Physical therapy and acupuncture. When you hear the two terms, you probably think of two distinct and unrelated specialties, which don’t have much to do with one another and might actually be in a bit of opposition with one another. Well, believe it or not, but acupuncture can actually serve as a useful addition to physical therapy, as it provides a natural approach to managing pain that can be integrated into many treatment programs.
Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese therapeutic technique that’s been around for over 3,000 years. It uses a number of fine needles to stimulate points along theoretical meridians of energy throughout the body to correct imbalances that are thought to be responsible for specific disease states. In the U.S., acupuncture is primarily used for treating painful conditions, and many of its qualities make it an attractive treatment option. One of the reasons acupuncture is so highly regarded is the fact that it’s a more precise and direct way of treating patients that addresses the cause of their problems specifically rather than their symptoms.
When combined with physical therapy, acupuncture is always customized to address each patient’s unique issues and concerns. As a team approach to healing, acupuncture and physical therapy are coordinated together to find the most effective individualized treatment strategy for each patient. Before either treatment begins, a thorough examination is given for each patient that includes a detailed medical history and lifestyle review that will help guide the appropriate treatment program.
The acupuncture component of treatment will include multiple sessions performed in a relaxing environment, where the acupuncturist will insert needles at specific points throughout the body to stimulate the body’s natural healing response and release of pain-relieving endorphins. Patients generally report a reduction in pain, numbness and postural strain, and most commonly a sense of relaxation after each session.
In recent years acupuncture has gained recognition for it’s ability to alleviate pain and even increase athletic performance. It’s been found to be effective for treating a variety of common painful conditions, which include low back pain, neck pain, sciatica, tennis elbow, headaches/migraines, arthritis, tendinitis, frozen shoulder and strains/sprains.
When acupuncture is paired with physical therapy—which continues to be supported by evidence for its ability to relieve pain and increase function for a wide range of injuries and conditions—the end result can be even more substantial improvements for patients, and there have been studies on certain conditions that confirm this.
That’s why at Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, we believe physical therapy can be combined with acupuncture to more effectively treat certain painful conditions in New York City. To learn more about this possible pairing or to schedule an appointment for any pain you may be experiencing, call us at 212-317-8303.