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Acupuncture Frees Movement From Sports Injuries

Acupuncture and herbs restore motility for patients with motor impairments due to sports injuries. Researchers from the Physical Education Institute at Zhengzhou University investigated the effects of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) style acupuncture and herbs on amateur and professional athletes suffering from motor impairments due to the demands of physical training. The researchers concluded that restoration of motility is significant as a result of applying acupuncture and herbs. However, an additive effect was discovered by combining acupuncture and herbs into a therapeutic regimen. The combination therapy produced superior patient outcomes.

Participants in the study suffered from physical motility limitations. Head and neck impairments accounted for 42% of the patients. Upper limb impairments comprised 24.6% and lower limb impairments accounted for 85.4% of participants. Acute physical limitations accounted for 85.4% of participants and 14.6% were patients with chronic motility impairments.

The total effective rate was calculated from a combination of patients in three categories of improvement: cured, effective, and improved. Patients rated as cured had freer movements of the limbs without any limitations and were able to participate in normal physical training. Patients in the effective category had complete resolution of soreness at the affected regions and movement was free and without limitation at lower levels of physically demanding activity. Improved patients had reduced pain levels and patients were able to perform simple exercises.

The total effective rate for the acupuncture only group was 70%. The herbal medicine group achieved a 62% total effective rate. A group receiving both acupuncture and herbal medicine achieved a total effective rate of 84.4%. The researchers concluded that acupuncture combined with herbs is highly effective for the treatment of physical activity induced motility impairments. The combined therapeutic approach is more effective than either treatment modality as a standalone procedure.

Many of the herbs used in the study were selected for their ability to nourish the liver, kidneys, spleen, and stomach. Another major treatment principle was promoting blood circulation. The herbal medicine given to the participants included Gou Qi Zi, Shan Yao, Di Long, DangGui, and related herbs. A decoction was taken once per day by participants for a total of 30 times. 

Acupuncture was applied to areas locally at the limbs with 0.30 mm X 40 mm needles. Distal acupoints were also added. Needle retention time was 20 minutes per session. Treatment was given once per day with a grand total of 30 treatments per participant. Acupoints used in the study included:

Yang Xi (LI5)
He Gu (LI4)
Zhou San Li (LI10)
Liang Qiu (ST34)
The research was published in the Bulletin of Science and Technology. This type of research has been conducted in hospitals and universities throughout the world, including the US. At the Healthcare Medicine Institute, we provide acupuncture continuing education courses featuring the treatment of pain and motor impairment related disorders. To learn about the treatment of plantar fasciitis for state acupuncture CEUs and NCCAOM PDAs, click the following: Plantar Fasciitis And Acupuncture. To view an example of a continuing education course on the treatment of wrist pain and carpal tunnel syndrome, click on the following: Wrist Pain And Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.


Ji, H. (2014). Traditional Chinese Medicine Acupuncture and Clinical Research for the Treatment of Motility Limited Physical Activity. Bulletin of Science and Technology, 30 (7).

Sun, H. (2006). Challenges Faced by Acupuncture Technique and the Strategies to Overcome. Journal of Chinese Acupuncture, 26 (4).