "Injuries and Conditions Discussed" - see below)

 

  • Shoulder Pain & Injury

  • Neck & Upper Back Pain

  • Low Back & Hip Pain

  • Knee Pain & Injury

  • Achilles Tendonitis

  • Plantar Fasciitis

  • Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome

  • Trochanteric Bursitis (hip)

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  • Sprained Ankle

 


ENHANCING ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE

  • If you are training for a specific athletic event, or are a recreational athlete wanting to enjoy your sport to the utmost of your ability, we utilize very specific acupuncture protocols developed by the world renown acupuncture sports medicine expert, Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac, whom Gina has had the honor of directly studying under, personally learning these specific Sport and Athletic Enhancing acupuncture protocols, as well as, continuing to work under and study with Dr. Reaves. 

  • These specific Sport and Athletic Enhancing acupuncture protocols might be of benefit, support and enhancement to both your training and/or time of competition, as well as, increasing and enhancing your ability to perform your given sport. The protocols involve the application of Traditional Chinese & Korean acupuncture techniques and motor point and trigger point therapy via acupuncture, coupled with the knowledge of anatomy, orthopedics and sports medicine.  Some athletes find these treatments to offer “significant” support and enhancement to their performance . For an article recently written for The American College of Sports Medicine, by Dr. Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac, please CLICK HERE.  You can find this article on page 4. 

 

 

INJURIES & CONDITIONS DISCUSSED:

 

SHOULDER

 

Shoulder injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

  •  Rotator Cuff Strain and Tendonitis

  •  Bicepital Tendonitis

  •  Frozen Shoulder

  •  Shoulder impingement syndrome

 

Shoulder Conditions & Injuries Discussed:

  •  Rotator Cuff Tendonitis:

    • Supraspinatus Tendonitis &/or Impingement -
      • Pain in scapula (shoulder blade) referring to side of arm/shoulder.
      • Pain &/or weakness with raising arm to side under resistance.
      • The supraspinatus muscle is one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff, and the most common areas of shoulder tendonitis.
      • Injury is seen with movements relying on overhead motions, such as those in racquet sports, swimming, and throwing in baseball and football, as well as, in hairdressers, painters and in individuals using computers on keyboards whose arms are in a prolonged state of being out in front or to the side of the body.
      • With acute strain, the trauma often occurs as a result of heavy lifting, a fall resulting in landing on the shoulder or an outstretched arm in protection from a fall snowboarding, mountain biking or cycling.
      • Pain at night is especially felt while sleeping on the affected shoulder.
      • Acupuncture is very effective in treating the inflammation and pain associated with supraspinatus tendonitis &/or impingement.
         
    • Infraspinatus Tendonitis  -
      • scapula pain referring to front & side of shoulder and arm.
      • Weakness with externally rotating arm away from body.
      • The Infraspinatus muscle is one of the four muscles of the rotator cuff, and is often involved in shoulder pain.
      • Injury to muscle and its related tendon is seen in numerous types of athletes and active individuals.  If acute, the trauma often occurs with activities such as throwing or due to a fall from skiing, snowboarding, or biking.  If chronic, the injury may be due to micro-trauma from repetitive arm movements seen in activities such as swimming or weight lifting.
      • The onset is gradual and weakness may be felt with certain movements such as with reaching behind (ie: reaching behind to get something from the backseat of your car).
         
  • Frozen Shoulder -
    • Decreased range of Motion of shoulder and arm accompanied by dull, diffuse, aching pain & stiffness
    • "Frozen Shoulder" is not specifically a "precise medical diagnosis".  The "causes" of Frozen Shoulder are poorly understood as texts differ in their description of this pathology.  It is thought that the process of frozen shoulder involves a thickening and contracture of the capsule surrounding the shoulder joint - other wise known as, 'Adhesive Capsulitis'.  'Adhesive Capsulitis' is where adhesions with the joint are responsible for decreased mobility.

  • Bicepital Tendonitis -
    • Pain in the front (anterior) and front-side (anterior-lateral aspect) of the shoulder which may radiate down the biceps muscle.
    • This is a repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the tendon of the biceps muscle as it passes through a groove on the front of the shoulder.
    • The onset is often gradual and is often associated with overhead activities such as tennis movements and throwing.
       
  • Acromial Clavicular Joint (AC Joint) Pain - often referred to as "Shoulder Separation" -
    • Pain and inflammation on the top of the shoulder at the acromial clavicular (AC) joint - where your clavicle/collar bone meets with a bony process of the scapula.
    • An injury due to the separation of the AC Joint and or sprain to the acromial clavicular ligament, characterized by pain, inflammation, and swelling and potential loss of arm motion.  Joint laxity is possible in moderate to severe injuries.
    • Injury to the AC Joint is almost always the result of a sudden, traumatic event that can be attributed to a specific incident or action.  Often seen in sport injuries with skiers, snowboarders, and hockey players, yet it can occur from a simple fall from a skateboard or a ladder.  Injury to the AC Joint can also result from a direct blow to the shoulder experienced in contact sports like football or hockey.
    • When the injury is acute and the damage is not significant, acupuncture can provide immediate relief and quicken the healing time.
    • The trauma to the AC Joint can vary in severity:
      • Grade I - there is sprain, point tenderness, slight swelling and decreased range of motion.  This is minor sprain or slight over stretch to the AC ligament.
      • Grade II - the point tenderness is more significant and some joint laxity may be present.  Pain will also be more pronounced with arm movements, such as raising the arm to the side.
      • Grade III - Is a worsening of the above signs and symptoms with or without complete rupture of the ligament and may require surgery to reattach the stabilizing ligaments.

 

 

NECK PAIN:

  • Characterized by acute stiff neck, also known as Torticollis.

  •  May be chronic neck pain characterized by accompanying shoulder pain or injury

  • Stiffness often accompanies the pain.

  • Pain is often one sided

 

 

ELBOW PAIN:

Elbow injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

  • Lateral Epicondylitis ("Tennis Elbow")

  • Medial Epicondylitis ("Golfer's Elbow") 


Elbow Conditions & Injuries Discussed

 

  • Lateral Epicondylitis ("Tennis Elbow"):

    • Characterized by pain on the outer or lateral portion of the elbow, as well as, pain radiating along the outside of the forearm and it's relating muscles (extensor muscles).
    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the muscles (extensor muscles) of the forearm and their respective tendons.
    • Characterized by dull, intermittent pain.  Acute strain, while rare, results in moderate to severe pain.  Hand and wrist activities usually aggravate the condition.
    • Potential difficulty lifting or grasping objects or unscrewing a lid to a container.
    • While most patients are usually between 30 & 50 years of age, tennis elbow can occur in any age group.
    • Onset is gradual.  There is often no specific traumatic event associated with the start of symptoms.  However, the condition is usually do to activities that require repetitive and vigorous use of the forearm muscles, like tennis and other racquet sports.  Other repetitive activities leading to this condition are: construction work, computer keyboarding and mousing which stress extensor muscles of the forearm.
    • Possible and potential contribution from neck and shoulder tension.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan.
       
  •  Medial Epicondylitis ("Golfer's Elbow" or "Climber's Elbow"):

    • Characterized by pain on the inner or medial portion of the elbow, as well as, pain radiating along the inside of the forearm and it's relating muscles (flexor muscles).
    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation, pain and irritation of the forearm muscle groups (flexors and pronators).
    • Numerous sport and work-related activities can cause this condition.
    • Pain is usually dull and intermittent but also occasionally can be more pronounced. Like many overuse injuries, its onset is usually of gradual nature.
    • Primarily due to overuse activities that involve wrist flexion and pronation.
    • Characterized by difficulty lifting or grasping objects or unscrewing a lid to a container.
    • Possible and potential contribution from neck and shoulder tension.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan.

 

 

HAND-WRIST PAIN:

Hand-Wrist injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome

  •  Wrist Tendonitis/"De Quervain's Tendonitis"

 

Hand-Wrist Conditions & Injuries Discussed:

 

  • Carpal Tunnel Syndrome:

    • Characterized by pain, tingling and numbness in the "Palm" or palmar aspect of the hand, fingers (first three-four digits) and wrist.
    • Pain may range from a dull ache to a sharp and piercing pain which may radiate from the wrist up the forearm, arm and possibly to the neck and shoulder.
    • Symptoms are usually of a gradual onset and may be continuous or intermittent.  Pain is often reported to be worse at night with morning stiffness in the hand and wrist.
    • As the condition worsens, there may be weakness reported or difficulty in grasping objects.
    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by entrapment, compression or irritation to the median nerve in its narrow passageway of the carpal tunnel at the wrist.
    • Repetitive stress from hand motions is usually the suspected cause, and is often associated with onset of symptoms.
    • Construction workers, painters, musicians, individuals who work on computers for long periods (keyboarding and mousing) and massage therapists commonly experience carpal tunnel syndrome.
    • Women are more likely to experience carpal tunnel syndrome than men.  Also, hormonal changes and fluid retention related to pregnancy and menopause, are potential causes, as these hormonal fluctuations can play a role in the changes of strength and function of ligaments.
    • Possible and potential contribution from neck and shoulder tension.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan.
    • If Symptoms are constant and severe, it is recommended that the patient see an orthopedic hand specialist to test nerve conduction and velocity in order to determine the extent of nerve dysfunction.  Surgery may be recommended to prevent irreversible damage.
       
  • Wrist Tendonitis/"De Quervain's Tendonitis":

    • Occurs when the tendons around the base of the thumb are irritated or constricted.  Thickening and inflammation of the tendons can cause pain and tenderness along the thumb side of the wrist. This is particularly noticeable when forming a fist, grasping or gripping things, or when turning the wrist.
    • Pain may appear either gradually or suddenly.  Pain is felt in the wrist and can travel up the forearm.
    • Pain is usually worse when the hand and thumb are in use.  This is especially true when forcefully grasping objects or twisting the wrist.
    • Swelling may be seen over the thumb side of the wrist, making it difficult to move the thumb and wrist.
    • A "catching" or "snapping" sensation may be felt when moving the thumb.
    • Numbness may be experienced on the back of thumb and index finger due to the nerve lying on top of the tendon being irritated.
    • Usually an overuse injury, however, can be seen in association with pregnancy due to fluctuations in hormones effecting the ligaments.
    • May also be experienced in those suffering from inflammatory arthritis, such as rheumatoid arthritis.


KNEE PAIN:

Knee injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Anterior Knee Pain:

    • Patella-Femoral Joint Dysfunction & Chondromalacia:
      • Characterized by pain in the front of the knee or under the "knee cap", aka, the patella.  Pain may also be felt on either side or both sides of the patella or knee cap.
      • A repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the undersurface of the patella.
      • Pain with walking up or down stairs is one of the most likely confirming symptoms.  Pain may also occur with squatting or kneeling. Aggravation upon rising from a seated position occurs following prolonged sitting.
      • There may also be crepitus or a "grating" sensation experienced under the patella (knee cap), and the feeling of the knee giving out is not uncommon.
      • Pain is typically aggravated by activity and relieved by rest.  Stiffness and mild to moderate swelling may also accompany pain.
      • Often and generically referred to as "Osteoarthritis of the knee", this condition accounts for 33% of the population between the ages of 63 and 94 are being affected.  However, athletes such as runners, jumpers and cyclists are typical sufferers.  That being said, patellar or knee cap pain can be seen in all ages and with all levels of activity, even with moderate levels of walking and hiking.
      • May progress into "Chondromalcia" or "Anterior Compartment Arthritis"
        • Chondromalcia - is another condition related to "Patella-Femoral Joint Pain".  Medically, it is described as a premature degeneration or "softening" of the cartilage of the undersurface of the patella or knee cap.
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.  Dysfunction of the foot, the ankle, or the hip, and abnormalities such as leg length discrepancy may all contribute.
      • A wide variety of knee injuries and conditions are commonly seen and treated in our clinic. Anterior knee pain, caused by "Patella-Femoral Joint Syndrome", is, unfortunately, a common condition experienced by a increasing number of patients over the age of 50. This chronic pain syndrome responds to the acupuncture protocol practiced at our clinic - a protocol that was developed by Gina's teacher and mentor, Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac - World Renown Acupuncture Sports Medicine Expert.  Within this protocol, using proper and precise technique, the acupuncture needle reaches the sub-patellar (under the knee cap) region. With the addition of electrical stimulation &/or application of heat (moxibustion), patients usually report this treatment protocol is more effective than any other form of treatment that they have tried. However, patients with patella-femoral joint pain will frequently be referred to a physical therapist for complementary and necessary therapy, which works very well with acupuncture treatment.
         
    • Petallar Tendonitis:
      • Pain in the front of the knee or anterior knee anywhere along the thick tendon originating at the lower portion of the knee cap, aka the "patella" to its attachment site on the shin bone, aka, the tibia.
      • Often called, "Jumper's Knee", Patellar Tendonitis is usually a repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the patellar tendon.  It may also occur as an acute trauma.
      • Volleyball, basketball, runners, walkers, weight lifters and track and field athletes are prone to this condition.
      • The patellar tendon is the attachment of the quadriceps muscle group, and many sports involving forceful knee extension are associated with this condition.  This is especially true with intense "deceleration" activities, like repeated jumping and landing and downhill running.
      • Pain may be sharp during exercise with persistent dull pain experienced during rest and inactivity.  The tendon itself may be swollen and inflamed.
      • Pain is worse with exercise, especially with jumping, running and going up and/or down stairs.
      • Often seen with or accompanying Patella-Femoral Joint Dysfunction (see above).
      • Seen in adolescent boys and girls (between 10-14 years old) during a growth spurt, which is diagnosed as "Osgood-Schlatter's disease.
        • This period of rapid growth causes the tendon to become inflamed and pull away from its attachment to the shin bone (Tibia).
      • Excessive foot pronation and other lower extremity biomechanical imbalances may also be precipitating factors so acupuncture accompanying physical therapy as a part of the treatment regime, is essential.

  • Medial Knee Pain

    • Injury to Medial collateral Ligament (MCL):
      • Characterized by acute pain, inflammation, and swelling in the medial or inner portion of the knee experienced after an injury or trauma.
      • Is an acute injury to the knee due to sprain or tear of the medial collateral ligament (MCL).
      • The MCL spans the inner joint space of the knee from the inner femur or thigh bone to the inner surface of the shin bone or Tibia.  The ligament helps keep the inner or medial side of the knee joint stable.
      • Injury to the ligament, like in all ligaments can range from mild injury (Grade I) to complete rupture at Grade III.
      • The forced involved in an injury to the medial colateral ligament may affect other structures in the knee, including the medial meniscus.
      • Acupuncture treatments will help with the management of pain, swelling stiffness in grade I, mild grade II sprains or during post surgical recovery, as well as, improve the overall function of the knee joint by treating the surrounding soft tissues and fascia, increasing micro-circulation at or near the joint, and addressing other structural issues and potential muscular imbalances.
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
         
    • Medial Meniscus strain/tear:
      • Characterized by acute pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness in the medial or inner portion of the knee along with the feeling that the knee "gives out", following an injury or trauma or due to degeneration of the cartilage itself over time.  Also experienced is a locking, clicking or catching sensation as the torn fragment of the meniscus may be interrupting the joint space on extension of the knee.
      • Is an acute or chronic injury to the knee due to a tear or degeneration of the medial meniscus.
      • The inner or medial side is the most common site of injury to the meniscus.
      • Like the medial colateral ligament, it is injured with forcecful twisting and compressive movements and activities, like those seen in skiing, soccer and basketball.  However, in older patients, the onset might not be from a traumatic event, but rather related to a degenerative process.
      • The forced involved in an injury to the medial colateral ligament may affect other structures in the knee, including the medial meniscus.
      • The meniscus is the cartilage that covers the bottom or inferior surface of the knee joint.  It distributes force around the knee joint, and actually bears as much as 40% of the load transmitted through the joint.5
      • The meniscus has very little blood flow to it's structures.
      • While acupuncture aims at increasing micro-circulation in the joint to aid in the recovery of a mild meniscus tear or strain, the main effect of acupuncture treatment will be in the management of the pain and swelling that accompanies the mild meniscus tear or strain.  With more severe meniscus tears, surgery may be required to remedy the tear once and for all.  Acupuncture is wonderful as a post-surgical recovery treatment.

    • Degenerative Arthritis:
      • Degenerative Arthritis of the medial or inner portion of the knee is more common than degenerative arthritis of the lateral knee compartment.
      • Characterized by chronic pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness of the medial knee due to medial compartment osteoarthritis.
      • Pain is experienced on the medial side or inner portion of the knee and is diffuse and chronic in nature.  There may be deep aching sensations felt in the knee joint and is often accompanied by stiffness in the morning.  Osteoarthritis of the knee is typically worse with prolonged activity, as well as, with weight bearing exercises and activities, and is alleviated with rest
      • May be associated with prior injury or from chronic degeneration of the joint surfaces.
      • Sources suggest that 33 percent of individuals between the ages of 63 and 94 are affected by osteoarthritis in one of the three compartments of the knee.5
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
         
  • Lateral Knee Pain:

    • Ilio-Tibial Band Syndrome ("IT Band Syndrome"):
      • Characterized by sharp, pain, stiffness and possible popping or snapping sensation in the "lateral' or "outer portion" of the knee and thigh during activities such as running  and is frequently worse with going up and/or down stairs and when walking or running hills.  It is often associated with a change in training, such as increased mileage, hill training or speed training.
      • Sometimes referred to as, "Runner's Knee", IT Band Syndrome is a repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the "ilio-tibial (IT) band as the IT band repetitively slides over the outer portion of the knee during flexion and extension of the knee.
      • It is estimated that up to eight percent of long distance runners are affected by IT Band Syndrome.6  Some studies suggest that up to 12 percent of all running-related injuries are from stress to the ilio-tibial band.6
      • Acupuncture serves as a very effective treatment modality to relieve the pain and tightness associated with IT Band Syndrome.
      • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and supination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
         
    • Lateral Collateral Ligament Strain (LCL):
      • Characterized by acute pain, inflammation, and swelling in the lateral or outer portion of the knee experienced after an injury or trauma.  Also experienced is locking or catching of the knee with movement, the feeling of the knee giving way when it is stressed in certain ways.
      • Is an acute injury to the knee due to sprain or tear of the lateral collateral ligament (LCL).
      • Lateral collateral ligament (LCL) injury is an injury to the ligament on the outer side of the knee.
      • It can be a stretch, partial tear, or complete tear of the ligament.
      • The lateral collateral ligament (LCL) goes from the top part of the fibula (the bone on the outside of the lower leg) to the outside part of the lower thigh bone.  The ligament helps keep the outer side of the knee joint stable.
      • The LCL is usually injured by pressure or an injury that pushes the knee joint from the inside, which results in stress on the outside part of the joint.
      • This ligament is often injured during significant trauma, including knee dislocations and is common for injuries to the LCL to occur with other ligament injuries. When injuries to other ligaments also occur, surgery may be needed to prevent future instability of the knee.
      • The forced involved in an injury to the Lateral Colateral Ligament may affect other structures in the knee, including the lateral meniscus.
      • Acupuncture treatments will help with the management of pain, swelling stiffness in grade I, mild grade II sprains or during post surgical recovery, as well as, improve the overall function of the knee joint by treating the surrounding soft tissues and fascia, increasing micro-circulation at or near the joint, and addressing other structural issues and potential muscular imbalances.
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
         
    • Lateral Meniscus Strain/Tear:
      • Characterized by acute pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness in the lateral or outer portion of the knee along with the feeling that the knee "gives out", following an injury or trauma or due to degeneration of the cartilage itself over time.  Also experienced is a locking, clicking or catching sensation as the torn fragment of the meniscus may be interrupting the joint space on extension of the knee.
      • Is an acute or chronic injury to the knee due to a tear or degeneration of the medial meniscus.
      • The inner or medial side is the most common site of injury to the meniscus.
      • Like the lateral colateral ligament, it is injured with forceful twisting and compressive movements and activities, like those seen in skiing, soccer and basketball.  However, in older patients, the onset might not be from a traumatic event, but rather related to a degenerative process.
      • The forced involved in an injury to the lateral colateral ligament may affect other structures in the knee, including the lateral meniscus.
      • The meniscus is the cartilage that covers the bottom or inferior surface of the knee joint.  It distributes force around the knee joint, and actually bears as much as 40% of the load transmitted through the joint.5
      • The meniscus has very little blood flow to it's structures.
      • While acupuncture aims at increasing micro-circulation in the joint to aid in the recovery of a mild meniscus tear or strain, the main effect of acupuncture treatment will be in the management of the pain and swelling that accompanies the mild meniscus tear or strain.  With more severe meniscus tears, surgery may be required to remedy the tear once and for all.  Acupuncture is wonderful as a post-surgical recovery treatment.

    • Degenerative Arthritis:
      • Degenerative Arthritis of the lateral knee is less common than degenerative arthritis of the medial knee.
      • Characterized by chronic pain, inflammation, swelling and stiffness of the lateral knee due to lateral compartment osteoarthritis.
      • Pain is experienced on the lateral side or outer portion of the knee and is diffuse and chronic in nature.  There may be deep aching sensations felt in the knee joint and is often accompanied by stiffness in the morning.  Osteoarthritis of the knee is typically worse with prolonged activity, as well as, with weight bearing exercises and activities, and is alleviated with rest
      • May be associated with prior injury or from chronic degeneration of the joint surfaces.
      • Sources suggest that 33 percent of individuals between the ages of 63 and 94 are affected by osteoarthritis in one of the three compartments of the knee.5
      • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

 

 

POSTERIOR THIGH PAIN:

Posterior Thigh injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Hamstring Strain:

    •  Characterized by pain, spasm, and stiffness of the back of the thigh along the course of the hamstring muscle group.
    • An acute injury with strain to one or more of the hamstring muscles and their related tendons.  Chronic cases may be due to repetitive stress.
    • Acute hamstring strain is usually of sudden onset, and pain is felt in the back of the thigh.  A "popping" noise or feeling a "tearing" sensation is often reported.
    • Hamstring strain is a common injury to all athletes and active individuals, including runners, hikers, jumpers, weight lifters, power lifters, yoga practitioners, soccer players, and basketball players.  Activities that lend themselves prone to hamstring strain usually involve some form of rapid acceleration and deceleration, such as sprinting, running hills, jumping, or sudden bursts of speed in sports such as soccer, hockey, power lifting and basketball.
    • Hamstring strain involves muscle fibers that are overly stretched or moderately torn indicating a grade I or moderate grade II injury.  These cases will respond well and fast to acupuncture. 
    • A grade III injury to the hamstring muscle group is indicative of a severely torn muscle requiring further orthopedic evaluation, immobilization and possibly surgery.
    • Releasing muscular tension in the hamstring muscle group can benefit many pain patterns presenting the butt (gluteal), lower back and sacrum, and hip regions.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

 

HIP PAIN:

Hip injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Trochanteric Bursitis of Hip:

    • Characterized by pain (sharp or dull in nature) in the hip, butt (gluteal region) and outer portion (lateral) of the thigh, with the pain potentially radiating down the outer portion of the thigh towards the knee.  Some patients also report a "snapping" or "popping" sensation during walking or running due to the ilio-tibial band (IT Band) snapping over an inflamed trochanteric bursa (hip bursa).

    • Some patients report pain is worse with lying on the effected side, such as during sleeping.

    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation of the "trochanteric bursa" of the hip.

    • Trochanteric Bursitis is usually chronic in nature, with a gradual onset, and may be due to repetitive stress.  However, it can be seen acutely after an injury, such as a fall on the outer hip or a direct blow in football or other contact sports.

    • When the bursa is inflamed, pain may be triggered from lower-extremity activities such as running, soccer and football.  However, discomfort can come from movements as simple as walking. 

    • It may also be associated with a change in mileage, or with the integration of hill or speed training as it relates to running.  A change in shoe or running surface may also be contributing factors.

    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and supination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.

    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Hip Flexor Strain:

    • Hip flexor injury is very common in sports, especially soccer, football, and running/hill running. Caused by explosive movements, injury to these muscles can be painful, and inhibiting.

    • Characterized by a 'pulling sensation" causing pain (often sharp in nature) in the upper, front part of the thigh, as well as, pain felt into the groin.

    • Pain and pulling are often worse with activity, in addition to, after a rest period as the muscles tighten up.  The muscles in the area of concern can be loosened up, but once again becoming aggravated with increased activity, especially with movements such as, lifting your knee toward your chest.

    • Running, jumping, and even walking can be painful, and your sports performance very likely will be limited.

    • Small amount of swelling is possible, but this is not very common. Muscle spasm and bruising may also occur, depending on the severity of the injury.

    • The hip flexors are made up of three different muscles.

      • The Rectus Femoris:
        The Rectus Femoris is one of the quadriceps muscles, and also helps with knee extension (straightening leg)

      • Psoas Major:
        The illiopsoas group runs from the lower spine and pelvis to the femur. Combined with the illiacus muscle, it is a major flexor of the trunk at the pelvis. In fact, it is considered the most powerful flexor of the thigh.

      • Illiacus:
        Flexes and rotates the thighs at the hip; flexes torso and pelvis onto thigh.

    • These muscles work together to help flex the hip, and to provide stability for the lower extremity.

    • Onset of hip flexor strain is often acute, and patient is usually aware of when he/she strained the area.

    • The patient usually remembers the one specific instance when he/she felt their hip flexor pull. Hip flexor strain can occur during the initiation of a sprint, increasing your speed during a run, running while making a cut to one side or the other, or kicking a ball.

    • Tight muscles and poor flexibility will contribute to hip flexor injury. When muscles are tight, there is an increased amount of tension on the tissues. When this increased tension is added to by an explosive movement, injury can occur. Acupuncture can very much help with releasing bound up tension causing pain in this muscle group, as well as, encourage an increase in blood flow to the area.

    • Hip flexor strain can also be caused by compensation for other injuries, or weakness of other muscles. This is common if you have core muscle weakness. When the lower abdominal muscles do not stabilize the pelvis, the hip flexor muscles will try to compensate for this weakness and become overworked.

    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.
       

  • Arthritis of the Hip:

    • Characterized by pain, stiffness, and limited range of motion of the hip joint.  Pain may radiate into the groin.
    • Considered a repetitive stress injury or osteoarthritis characterized by chronic degeneration of the joint surfaces.
    • Like with other cases of chronic arthritis, exercise and weight bearing activities aggravate the patient, and arthritic hip symptoms are relieved by rest.
    • Acupuncture provides significant pain relief in the management of arthritis of the hip.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

 

LOW BACK (Lumbar) PAIN:

Low Back injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Strain:

    • Characterized by acute or chronic low back pain and spasm due to the strain of the Quadratus Lumborum muscle deep to the paraspinal muscles (muscles on either side of the spine) of the low back.
    • Can be seen with acute strain or sprain of the low back due to movements involving lifting or twisting, motor vehicle accidents, trauma and falls.  Also seen in athletes such as golfers, tennis players and cyclists (during hill climbing) due to the twisting mechanics in these sports.
    • May also be a source of chronic or lingering lumbar-sacral pain due to poor posture and positions during sleep and sitting.
    • Common characteristic pain patterns and presentations of QL Strain:
      • Pain and muscle guarding are one sided.  There may be central back pain, as well as, muscular tension on either side of the spine, however, when there is an additional sharp or a dull ache, that is shifted to one side, the QL should be suspected as being involved.
      • Pain may also radiate toward the hip.
      • Patient's torso may be flexed to the side of hip with accompanying hip elevation on the same side.
    • The QL is frequently taut and guarded with lumbar disc lesions, sacro-iliac joint dysfunction/inflammation, hip pain and sciatica, as the QL functions to stabilize the lumbar spine and pelvis.
      • The QL functions to control or "brake" side bending to the opposite side.
      • Initiates side bending or lateral flexion to the same side.
      • The QL is also though to stabilize the last rib (12th rib) for inhalation and forced exhalation.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Sacro-Iliac (SI) Joint Pain:

    • Sacroiliac joint pain is well usually very localized with referral pain that wraps towards the hip and/or down into the lower extremity.
    • The patient may feel the need to sit on the opposite side of the buttocks.
    • The pelvis may have a feeling of instability to the patient.
    • The Sacroiliac joint transmits the weight of the upper body to the hip joint and is also acts as a shock absorber from forces coming from the ground upward.  This joint is supported by a very strong ligament found on both the front and back of the joint.
    • Movement at the sacroiliac joint is limited in range but varies considerably between individuals, as well as, between males and females.
      • Males have thicker and stronger sacroiliac ligaments holding the joint in place which allows for greater strength and less vulnerability to injury.
      • Females have more laxity in the ligaments decreasing structural strength of the joint.  This laxity increases with monthly hormonal fluctuations (ie:increases in estrogen) with the joint becoming much more mobile during pregnancy and childbirth.
    • Sacroiliac joint dysfunction usually involves a one sided pelvic rotation.
    • Acute Sacroiliac joint sprains most often occur when the sacrum and ilium (pelvis bone) are jammed into each other.  This occurs from two mechanisms:
      • The first is common to all sports where the athlete lands abruptly onto the butt (gluteal) region.
      • The second mechanism occurs when athletes land on a straight leg following a jump, having failed to bend the knee which would have absorbed the shock of the landing, thus leading to this force being transmitted to the Sacroiliac joint.  This occurs in track sports such as in the long jump when the long jumper misjudges  the landing or perhaps when a soccer or football player gets bumped by an opponent and lands on a straight leg.
    • Non-traumatic conditions causing Sacroiliac joint pain are due to:
      • A repetitive pattern of joint motions that have a cumulative effect on the joint such as repetitive, one sided, twisting motions seen in sports such as golfing and tennis, which lead to muscular imbalances offsetting the Sacroiliac joint.
      • Occupations that require sitting for long periods of time.
    • The sacroiliac joint pain associated with non-traumatic conditions, usually arises in a gradual manner or the patient may report awakening with the pain with no recollection of prior injury.
    • In non-traumatic sacroiliac joint injuries, pelvic rotation and muscle imbalances are always found.
    • Acupuncture will address the sacroiliac joint itself, as well as, surrounding  and supporting muscles and soft tissues, releasing tightness and stagnation.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Soft Tissue Injury of Low Back:

    • Soft tissue injuries are the most common and frequent injuries in the low back/lumbar region.
    • Rotation of the pelvis, muscle imbalances, inflexibility and degenerative conditions all contribute to the susceptibility of a soft tissue injury.
    • Symptoms often appear after lifting or turning rapidly, although they can also occur from light, exertional activities.
    • The pain is located in a fairly fixed position.  A sudden sharp pain may be felt in the immediate region with eventual muscle spasm around the area, creating a protective stiffness.
    • The Low back will present with stiffness and posture may be asymmetrical with the back bent to one side as a result of muscle spasm preventing normal motion.
    • Marked Limitation in motion is a key symptom.
    • The patient can usually recall the incident that created the pain and often direct the practitioner to the injured area.
    • An episode of low back pain lasting more than 2 weeks leads to muscle atrophy and subsequent weakening due to pain inhibition.  This process leads to muscle atrophy and subsequent weakening, which in turn causes more low back pain due to the lack of structural integrity unless properly treated.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Facet Joint Irritation:

    • Characterized by a sudden pain in the lumbar region with a locking-up sensation.
    • To prevent excessive motion, over-twisting or toppling over, the segments of the spine are stabilized by a number of structures that nonetheless preserve the flexibility needed to turn, look around and get around. The facet joints, or joints with “small faces” are found at every spinal level (except at the top level) and provide about 20% of the torsional (twisting) stability in the neck and low back.
    • Facet joints are located in back part or posterior aspect of the spine.
    • These joints combine with the disc space to create a three-joint complex at each vertebral level.
    • The facet joint consists of two opposing bony surfaces with cartilage on each side, lubricated with fluid and enveloped with a capsule surrounding it.  The combination of the cartilage and fluid allows the joint to move with little friction.
    • Each facet joint is positioned at each vertebral level to provide the needed limits to motion, especially to rotation and to prevent forward slipping (spondylolisthesis) of that vertebra over the one below.
    • Facet joints are in almost constant motion with the spine and quite commonly simply wear out or become degenerated in many patients.
    • Chronic irritation to the facet joint(s) causes the cartilage to break down, resulting in more friction.  Eventually, there is a loss of motion in the low back leading to increased stiffness and pain in the low back.
    • With acute trauma, the facet joint may become "locked", thus impinging the joint resulting in protective muscle spasms.
    • Typically, low back pain from facet joint impingement is most pronounced first thing in the morning.  Throughout the day, normal movement causes fluid to build up in the joint space, thus becoming better lubricated, which decreases the pain.  As the day progresses, the pain typically becomes worse again as more stress is applied across the joint.
    • Pain and stiffness are made worse with inactivity and rest and relieved or better with movement.
    • Palpable tenderness to the side of the spine with the facet joint irritation.
    • Low back pain from the facet joints often radiates down into the buttocks and down the back of the upper leg. The pain is rarely present in the front of the leg, or rarely radiates below the knee or into the foot, as pain from a disc herniation often does.
    • Typically, there will be more discomfort while leaning backward than while leaning forward.
    • Acupuncture will address the stiffness and pain in the low back associated with facet joint irritation, by treating the surrounding and supporting muscles and soft tissues, thus, releasing tightness and stagnation.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  •  Pain associated with Lumbar Disc InJury and Degeneration:

    • Signs and symptoms of a lumbar disk injury vary from localized to radiating nerve pain and/or nerve sensations (neuropathies) caused by exiting spinal nerve root compression.  Motor and/or sensory impairments such as heel drop, toe drop, numbness, are seen with severe disc degeneration.
    • Onset of symptoms occur gradually, but pain can also be the result of an acute trauma. 
    • Wear and tear of the discs are related to repetitive stress with symptoms increasing proportionate to the amount of pressure the effected disc is experiencing.
    • Intervertebral discs are predisposed to injury from repetitive stress and activities that require simultaneous load bearing compression and lumbar flexion that is more than within normal range of motion.  Also, excessive trunk rotation has also been  shown to tear and compress disk fibers.
    • Acupuncture can be a helpful adjunct therapy in the management of pain and some neuropathies associated with disc injury and degeneration or those recovering from back surgeries.  Acupuncture can address and release bound up, tight and guarding surrounding muscle tissue, as well as, encourage an increase in blood flow to the area and supporting tissues.  Acupuncture cannot reverse the degeneration of a disc. 
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

 

 

LEG PAIN: 

Leg injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Anterior Shin Splints (Anterior Tibial Stress Syndrome) & Anterior Tibialis Tendonitis:

    • Anterior Shin Splints is the common term for the what is termed, "Anterior tibial stress syndrome".  Shin Splints are a frequent sports injury as it comprises approximately 60% of all leg pain injuries.5
    • Anterior Shin Splints are generally considered a repetitive stress injury with strain to one or more of the anterior or front compartment muscles of the lower leg.  This includes the "anterior tibialis", the extensor digitorum longus and the extensor hallucis longus muscles.
    • Characterized by pain and tenderness along the outside, front portion of the leg.  The pain ranges from a dull ache to a sharp pain, depending on the extent of the injury.  Pain is experienced with both passive and resisted dorsi flexion (flexing toes to the nose).
    • Aggravated by from running, with increased speed, and incorporation of hill training.  However, other lower-extremity activities can also strain these muscles.
    • Acupuncture can be very effective in treating and relieving Shin Splints.
    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and supination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Medial Shin Splints (Posterior Tibial Stress Syndrome) & Posterior Tibialis Tendonitis:

    • Medial Shin Splints is the common term for the what is termed, "Medial Tibial Stress Syndrome".  Shin Splints are a frequent sports injury as it comprises approximately 60% of all leg pain injuries.5
    • Medial Shin Splints are generally considered a repetitive stress injury with strain to one or more of the medial (towards the midline of body) compartment muscles of the lower leg.  This includes the "posterior tibialis", as the most probable site of injury.
    • Characterized by pain and tenderness along the inside, front portion of the leg and tibia or shin bone.  The pain ranges from a dull ache to a sharp pain, depending on the extent of the injury.  Pain is experienced with both passive and resisted dorsi flexion (flexing toes to the nose), as well as, with passive and resisted inversion of the foot (turning bottom of the foot inward).
    • Pain is also experienced closer to the inside of the ankel or wrapping around the both the front and inside of the ankle.
    • Aggravated by from running, with increased speed, and incorporation of hill training.  However, other lower-extremity activities can also strain these muscles.
    • Acupuncture can be very effective in treating and relieveing Shin Splints.
    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and suppination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

       

FOOT PAIN:

Foot injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Ankle Sprain:

    • One of the most common of all sport injuries.

    • Ankle sprains can occur while running, jumping on uneven surfaces, during quick, lateral movements, often seen in sports such as soccer, football or basketball or in activities such as hiking or dancing.

    • With the common "Lateral Ankel sprain" - the ankle rolls out to the side overly stretching the supporting ligmaments of the ankle.  Occasionally a loud "snap" or "pop" is heard at the time of the sprain, followed by pain, swelling, and bruising.

    • Muscle spasms may result, as well as, stiffness and decreased range of motion.  Pain may radiate up the outside of the lower leg or it may radiate into the top part of the foot and ankle.

    • Ankle sprains, like all injuries to ligaments, are classified by the degree of severity. 

      • Grade I sprains - are the most common, and require the least amount of treatment and rehabilitation.  The ligaments may be streteched without any significant instability experienced.

      • Grade II - the ligaments are partially torn with the possibility of minor ankle instability.  Both Grade I and moderate grade II sprains can be easily treated with acupuncture.

      • Severe Grade II and Grade III sprains - sustain significant ligament damage and require evaluation by an orthopedic physician.  Fracture, tendon injury and other pathology might require medical procedures beyond acupuncture treatment.
         

  • Plantar Fascitis (see below under "Heel Pain"):

  • Pain of the First MTP (Metatarsal Phalange) Joint of the Big Toe:

    • Pain, stiffness and decreased range of motion of the first metatarsal phalange joint of the big toe.  The big toe may appear swollen with obvious inflammation.
    • Osteoarthritis and degeneration of the MTP joint is associated with repetitive stress or prior injury.
    • Pain is usually worse with walking, or with other weight bearing activities
    • It is often chronic and commonly affects patients over 50 years of age.  However, this condition can also arise from acute situations such as "stubbing" the toe while walking, as well as, from a variety of injuries involving hyper-flexion or hyper-extension during sports activities.
    • The entire treatment protocol usually includes physical therapy to assist in range of motion, in addition to acupuncture therapy, as well as, orthodics to correct the biomechanical imbalances of the foot, usually prescribed by a foot specialist.

  •  Metatarsal Neuroma (Morton's Neuroma):

    • Metatarsal neuroma, also known as "Morton's Neuroma", is a source of often severe, annoying and nagging foot pain.  Often described as swelling and inflammation of the inter-digital nerve betwen the second and third, third and fourth, and occasionally the fourth and fith metatarsal bones of the foot. 

    • Pain can range from a dull ache to a sharp and shooting pain.  Pain can radiate and be described as a burning sensation with accompanying numbness and tingling.  Sypmtoms primarily are experienced on the top of the foot, however, patients can experience pain deep in the foot or in the bottom or ball of the foot.

    • Repetitive compression of these nerves between the metatarsal spaces of the foot results in irritation and inflammation.  Acupuncture treatment can treat this area with precision and at least 50% of patients with this condition experience pain relief and a decrease in inflammation and irritation from acupucnture treatment.

    • Often seen in runners, hikers and jumpers.  However, this condition is not confined to the athletic community.

    • The pain is related to the amount of time spent in lower extremity activities and is also associated with tight and restrictive shoes.  While pronation of the footis considered the most likely cause, other biomechanical imbalances may contribute.

    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and suppination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.

 

  

HEEL PAIN:

Heel injuries and conditions that respond well to acupuncture:

 

  • Achilles Tendonitis:

    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by pain, inflammation, and swelling of the heel at the achilles tendon.  The entire calf muscle group may be affected, and crepitus may be felt on ankel movements.
    • A common symptom of Achileles Tendonitis is stiffness usually experienced in the morning with first steps or after prolonged sitting or rest.  Stiffness often diminishes as the tendon "warms up", but will then return again during or after activities such as hiking or running.
    • Commonly inflammed and irritated from the repetitive stress associated with lower-extremity focused sports, like running.  Running produces forces up to 10 times the individual's body weight within the achilles tendon.6
    • The achilles tendon is the largest and strongest tendon of the body, serving as the attachment to the heel or calcaneus for the two main calf muscles (gastrocnemius and soleus muscles).
    • The onset of Achilles Tendonitis is usually gradual and is frequently associated with a change in training, such as increased mileage or incorporating hill or speed training.  A change in running shoe or surface may also be contributing to the condition.
    • Acupuncture is VERY successful in treating Achilles Tendonitis.  Most patients can be helped, if not totally relieved from this condition with properly executed acupuncture treatment.
    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and suppination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.

  • Plantar Fasciitis:

    • Pain and stiffness in the heel and bottom or plantar aspect of the foot.
    • Pain and stiffness in heel, bottom and arch of foot are worse in the morning upon taking your first steps, or upon standing after prolonged periods of sitting or rest.  The symptoms may be relieved and or alleviated as the area is warmed up and stretched with moderate activity.
    • Runners will commonly report there is no pain during the early stages of running, but that pain will return towards the end or after the workout.
    • A repetitive stress injury characterized by inflammation and irritation of the Plantar Fascia, the connective tissue that supports the arch of the foot.  Some sources say that micro tears in the fascia at or near the attachment is indicative of Plantar Fasciitis.
    • The most common cause of heel pain, occuring in all varieties of athletic and active individuals. 
    • Commonly seen in runners, and have been said to account for as many as 10% of all running injuries.
    • However, walking and standing on a hard surface may also contribute to the onset of Plantar Fasciitis and its related symptoms.
    • Obesity is often related to non-athletic cases of Plantar Fasciitis.  Being overweight is seen in as many as 40% of male and 90% of female patients with Plantar Fasciitis.5
    • The onset of Plantar Fasciitis is usually gradual and is frequently associated with a change in training, such as increased mileage or incorporating hill or speed training.  A change in running shoe or surface may also be contributing to the condition.  May also be seen more acutely after strenous bouts of activity.
    • Acupuncture can be very effective in treating and relieveing plantar fasciitis.
    • Evaluation of foot biomechanics via a foot specialist and/or a Physical Therapist, is potentially an important aspect to treatment as both excessive foot pronation and suppination, as well as, other lower-extremity biomechanical imbalances may need to be corrected.
    • Including physical therapy modalities very much compliments the acupuncture treatment plan, as correction of the biomechanical and muscle imbalances is essential to treatment, recovery and or relief.  When there are biomechanical imbalances, repetitive stress results in inflammation, irritation, and pain.  


 

 

References:

  1. Reaves, Whitfield: The Acupuncture Handbook of Sports Injuries and Pain: A Four Step Approach to Treatment.  First Edition.  Hidden Needle Press, Boulder Colorado, 2009
  2. Travell & Simmons: Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Volume 1 (The Upper Extremities). Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 1983
  3. Travell & Simmons: Myofascial Pain and Dysfunction: The Trigger Point Manual, Volume 2 (The Lower Extremities). Williams & Wilkins, Philadelphia, 1992
  4. Callison, M: Motor Point Index.  AcuSport Seminar Series LLC, San Diego, 2007
  5. Dutton, M: Orhtopedics Examination, Evaluation, and Intervention, Second Edition.  McGraw-Hill, USA, 2008
  6. http://emedicine.medscape.com/sports_medicine
  7. http://www.spine-health.com/conditions/arthritis/facet-joint-disorders-and-back-pain
  8. www.sports-injury-info.com
  9. Note: The above information also includes information resourced from personal Apprenticeship notes with Whitfield Reaves, O.M.D., L.Ac: Boulder, Colorado, 2008
  10. Note: The above information also includes information resourced from personal lecture notes from Matt Callison's, M.S., L.Ac Seminar: Common Injuries to the Low Back and Hip, Boulder, Colorado, 2008

 

 

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