SKATES, SKIS & KNEES: COMMON WINTER SPORTS INJURIES - HOW WE CAN HELP
Winter brings outdoor cold weather sports like skating, snowboarding, sledding and skiing. While most folks look forward to zooming along the ice and snow, and down exciting hills that thrill the nervous system - these activities can bring injuries related
to falls or the twisting and turning motions inherent to snow-based sports. While some falls are accidental due the unpredictable terrain that snow and ice present, some are simply related to lack of preparation for these types of sudden movements.
AVOIDING INJURY WITH ACUPUNCTURE & CHINESE MEDICINE
At Seven Point Wellness, we believe that pre-season preparation of the primary muscles and joints involved in Winter sports is essential. We have found that making the effort to address minor injuries like an achy hip or low back pain pays off.
Anyone who's ever skied can recall a moment when they've been put to the test, trying to recover from a sudden turn around a bend. We've all wished for better stability when forced to negotiate an unexpected stop while on the slopes. The loss of range-of-motion and compensation that an existing injury can cause could compromise the durability of a tight muscle or the mobility of a joint to rotate fully when needed.
PREVENTATIVE TREATMENT PROGRAMS
In our Chinese Medicine clinic, we’ve set up pre-season treatment programs that examine, assess and then help stabilize imbalanced musculature or inflexible joints. We remind our patients that what may seem like a smaller issue now, might create challenges when push comes to shove on the slopes. We work on restoring the balance necessary for each individual sport - several weeks to a month before our patients strap their skis, shoes or skates on, and more often than not we find that this planning will prevent serious injuries.
WHY WINTER SPORTS INJURIES OCCUR
Winter sports place tremendous force on the knees, ankles and feet. The body's joints and ligaments will oftentimes be challenged to absorb and recover from a momentary hyperextension in a skier’s knees or an inverting ankle. This one instance can easily sprain or in some instances collapse a joint. A strained or slightly torn muscle - from a quick turn on the slopes, or an unexpected tumble - is oftentimes unnoticed in the moment as the adrenaline from the sport kicks in. However, by the evening or the next day, considerable pain, swelling and knee or ankle instability will likely present, and end a once promising weekend.
WE CAN HELP WITH INJURY REHABILITATION
Acupuncture, Chinese Medicine external herbal solutions and manual therapies can be of great help should you return from a snowy weekend with some bruises, sprains, strains and even minor tissue tears (Meniscus, Rotator cuff, etc). We have at our fingertips a full toolbox of manual therapy options like Cupping, Gua Sha and Tui Na (Chinese Medical Massage), along with Acupuncture and Electrostimulation.
The prepared athlete expects to land and glide safely and successfully down to the bottom of the hill, but of course things still happen out there. No one is bullet-proof, but we try to help our patients approach their sport as well “tuned” as possible. We regularly remind patients that attempting to fly through the air at top speed and land on a slippery slope is not for the faint-of-heart and should be approached with a plan.
POST-SURGICAL RECOVERY OPTIONS
Should the worse-case scenario present itself and you wind up needing surgery from a sporting accident, recovery and rehabilitation can be accelerated by a skilled practitioner of Traditional Chinese Medicine.
Post-surgery we may use Far-infrared heat lamps coupled with Chinese Medicine external liniments that penetrate deep into the muscles, tendons, ligaments and bones to start the healing.
Acupuncture with electro-stimulation is then performed to reduce inflammation, relax the muscles, and settle the nervous system, finishing with Tui Na massage to soothe the muscles and help restore blood flow through the injured area. Finally, we send you home with some restorative exercises to perform in between treatments to augment the recovery.
Sometimes oral herbal formulas will be prescribed to help nourish bones and damaged tissue, or to calm the patient and treat the stress and anxiety that can occur after the trauma of an injury.
RESTORE, STRENGTHEN & RETURN TO ACTION
Our rehabilitative Chinese Medicine therapies will help to reduce pain, get you moving again, and start the restoration process so that you can get back out there and enjoy the sport that you love.
Feel free to contact our offices if you’d like more information about preparing for Winter sports, or any sport for that matter. Our staff will put you in touch with the appropriate in-house practitioner to discuss your goals and timeline.
Wondering if Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine could work for you?
If you are curious and would like to know more - we are happy to answer your questions - just give us a call. (917) 210-1063
Phil Veneziano, M.S., L.Ac.
Cristina R. de La Mar, M.S., L.Ac., Doula
Seven Point Wellness is an Acupuncture & Chinese Medicine Clinic located at 187 Millburn Ave., Suite #101 in Millburn, NJ, in the Trader Joe / CVS Business Complex.
We are an easy drive from Maplewood, South Orange, Short Hills, Livingston and most cities in Union, Morris and Essex County, NJ and abundant free parking. We're also an easy walk from the New Jersey Transit via bus or train.