Alternative Therapies For Chronic Sports Injuries 

Sports injuries can be brutal. If you try to come back to the game quickly or ignore proper treatment then sports injuries can turn into chronic injuries that take months to heal.

But if you follow proper care and treatment and don’t rush into the ground then you can certainly be healthy again. There are many alternative sports injury rehabilitation treatments as well that can be very helpful in treating chronic sports injuries.

What is an alternative treatment? 

An alternative treatment involves therapies that can be done to avoid conventional modes of treatment such as medicines and surgeries. Alternative treatment, such as acupuncture, isn’t backed by science but there is no evidence that it’s harmful to you, either.

But some modern therapies, like laser pain therapy, are backed by science and the evidence suggests that this therapy really works.

So, you can try the following alternative treatments to heal faster and even avoid surgery.

Acupuncture 

Acupuncture is an ancient Chinese method that involves the insertion of needles in specific areas of the body to relieve pain. It is believed that the treatment releases the energy channels “meridians” below the skin in order to facilitate the smooth flow of energy, “Qi”. This smooth flow of energy heals the injury and relieves pain.

The treatment should be done by a certified acupuncturist who knows exactly where to insert needles and for how much time. You should do your research to find the best acupuncturist in your area to be sure you’re not harming yourself in the name of treatment.

Benefits

Acupuncture relieves pain very effectively. The treatment also heals the injury and helps you get better. Acupuncture is known to treat various chronic injuries, although not backed by scientific evidence.

Risks 

You can get infected by non sterile needles. Otherwise, no medicines or ointments are used that can cause adverse effects. So, you should always visit a certified acupuncturist who uses sterile needles and has an overall hygienic environment.

Sports injuries treated by acupuncture 

There are many cases that confirm acupuncture to be an effective treatment

The sports injuries that can get better with acupuncture are:

  • Back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Frozen shoulder
  • Piriformis Syndrome

Acupressure 

Acupressure is also an ancient Chinese way to heal injuries and cure various illnesses. It’s the same as acupuncture but fingers and thumbs are used to apply pressure instead of needles.

The pressure is applied in various “pressure points” of your body with the belief to release the energy channels “meridians” and help smooth the flow of energy, “Qi”. This concept is also essentially the same as acupuncture.

The treatment is done by a professional who applies pressure with fingers, thumbs, or elbows. The pressure is applied for 30 seconds to 2 minutes and then released slowly. Various sessions are done in case of chronic injuries.

Although the mechanism of acupressure is contradictory yet there is no question of its effectiveness. It might also stimulate the production of hormone endorphins that relieve pain.

Benefits 

  • Relieves muscle tension
  • Helps to get rid of the pain
  • Has very few side effects
  • No medicines required
  • Acupressure has been used successfully worldwide to heal the injuries and illnesses such as migraines.

Risks 

  • Acupressure isn’t suitable for injuries that involve bruises.
  • Acupressure can induce pain where the pressure is being applied.
  • It’s not suitable if there is an open wound.

Acupressure is for relieving muscle pain and stress. So, avoid this treatment in case you have bruises and open wounds.

Sports injuries treated by Acupressure

Acupressure is great to help ease your neuromusculoskeletal injuries.

Reflexology 

Reflexology is the type of massage that involves hands and feet. A professional applies pressure and massages specific areas of hands and feet. It’s believed that the hands and especially the feet have all the reflex points of various body parts. Thus the pressure is applied on the feet to heal and relieve pain in any part of the body.

The reflexology mechanism is unknown but it’s believed to open the block channels to allow smooth flow of energy “Qi”. This helps in healing and relieving pain.

Benefits 

Reflexology isn’t a cure-all alternative treatment. Yet it can help to:

  • Relieve pain
  • Stimulate the production of endorphins
  • Help you relax
  • Heal the injury

Risks

There are no risks involved but in some cases, reflexology doesn’t work at all.

Sports injuries treated by Reflexology 

Reflexology can be helpful in various musculoskeletal injuries such as back pain, but it’s not suitable if you have an open wound injury that isn’t treated with proper medicines and treatment.

Aromatherapy

Aromatherapy is a massage technique that uses essential oils to relieve pain and heal muscular injuries. Essential oils are extracted from plants and have been proved to treat various conditions.

There are almost 400 essential oils. Out of them, some have therapeutic properties to heal various sports injuries. For example, lavender oil can be used to treat muscular problems.

The therapist applies oil on the skin and glides his hands over to relieve muscle tension.

Benefits 

  • Helps relieve pain
  • Relaxes the muscular tension
  • Improves overall well-being
  • Helps you relax and sleep well

Risks

There are no reported risks involved IF aromatherapy is done by a professional.

Sports injuries treated by Aromatherapy 

All muscular sports injuries can be treated with aromatherapy. Though results aren’t guaranteed, you can give it a try with proper rest and medicines (prescribed by your doctor). Aromatherapy isn’t suitable for open-wound injuries.

Myofascial Release 

Myofascial release is a massage that is specifically done to ease and heal muscular sports injuries. “Fascial” is a connective tissue band, made of collagen and elastin, that surrounds muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Fascial is flexible and moves around easily to help move muscles. But in case of an injury, the fascial can lose its elasticity and turn into a firm and hard band of tissue that doesn’t allow muscles to move freely.

A sports therapist uses his hands to massage the fascial and relieve pain and tension. After a few sessions, the fascial gains back its elasticity and the muscles can move easily. This is how myofascial release works.

Benefits 

  • Relieves muscular tension
  • Makes the connective tissues flexible
  • Aids in the movement of muscles
  • Relieves pain

Risks

No risks are involved in the treatment if it is done by a professional sports therapist.

Laser Pain Therapy 

Low-level laser pain treatment (LLLT) is an advanced treatment that uses a safe laser beam to relieve pain and heal the injury. Laser pain therapy is backed by scientific evidence. A recent study has shown that LLLT was effective to relieve pain immediately in 75% of the participants.

Laser pain therapy is performed by a doctor in a clinic. The low-level laser beam is directed to the affected area via a handheld device. The laser beam penetrates the skin, without affecting the skin in any way. This laser beam stimulates the production of collagen, helps in tissue regrowth, and relieves pain. Usually, more than one session is required to treat chronic sports injuries.

Benefits 

  • Non-invasive procedure
  • Laser pain therapy is backed by research and scientific studies
  • No downtime required
  • No incisions
  • Relieves pain by stimulating the production of endorphins
  • Encourages regrowth of cells and tissues

Risks

There are no risks or side effects involved if the treatment is done by an expert doctor with modern equipment in a hygienic environment.

Sports injuries treated by a laser pain therapy

Laser pain therapy is proved to treat various musculoskeletal sports injuries without the use of medicines.

The Bottom Line

If you want to be back in the game by treating chronic sports injuries then you should consider alternative treatment as well. Sometimes, medicines can’t help the injury to heal or you make your injury worse by practicing your sports again after just a few days. Alternative treatment, like laser pain therapy, heals chronic injuries. The key is to be persistent and not to rush back into the sport. Follow the alternative sports injury rehabilitation treatments mentioned above and help your injury get better faster.