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Does Acupuncture Work for Sports Injuries?

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Does Acupuncture Work for Sports Injuries?

Bradley Sasao-Ruef, LAc. Senior Acupuncturist

Page Morrison LACIt doesn’t matter if it’s a bustling summer or active winter here in Portland, Oregon, people are outside enjoying their favorite activities like running, hiking, golf, tennis, softball, surfing, skiing, snowboarding, snowshoeing, or keeping up with their kids and grandkids. As an acupuncturist, I help people recover from sports and activity-related injuries so they can keep enjoying the things they love.

What Types of Sports Injuries Can Acupuncture Help?

Most people want to know if acupuncture works for common sports injuries like:

Knee Pain

Back Pain

Neck Pain

Tennis Elbow and Golfer’s Elbow

Shoulder Pain

Plantar Fasciitis and Foot Pain

Ankle Pain

Hip Pain

Sciatica and Neuropathy

Injuries and pain can affect anyone, not just athletes. Whether you’re playing your favorite sport, enjoying an outdoor activity, or simply exercising to stay healthy, acupuncture can help you improve physical therapy exercises, recover, and thrive.

How Does Acupuncture Help With Pain?

Sports injuries can be frustrating and painful. They can make your daily routine seem overwhelming and even simple tasks difficult. Injuries and pain don’t just affect your body; they can also impact your mental and emotional health.

At our orthopedic and sports medicine acupuncture clinic, I see many runners and hikers with knee and ankle pain. Acupuncture can be a highly effective treatment for these issues. It works by:

Additionally, combining acupuncture with other therapies like cupping, myofascial release, herbal medicine, and specific exercises can enhance the healing process even more.

Why Choose Acupuncture?

One of the key benefits of acupuncture for sports injuries and pain is its ability to target the root cause of the issue, not just the symptoms. In Chinese medicine, we take a systems approach. This means we consider factors like:

  • Muscle Imbalances
  • Joint & Structural Misalignments
  • Circulation Problems
  • Inflammation Reduction

We also look at things like poor sleep, nutrition, and stress, which might hinder healing and recovery. By addressing these underlying causes, acupuncture can help prevent future injuries and promote overall physical and mental well-being.

Proven Results of Acupuncture

Numerous studies have shown that acupuncture is effective in treating various sports and activity-related conditions, including:

  • Sprains
  • Strains
  • Tendonitis
  • Chronic injuries like plantar fasciitis, shin splints, and knee osteoarthritis

Outdoor enthusiasts and athletes often report reduced pain, improved mobility, and faster recovery times when they include acupuncture in their treatment plan and lifestyle.

Acupuncture and Sports Injuries

So, does acupuncture work for sports injuries? Absolutely! If you’re dealing with knee pain, back pain, or any other sports-related injury, consider giving acupuncture a try. It could be the key to getting back to the activities you love.

Feel free to reach out to our clinic if you have any questions or want to learn more about how acupuncture can help you!

Ready to get back to doing what you love? Contact us today to schedule your acupuncture appointment! Our team is here to help you recover and thrive. Call us at 503-544-9611 or visit our website at wellbridgeclinic.com.

About Bradley

Focused on pain relief from sports injuries, accidents, and chronic pain.  He always incorporates preventative care and wellness into every treatment  plan. In doing so, Bradley aims to empower patients through personalized treatment plans. When not in the clinic, he enjoys Oregon’s outdoor beauty with his partner Yuuki and their dog Hoku. Read more about Bradley here.


  1. Han, J. (2004). Acupuncture and endorphins. Neuroscience Letters, 361(1–3), 258–261. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.neulet.2003.12.019
  2. Liddle, C. E., & Harris, R. E. (2018). Cellular reorganization plays a vital role in acupuncture analgesia. Medical Acupuncture, 30(1), 15–20. https://doi.org/10.1089/acu.2017.1258
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