You may have heard of the 'runner's high'-- that euphoric feeling runners get after a long run. Well, let me introduce you to the 'Acupuncture high'. After treatment, some patients leave my office feeling "super calm" with a "very relaxed feeling", feeling like "their head is in the clouds" or even "high". So, why do my patients feel this way after acupuncture?
When certain acupuncture points are stimulated your body releases opioid peptides, like endorphins. When you bisect the word endorphin you get endo - short for endogenous (originating within an organism) and orphin short for morphine. Endorphins play a role in your motivation, emotion, behavior, stress response, pain response, as well as controlling your food intake. Acupuncture has been proven to release endorphins which help to inhibit the sensation of pain and in some cases produce a feeling of euphoria similar to opioids.
So, without taking any medications, acupuncture can help your body produce its own natural morphine, allowing your body heal itself by reducing pain and stress.
Running season has arrived and the Broad Street Run is less than a month away! Although we don't like to think about it, even with the right shoes, stretches, and training, injuries can happen. If you are injured, you should consider acupuncture and trigger point dry needling as a non-invasive treatment that gives your body the tools it needs to heal itself! The following are some common injuries that can be treated by acupuncture:
...are the worst! Shin Splints can be described as pain in the front of the leg usually along your 'shin bone'. When I was a long distance runner I would get shin splints often, and couldn't run for at least a week, sometimes two. Shin splints are a very common repetitive strain injury that affects runners. Often times your Peroneus Longus, Peroneus Brevis, and/or Tibialis anterior are tight and have trigger points that are causing the pain. Acupuncture and trigger point dry needling can help release these tight muscles!
Plantar Fasciitis and Achilles Tendinitis :
PF and AT are common complaints among runners. The pain can come on quickly, or slowly get worse and worse as your training schedule changes. Generally, the pain is felt in the heel, but can also travel up the back of the leg or down to the bottom of the foot. Many times this injury is caused by trigger points in the calf muscles. Acupuncture and trigger point dry needling can help release these tight knots and get you back to training in just a few treatments!
Low Back Pain:
The back is an extremely complex area of discs (vertebral bones), nerves, muscle and fascia (the thing that holds it all together). Low back pain (acute or chronic) can really put a wrench in your training. Acupuncture can help loosen the muscles in a stiff low back and bring blood flow to the area to promote healing.
Knee pain is another common injury among runners and can get worse when climbing up stairs or running up hills. Pain can be around the knee, behind the knee or under the knee cap. Acupuncture is extremely successful at treating knee pain and can often get you back to training in only a couple sessions!
IT Band Syndrome:
IT band syndrome is sometimes referred to as runners knee. This is an injury of the outer part of the leg and extends to the knee and/or the hip. It is often associated with sharp pain and/or snapping and popping. At rest, the pain is usually dull, but while running up hill it could be quite painful. Acupuncture can help relieve this pain.
This isn't a complete list of conditions associated with runners injuries. If you have any questions regarding an injury you have sustained while running please feel free to call 484-938-8778 or Email: Brittany@renewacupuncturecare.com