At East to West Wellness Center, most of the conditions we commonly treat are sports injuries. We see many athletes ranging in both age and skill level. We are able to help speed up injury recovery to get them working back at full capacity in the minimum amount of sessions possible.
One of our new patients is a young football kicker who suffered a pars fracture at L5 (the fifth vertebrae of the lumbar or lower region of the spine). A pars fracture is a fracture at a very specific location in the spine called the pars interarticularis which connects the small joints in the vertebrae to the spine. These are often stress fractures and occur from repetitive movements, which in this patient’s case was kicking. This is a fairly common injury for young athletes that we see and treat often, and often those with this type of injury are told there isn’t much to do to treat it beyond surgery which is excessive in many cases!
This patient in particular injured his spine two years ago, and then re-injured it in September due to the original stress fracture never being fully healed. Every time he kicked the pain would be recreated and cause discomfort and a compressing sensation of the spine itself. We worked primarily in the local L5 region and applied electrical stimulation on acupuncture points parallel to the spine – after just one treatment the pain had nearly diminished completely in the lower back and the patient was left with a stiffness in his mid to low back. Being that some discomfort remained we worked on relaxing the patients hip flexors first, contracted hip flexors are a common culprit in stubborn low back pain. We then continued to work locally on the low back. When the patient came back for his third treatment, all pain had diminished and the stiffness decreased significantly in intensity.
Acupuncture is able to relax contracted muscles as well as make functional and structural changes to soft tissue that is surrounding and supporting the damaged vertebrae. As mentioned prior acupuncture has a naturally pain killing and anti- inflammatory response that helps recovery of all injuries.
-Anna Craddock, Student of Acupuncture