Whether you’re competing in triathalons, squeezing in some cardio at the gym, or simply enjoy jogging around your neighborhood, running can take a toll on the body. Among other things, runners may experience knee pain, hip pain, plantar fasciitis, inflammation, and fatigue. The good news is, acupuncture can help!
1. Runners are notorious for having inactive lateral glute muscles, which are responsible for providing pelvic stability as you move forward. When your lateral glute muscles aren’t engaged, the femur rotates inward causing the hip to collapse. Over time, this excessive motion increases instability in the knees, feet and ankles. Runners are prone to this because they often focus on training the quads and calves, overlooking the smaller muscles responsible for pelvic stabilization.
Acupuncture can activate these glute muscles, restoring the connection between butt and brain, enabling you to better maintain the hip stability necessary to avoid injury and pain.
2. The repetitive stress of running takes a toll on the lines of fascia, the connective tissue that links cells together. Runners often hold excess tension in both the back and lateral fascial lines, including the Achilles, hamstrings, calves, paraspinals, iliotibial band, tensor fascia latae and peroneals. This tension makes you more prone to injury. Furthermore, the site of the pain typically isn’t the originating problem, but rather the source of the problem is usually above or below the site of pain.
Acupuncture works to release adhesions and trigger points along the meridians, i.e. the fascial trains or kinetic chains, which corrects the imbalances that are causing your pain and injuries. What’s more, acupuncture typically works in the very first session for this type of injury.
3. Runners often suffer from tendon dysfunction because they increase their training loads too quickly. Connective tissues such as tendons adapt at a much slower rate than muscles as they have a relatively poor blood supply. When the tendons are overloaded, the collagen fibers that they are comprised of stick together, and scar tissue forms.
Acupuncture increases blood circulation and supply to areas that are otherwise limited. Acupuncture also releases excess tension in the muscles and fascia, reducing stress to the overworked areas.
4. Overuse injuries typically result in localized pockets of inflammation, which in turn cause pain and impair functioning. While acute inflammation helps the body heal by increasing blood flow, persistent inflammation can wreak havoc on the body. Combining overtraining, poor diet, stress, and improper biomechanics can inhibit the body’s ability to recover and heal.
The thin, hair-like needles used in acupuncture can reach these inflammation pockets with unmatched precision. Acupuncture can resolve persistent inflammation, supporting your body’s natural healing abilities and allowing strength, mobility and functioning to be restored.
5. Overtrainingor overexerting the body can deplete your immune system, impair concentration, cause fatigue, poor sleep, and impact your ability to recover from training. In severe and prolonged cases, this can result in chronically elevated heart rate, insomnia, depression, & chronic fatigue.
Acupuncture is one of the most effective ways to activate your parasympathetic nervous system, which is responsible for allowing you to rest, heal, digest, and sleep properly. By stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, acupuncture can help your body recover from intense training.