Research has shown that acupuncture can provide excellent results for many types of sports injuries. Studies show that acupuncture can help athletes gain muscle strength, decrease muscle soreness, and recover faster and more completely from injury than conventional treatments alone.**


  • increases bloodflow to areas of injury and overuse (especially good for ligament or tendon injury)

  • decreases pain and swelling

  • promotes healing of tissues after injury or surgery by increasing red and white blood cells to the area

  • decreases inflammation

  • helps re-establish nerve connections after surgery, trauma, or laceration

  • stimulates muscles to prevent atrophy during healing time

  • decreases excercise-induced muscle soreness


  • rotator cuff injuries and frozen shoulder

  • knee issues (ACL, MCL, meniscus tears, etc)

  • bone fractures

  • torn, strained, or sprained tendons and ligaments

  • tennis elbow (lateral epicondylitis)

  • golfer's elbow (medial epicondylitis)

  • finger issues (pulley tears or trigger finger)

  • swelling and bruising

  • FOOSH injuries (Fall On Outstretched Hand)

  • sprained ankle

  • belayer's neck

  • repetitive motion injuries

  • excessive and delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS)

  • and many more!


Acupuncture for Tennis Elbow

Acupuncture for the alleviation of lateral epicondyle pain: a systematic review.

Six high-quality acupuncture studies were reviewed to compare outcomes for treatment of lateral epicondyle (tennis elbow) pain. All the studies suggested that acupuncture was effective in the short-term relief of lateral epicondyle pain. Five of six studies indicated that acupuncture treatment was more effective compared to a control/traditional treatment.

Acupuncture for Ankle Mobility after Sprain/Strain

[Effects of acupuncture-moxibustion intervention on proprioception in athletes with lateral collateral ligament injury of ankle joint].

This study compared differences between acupuncture with moxibustion versus physiotherapy interventions in improving proprioception (movement, range of motion) of athletes with lateral collateral ligament injury of the ankle joint. Patients of the acupuncture group were treated by acupuncture and moxibustion stimulation three times per week for eight weeks. Physiotherapy group included TDP heat therapy three times a week for eight weeks. Results showed that both active and passive ROM and proprioception improved significantly in the acupuncture group, with no significant changes in the physiotherapy group.

Tang WJ, Jiang CG, Zhen Ci Yan Jiu. 2013 Aug;38(4):314-8. [ARTICLE IN CHINESE]

Immediate effects of acupuncture on strength performance: a randomized, controlled crossover trial

The present study shows that a single acupuncture treatment was efficacious for improving isometric quadriceps strength in recreational athletes. These results might have implications not only for athletic performance enhancement, but also for rehabilitation programs aimed at restoring neuromuscular function.

Hübscher, M., Vogt, L., Ziebart, T. et al. Eur J Appl Physiol (2010) 110: 353.

Acupuncture in Human Performance

The effectiveness of acupuncture on delayed-onset-muscle-soreness (DOMS) was investigated by subjecting 20 male athletes to intense exercise that induced DOMS. The group was separated into both a control group (no acupuncture) and the treatment group that received acupuncture. Both a subjective rating of muscle soreness as well as serum kinase activity was taken from both groups at 24, 48, and 72 hours after exercise. Subjects treated to acupuncture claimed to have significantly less pain and increased range of motion although kinase levels remained the same.

Pelham, T., Holt, L., Stalker, R., (2001). Acupuncture in Human Performance. Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research 15(2) (pp 266-271)

Bilateral effect of unilateral electroacupuncture on muscle strength.

Three sessions of electroacupuncture per week were administered on acupuncture points chosen along the tibialis anterior muscle in the leg over four weeks to the right leg only. In the electroacupuncture group, significant increases in strength were seen in both legs (right 21.3%, left 15.2%). This result was significantly higher (p<.05) than that of the control group (right 3.0%, left 4.8%).


Huang, LP, Zhou, S., Lu, Z., Tian, Q., Li, X., Cao, LJ, Yu, JH, Wang, H. (2007)  The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine, 13(5), 539-546.

Effects of Acupuncture on Symptoms and Muscle Function in Delayed-Onset Muscle Soreness

A prospective, randomized, controlled, observer and subject-blinded trial was undertaken to investigate the effects of a standardized acupuncture treatment on symptoms and muscle function in exercise-induced delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS). Results showed that after 72 hours, pain perception (VAS) was significantly lower in the acupuncture group compared to the sham acupuncture and control subjects.

Markus Hübscher, Lutz Vogt, Marcus Bernhörster, Andreas Rosenhagen, and Winfried Banzer. The Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine. November 2008, 14(8): 1011-1016.

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