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Whether you’re a strength athlete, powerlifter, bodybuilder, or simply enjoy weightlifting for your health, you’ve probably noticed this: success with weightlifting requires steady, consistent training and proper recovery. 

If you don’t challenge yourself enough, you won’t progress. But pushing yourself too hard can also keep you from reaching your goals. Soreness, pain, or injuries can keep you out of the gym and maybe even in the emergency room.

Thankfully, acupuncture for weightlifting can help. At 120 Acupuncture Clinic, Dr. Ko helps weightlifters and athletes of all kinds heal their injuries so they can perform at their best. 

Curious if acupuncture can help you restore your strength? Read on to find out why acupuncture should be your go-to therapy for weightlifting injuries and performance support. 

Weightlifting Injuries 101

Weightlifting, or strength training, is a crucial part of a well-rounded exercise routine. And for some athletes, it takes center stage. It’s easy to see why weightlifting is so popular. It offers a clear-cut path to a stronger, leaner, more powerful body and enhanced fitness. 

But, there are some downsides to weightlifting. Proper weightlifting requires constant attention to form. The nature of weight training also lends itself to overdoing it, as we constantly strive to do more reps and heavier weights. 

That said, injuries can sideline any weightlifter – no matter how determined, careful, or strategic you are with your training. 

What causes weightlifting injuries?

    • Overdoing it
      The most common reason weightlifters get injured is that they overdo it. They take on either too much weight, increase weight load too quickly, or do too many reps.

      As Dr. Ko explains, “It is easy to get injured if you overdo it. In addition to these injuries, when our body and the internal organs overdo it, it is bound to get sick.” Beyond muscular injuries, overdoing it on the mat can lead to systemic over-stress in your body. This can reduce your ability to repair and heal muscle tissue, as well as drain your energy.

    • Pushing to pain
      Beyond overdoing it in reps or weight, some weightlifters suffer injuries because they think pain = gain. Unfortunately, nothing could be further from the truth. The goal of your weight training should be to fatigue your muscles and feel the burn of muscle growth and circulation. Not pain. Pain indicates overwork that has gone beyond stimulating muscle growth and has led to trauma in a muscle, tendon, or ligament. Pushing to pain is not a sign of strength. This habit will only slow down your progress and likely cause injury.

    • Poor form
      All sports require attention to form to make your best progress. But none so much as weightlifting. When we lift weights, we exert an immense amount of force on our joints and muscles. For this to be beneficial, we need this forceful movement to be executed in a way that works with our anatomy – not against it. Because we are imperfect and compensate (often without even knowing it), it’s common to lift with poor form that slowly damages tissues and leads to injury over time.

    • Insufficient recovery time
      Building muscle takes time. Downtime, that is. Muscle tissue needs adequate rest to fully repair microtears and rebuild bigger and stronger than before. Many weightlifters skip this crucial step, setting themselves up for soreness, weakness, and potential injury. 

What are the most common weightlifting injuries?

  • Knee pain 
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • ACL tears
  • Neck and spine strain 
  • Back strain and sprains
  • Herniated disc
  • Shoulder tension
  • Rotator cuff tear
  • Shoulder impingement syndrome
  • Tennis elbow
  • IT band syndrome 
  • Achilles tendonitis

Regain Your Strength: Acupuncture for Weightlifters

There’s a reason pro athletes in nearly every sport make acupuncture part of the training and competition routine – it gets results. Acupuncture is a natural and effective therapy that provides healing support while also enhancing performance. 

How does acupuncture work? Dr. Ko explains that during an acupuncture session, “Acupuncture needles are placed on the painful area so healthy Qi flows through and heals the painful area.” In Chinese medicine, stuck energy, blood, or other blockages are at the root of the pain. By improving circulation through the painful area, pain is relieved, and healing begins. 

From a scientific viewpoint, acupuncture has a few other benefits that explain why it is so helpful in healing. 

  • Acupuncture relieves pain.
    Studies show that acupuncture treatment causes an immediate release of naturally pain-killing endorphins. Acupuncture also increases blood circulation in the painful area which eases tension and promotes relaxation for enhanced pain relief.

  • Acupuncture supports muscle tissue recovery.
    Acupuncture can help “flush” the muscles with blood flow and fluids after a weightlifting session to clear away excess waste and prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness. This helps prevent lasting muscle pain and encourages muscle tissue healing.

  • Acupuncture addresses the root of your injury.
    One reason acupuncture is so effective for treating weightlifting injuries is that it goes deeper than masking your pain (like a pain medication might). “If you lift more than your normal strength, your muscles will age quickly and get injured. These types of injuries can only be treated with acupuncture and nothing else. Acupuncture helps to restore the muscles to their original state (homing instinct). Painkillers and muscle relaxants do not help to return 100% of the muscle.”

  • Acupuncture improves overall sports performance.
    Once your injury is healed, regular acupuncture can improve your weightlifting performance. Consistent treatment helps you get the most out of your recovery time, so you can hit the gym feeling energized and strong. Acupuncture also helps heal microtears, which can help prevent future pain and injury.

Acupuncture Recovery for Weightlifters: What to Expect

Ready to try acupuncture to heal your weightlifting injury, or enhance your lifting abilities? Here’s what to expect on your visit to 120 Acupuncture Clinic.

The sooner you get acupuncture, the better your results. 

“Our muscles need to be treated right away when they are injured,” says Dr. Ko. “Otherwise, the muscles will be lost to their original state (homing instinct), and it takes a long time to come back. 

The number of treatments you will need depends on how long ago your injury occurred. 

For best results, Dr. Ko recommends that “if you come right away on the day of the injury, then you will need at least 3 sessions of treatment to feel better. If you come for treatment 1 day after the injury, then you will need a week of treatment. And 2 days after injury, then you need 15 days of treatment. And 3 days after injury, you need to get treatment for about a month.”

It’s best to avoid lifting during your acupuncture treatment. 

If you’re seeking treatment for a weightlifting injury, it’s best to put your workouts on hold. Dr. Ko strongly suggests to most of his weightlifting patients not to do any lifting until the treatment is complete. At this time, your body needs to focus its energy on healing and regenerating. A dedicated recovery period will only lead to faster healing and longer-lasting results so you can get back to your sport with confidence. 

You don’t have to have an injury to benefit from acupuncture.

If you’re a weightlifter or athlete of any type, you can benefit from sports acupuncture – even if your body is in good shape. Acupuncture helps to strengthen your body and build resilience so you can steer clear of future injuries. Acupuncture also improves your focus, circulation, and energy so you can reach new heights and perform at your best. 

Restore Your Strength and Power with Acupuncture

Injuries are part of living an active life, especially if you’re a dedicated strength athlete. But that doesn’t mean you have to live with pain or sit on the sidelines. With acupuncture, you can build a more injury-resistant body and return to weightlifting with confidence.

Ready to restore your pre-injury strength and reach new weightlifting goals? Book your appointment here, or call us at 1-818-980-7979 to get started today.

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