Chinese Medicine for Injuries
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is ideal for treating a wide variety of injuries because it has a well established tradition of identifying and managing many types of injuries. It treats the affected area and also encourages the natural injury recovery processes of the body. Acute or chronic injuries such as joint pain, back pain, sprains, neck and frozen shoulder can all be treated. The advantage of TCM is that the treatments are tailored for each individual constitution and injury, without using set methods for a particular problem.
An injury to the body usually falls into two basic categories, acute and chronic.
- Acute is usually the initial phase of the trauma and may involve localised pain, swelling, bruising and a reduced range of motion. An example is a sprain or strain of the joint and the surrounding tissue. TCM treatments are most effective when commenced soon after the injury. Untreated or improperly treated injuries can become chronic, debilitating or recurrent.
- Chronic involves a prolonged period of pain, soreness, stiffness, weakness or limited mobility in the affected area. Chronic or overuse injuries can also be due to work activity, or repetitive sports training, such as tennis elbow, or tendonitis.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine the soreness or pain of the joints, muscles and tendons is often related to underlying deficiencies, stagnation or circulatory obstructions of blood and body fluids, and the flow of vital healing energy.
- Acupuncture treatment can be very useful to rapidly reduce swelling and inflammation, alleviate pain, improve the healing time and resolve stubborn ailments. Acupuncture naturally treats most sports injuries including shin splints, and can also work in conjunction with western medicine.
- Moxibustion is a specialised form of heat treatment over the site of the injury to improve blood flow both into and away from the site of the injury. This provides damaged tissues with nutrients and removes cellular debris from the injury.
- Chinese herbal medicine is used to treat the injuries of muscles, ligaments, tendons and bones. The herbs can be taken internally or applied externally as herbal plasters, ointments, salves, liniments and compresses to help the recovery process and boost the immune system. Amongst other things, the herbs help the body to move damaged tissue, rebuild tissue and stimulate the regeneration of cartilage, bone and ligaments.
- Acupressure, tuina and therapeutic massage can also be beneficial to assist circulation, ease the injury and re-establish the range of motion. Stretching movements and strengthening exercises may be suggested to assist with the recovery.
- Improving dietary and lifestyle factors is important for both treatment and ongoing health.
Depending on the injury, it is recommended to regularly repeat some of the treatments to speed up the recovery and minimise the ongoing effects of the injury. Chinese medicine can reduce the need for drugs and surgery.