General principles of Treating Soft tissue Dysfunction in Sports Injuries

Previous chapters introduced the concept of dry needling acupuncture as a nonspecific modality for treating soft tissue dysfunction. Dysfunction of soft tissue is involved in all human pathophysiologic processes, and most sports injuries are typical soft tissue injuries. Every athlete, professional or nonprofessional, experiences injury. Many never completely recover, and their injuries become the root of chronic problems. In reality, these injuries can be prevented or completely healed in many cases if mul-tidisciplinary approaches are combined organically and if athletes, their coaches, and their doctors fully understand the nature, the specific mechanisms, the effectiveness, and the limits of each modality.

Because of the nature of training and competition, most if not all athletes have certain kinds of physical and psychologic stress involving soft tissue dysfunction. Some of the stress is not manifested physiologically and is left unattended until it becomes severe enough to cause pathologic symptoms.

In dry needling acupuncture, fine needles are used to create lesions into particular spots in soft tissues, which activates the body's healing mechanisms to normalize soft tissue dysfunction. Dry needling acupuncture does not conflict with any other healing modality, whether biochemical or physical, and this is especially true when dealing with athletes. In fact, the available literature indicates that dry needling acupuncture is a good supplement to any other treatment modality, and in some cases, dry needling acupuncture alone provides effective results.

This chapter reviews common types of sports injury for which dry needling acupuncture can be helpful and effective as a supplementary modality with other medical procedures.

Dry needling acupuncture should be practiced only with a thorough understanding of human anatomy and the nature of pathophysiology. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the application of dry needling acupuncture to common sports injuries, and readers who need to review anatomy and pathophysiology for a particular injury may refer to the list of further reading at the end of this chapter.

SPORTS INJURIES OF THE SKIN

Dry needling acupuncture is very effective for the skin injuries described in the following discussions.

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Acupuncture For Cynics

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