The traditional Chinese acupuncture method is rapidly gaining acceptance within the medical realm. Research offers some very promising results for patients who use this complementary therapy by inserting needles into the body, which helps balance and relieve pain.

Stimulation of specific nerves found within joints, muscles and the skin can allow people to feel immediate relief from aches. Some people believe it is only helpful for aging people, but plenty of people of various ages can benefit from acupuncture therapy.

Joint pain can be debilitating and over-the-counter medications only numb your symptoms and offer temporary relief. Arthritis, the swelling and tenderness of joints affect almost 59 million people in the United States alone, and many more worldwide. Osteoarthritis is the most common form of arthritis and can damage any joint but happens more frequently in your hands, knees, and spine.

How can acupuncture effectively ease joint and muscle pain that you may have? First, let’s look at how muscle and joint pain due to factors besides aging can occur and how acupuncture can be most beneficial.

Acupuncture for inflammation and pain

Young and professional athletes often deal with muscle and joint pain after playing. For example, athletes will find that the joints in their legs and feet are prone to inflammation and tenderness from running, and athletes who play basketball or baseball tend to feel pain in their shoulders, backs and arms. Likewise, anyone who leads an active lifestyle will find that pressure on joints and muscles causes a lot of soreness.

Acupuncture helps to relieve pain from these activities by releasing endorphins, which are natural painkillers. In addition, it stimulates the nervous system without using any over-the-counter medicines or prescribed drugs, which usually contain side effects.

There was a study on the response to acupuncture for those suffering from persistent pain. The results concluded that releasing the ‘feel good’ hormones like serotonin play a significant role in helping to ease inflammation and pain.

Acupuncture helps cut down on recovery time

Another key role acupuncture plays in helping people who suffer from everyday joint or muscle aches is the recovery time from the ailment. Besides relieving inflammation, it also promotes blood circulation, increases energy levels, and helps you relax for a better night’s sleep.

Active people or athletes who undergo a lot of training can benefit from a shorter recovery time. For example, after a big workout where you know your muscles will feel sore, you can opt for an acupuncture session. Afterwards, you will find that you sleep better and improve your energy to bounce back much more quickly and jump back into the next workout without feeling sore and stiff.

Athletes can feel more like they are at their best on game day. In addition, there was an extensive study performed to see how acupuncture affected athletes specifically, which found they had less lactic acid after undergoing treatment.

Acupuncture increases flexibility

People who lead active lifestyles, or even those with sedentary days, sometimes find that their muscles become tight. Poor positioning and dehydration contribute to muscle tightness, and while stretching can help loosen them a little, acupuncture can ease that tightness even more. Experts at acupuncture clinic Wthn share that the goal of acupuncture doesn’t just bring relief to the areas where the muscle is tight but also works in the areas that are working to support the stiff muscle in your body so that it all becomes more relaxed.

When you keep your joints and muscles loose and comfortable, they have increased mobility, and you can improve your range of motion.

Acupuncture helps to prevent injury

One thing that a certified acupuncturist will do that not many people are aware of is to take an assessment of the entire body. They will find areas that are uncomfortable or tight muscles that you might not even know were there. They can be related to multiple issues like poor form during your training, overuse of your joints, or other imbalances.

There are pressure points within the body that are incredibly sensitive. Releasing these trigger points can help reduce pain and make your muscles and joints less likely to cause injury due to seizing up. And because it also helps with feeling fatigued, you are more alert and less likely to make an error that might cause harm.

Acupuncture for headaches

Another common occurrence in people of all ages is headaches. The Migraine Institute estimates that around 35 million Americans suffer from migraines in their 30s to 40s. Acupuncture offers treatment for headaches and migraines and can help reduce the reliance on painkillers or over-the-counter headache medicines and aid in the prevention of future migraines or decrease the number of occurrences.

Multiple benefits of acupuncture

There are numerous benefits that acupuncture provides active people, athletes and those with chronic conditions. Some highlights include:

  • management of pain, inflammation, muscle, and joint stiffness;
  • help with the prevention of arthritis, migraines, or injury;
  • safe, natural treatment;
  • much lower risk of side effects;
  • reduces stress and anxiety;
  • ability to target more than one problem area at one time.

Acupuncturists will assess your conditions, advise and make recommendations. The number of needles inserted and the number of treatments depend on each individual case. If you have questions or want to learn more about acupuncture, ask your primary care physician or visit an acupuncture clinic to help you make a well-informed decision to utilize treatments for your muscle aches and joint pains.