Some athletes resort to drugs to achieve better performance, and they risk paying a high price for this in the future. Anabolic steroids greatly increase the risk of cardiovascular damage, heart attack, and stroke, because they cause hypertension, a decrease in high-density blood lipoproteins, and an increase in low-density lipoproteins. The consumption of male sex hormones by male athletes can decrease testicular function, causing both lowered sperm formation and a reduction in the natural secretion of testosterone. The use of amphetamines and cocaine ultimately leads to a deterioration of performance. Some athletes have died during athletic events because of the interaction between such drugs and the norepinephrine and epinephrine which are naturally released by the sympathetic nervous system during high levels of activity. Under these circumstances, one cause of death is over-excitation of the heart leading to ventricular fibrillation, which is lethal within seconds.
Dry needling therapy can be seen as a safe means of enhancing performance. Dry needling reduces mechanical and intrinsic stress in the musculosk-eletal system. This increases the efficiency of energy consumption and will therefore increase the endurance of the musculoskeletal system, improving physical performance. In addition, regular dry needling as a "maintenance" factor improves recovery and regeneration from the damage caused by training and competition, enabling the athlete to recover faster and continue training at a higher level, thereby also potentially increasing performance.
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