Acupuncture & Common Knee Injuries
by Christina Roy L.Ac, MSOM
How many times have you heard: “I tore my meniscus...blew out my ACL...tore my MCL.” What exactly do these terms mean for our knee’s health & proper athletic functioning?
MCL / Medial Collateral Ligament
Located on medial side of the knee joint
Controls inner or medial movement of knee; keeps it from collapsing inwardly
Often injured by a hit on outer knee (soccer, football) or skiing
LCL / Lateral Collateral Ligament
On the lateral side of the knee joint
Stabilizes the lateral knee
Often injured by a hit to the inner knee (rugby, football, etc)
ACL / Anterior Collateral Ligament
Located deep within the knee joint
Stabilizes the lower leg by not allowing it to slide forward/anteriorly or to rotate in relation to the Femur
Commonly injured while changing direction or stopping quickly at a run; improper planting or landing of a jump; direct frontal hit to the knee, etc. These are found often in mogul skiing, snowboarding, basketball, tennis, soccer, football, & skateboarding.
The meniscus is a rubbery, C-shaped disc that cushions your knee & helps by distributing your weight across the knee.
Injuries often come while the knee is bent while twisting or turning quickly, but can often happen in very simple domestic chores.
Many times multiple tissues may be injured simultaneously & require medical intervention.
If these ligaments are sprained or stretched they can be treated with Acupuncture & RICE (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation). Typically the ligament will be “bookended” or surrounded on 2 sides by acupuncture needles. While utilizing electrical stimulation, an electric current “flows through or bathes” the ligament, causing a decrease local inflammation & encouraging fresh nutrient rich blood to the area to heal & repair. Tendons & ligaments have minimal blood supply which is why it takes so much longer to heal than injuries to muscle or bone.
If the ligaments are torn then they will probably need surgical intervention to reattach them or even remove tissue, as with the Meniscus. During rehab the same Acupuncture / Electrical Stimulation technique is used along side of PT to maintain optimal blood flow & minimize inflammation. This can benefit the patient in 2 dynamic ways: first by increasing the speed of the recovery; but more importantly, improving the quality of the actual repair & functionality of the knee.
Christina Roy L.Ac, MSOM
Premier Acupuncture of Boulder
Christina Roy is a licensed acupuncturist practicing in Boulder, Colorado. One of her specialties is treating sports injuries and performance enhancement. She has worked with multiple cycling & triathlon groups in Boulder to help with recovery treatments after races, as well as injury prevention & performance enhancement. She is also a cyclist & dreams to some day do the RAAM (Race Across America) solo! To learn more about the benefits of acupuncture to cyclists, visit her site at Premier Acupuncture Boulder
Christina Roy MSOM, L.Ac.
Premier Acupuncture of Boulder