The Utility of Acupuncture in Sports Medicine: A Review of the Recent Literature

Published on: 17th March, 2017

OCLC Number/Unique Identifier: 7286426515

Introduction: Acupuncture is a practice that has been used to treat multiple medical conditions for thousands of years and is one of the most popular alternative treatments applied in Western medical practice. Acupuncture is a modality that has significant potential for further integration into the treatment of sports medicine conditions. Methodology: The search strategy in this review included electronic databases-MEDLINE, Cochrane Library, PubMed, Web of Science, and Science Direct. Randomized controlled trials and systematic reviews were preferred for article inclusion, but other study types were included when the number or quality of evidence was limited. Results: Back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain, and knee pain related to OA tend to respond well to acupuncture treatment. There is evidence to support the use of acupuncture for the short-term treatment of plantar fasciitis, although long-term efficacy data is lacking. Acupuncture may be a useful treatment modality for epicondylitis and Achilles tendinopathy, but the current data is limited. While acupuncture may improve athletic performance and prevent Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness (DOMS) symptoms, there is little current evidence to support this use. Conclusion: Further studies are needed to assess the usefulness of acupuncture in sports medicine. However, there is good evidence for the current use of acupuncture in treatment of multiple pain conditions.
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