Acupuncture for Sports Injuries: Shoulder Pain

Posted in For Patients

You ask a lot from your shoulders, especially when exercising. If you feel a twinge during your workout, you might be tempted to power through it and hope it goes away. But a little pain today can lead to a lot of pain down the road—and a lengthy recovery period putting you out of the game. That’s why we believe in taking a proactive approach to treating sports injuries with acupuncture.


5 Point Acupuncture works closely with personal fitness and nutrition coach Curtis Williams of Optimus Physique, who considers regular acupuncture sessions an important part of his own health regimen. In addition to addressing acute issues like limited external shoulder rotation, acupuncture offers preventative care that helps keep future injuries at bay. You can see a video of Curtis receiving acupuncture with us on his Instagram.


Curtis says Optimus Physique’s science-based approach to fitness is built around each individual’s circumstances, preferences, and habits when creating a personal fitness program, with flexible accountability support provided through regular check-ins matched to a person’s needs—daily, weekly, or somewhere in between. We take a similar approach to sports medicine acupuncture, tailoring sessions around your general health, the type of exercise you’re doing, and any acute issues that may crop up in between sessions.


Let’s take a closer look at how acupuncture can relieve one common symptom of a sports injury—shoulder pain.

What Causes Shoulder Pain?

The shoulder joint is one of the most complex in the body. Its unique anatomy allows a wide range of motion, but this results in a lack of stability. Small, repetitive actions—like swinging a tennis racket, or swimming—can put strain on the soft tissues which hold the bones in place, causing them to break down.


Shoulder pain is a common ailment, especially among fitness buffs and sports enthusiasts. It can be caused by a number of different conditions, including a rotator cuff tear, ongoing stress, degenerative diseases such as arthritis, and traumatic injuries such as whiplash. Neck pain can also result in referred pain in the shoulders, which is when you feel discomfort in places other than the pain’s true source. It may only hurt when you move the affected shoulder, though in some cases pain is constant.


Many people have a tendency to ignore shoulder pain, or allow it to become second nature. But this negligence can aggravate the condition, leading to further problems down the line. If you experience pain, stiffness of the joint, lack of strength in the shoulder, or limited mobility, don’t allow it to take over your life. Explore alternative treatments today.

How Acupuncture Can Reduce Shoulder Pain

An evaluation of clinical trials by Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center found that acupuncture was effective in treating chronic pain, including shoulder pain. When used in conjunction with stretches and gentle exercise, acupuncture may greatly reduce pain and restore your full range of motion—leaving your body feeling revitalized and helping you to get on with your life.


Eastern medicine takes the whole body into account when treating a specific area of discomfort. Your acupuncturist will address the root cause of your pain and target it, using a needling technique to remove obstructions that prevent Qi from circulating your body. The treatment is safe and effective, and can have far-reaching benefits beyond pain relief—potentially improving your overall wellness in the process.


If you exercise regularly, acupuncture can be a valuable part of your fitness regime, helping to effectively treat and prevent injuries and keep your wellness on track. In this ongoing series on acupuncture for sports injuries, we’ll take a look at other common conditions athletes face, and explore ways that acupuncture and alternative therapies can help. To find more wellness tips and make sure you never miss a post, check out our Facebook and Instagram.

Want to experience dynamic pain relief and take the weight off your shoulders?
Schedule an appointment today!

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