As physical therapists, it’s our mission and our focus to treat every patient’s pain with the best possible tools for their particular condition. At Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy, we are fortunate to be able to offer a number of different treatments and interventions, and we determine which is best for each patient based on their condition and overall goals. Though it may not be something most people associate with physical therapy, we offer acupuncture in New York City as one of the many services available to address your condition, and the ancient therapy is often effective for patients.
Acupuncture is a brand of ancient Chinese medicine that has been around for over 5,000 years. It’s considered a complete system with its own specific tools used for diagnosing a problem, and the goals of acupuncture are to naturally promote health, prevent illness, and treat injury and diseases.
The procedure itself involves the placement of hair-thin needles into precise locations throughout the body called acupuncture points, and each needle is inserted to accomplish a specific intended effect. When the needles are placed into these acupuncture points, it causes what’s called a “micro-trauma,” or slight disturbance in the tissue of the area that’s targeted. This in turn stimulates parts of the brain to activate different systems of the body that are responsible for healing, and as they are activated, it helps to repair the damage in that tissue.
Acupuncture can be used to treat a wide range of different conditions, including head injuries and headaches, neck or back pain, shoulder/upper arm pain, carpal tunnel syndrome, plantar fasciitis, groin strain, golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, ankle sprain, hip pain and many other issues.
If a patient comes to see us with hip pain, we will perform a complete evaluation to determine the source of the problem just as we do for any other issue. If the patient complains of pain in the outside of the hip, it’s considered lateral hip pain. Pain in this location can be caused by a few different conditions, but the most common cause is hip bursitis, which is the inflammation of a protective sac called the bursa in the hip. Hip bursitis is an overuse injury that occurs from participating in too many physical activities that require the use of the hip, and the pain from it can make it difficult to walk or lie on one’s side.
Depending on the situation, we may recommend acupuncture to treat this type of hip pain. One reason is that the specific area of the hip affected by lateral pain is the point of attachment of several powerful muscles in the thighs and pelvis. Acupuncture can therefore be effective for relieving pain in this region.
If the therapist believes acupuncture is the best treatment for hip pain and the patient agrees, the acupuncturist will place a number of needles at various locations in the hip, thigh, lower leg and foot. Each of these points is connected to the hip in some way, and the placement of these needles is intended to alleviate pain in that region. We will also recommend resting and icing the hip, and may prescribe a physical therapy program to supplement the acupuncture, too.
In our next blog, we’ll give an example of a patient with lateral hip pain treated with a course of acupuncture that experienced successful results afterwards. If you’re interested in hearing more about acupuncture in New York City and seeing if it’s right for you, contact Dynamic Sports Physical Therapy at 212-317-8303 to schedule an appointment.