Published on 04-22-2015
The calf muscle is a common site of injury for many athletes particularly as well as for the general public. These injuries can be very slow to heal and creates problems for continuing activity. Acupuncture, Chinese Herbal Medicine and Tuina (Chinese Medical Massage) are all used for a range of sports injuries generally with very positive results. The underlying mechanisms, however, of how acupuncture aids these conditions are not well understood.
In a recent study researchers from a few Beijing area medical centers looked at the effects of electroacupuncture on a bruised gastrocnemius muscle in a rabbit model to better understand the effects on the tissue fibers. They had conducted previous studies which clearly showed that electroacupuncture at ST 36 and local ashi points (points of pain) could promote regeneration of the calf muscle by promoting circulation, tissue healing and inhibiting scar tissue. This study looked at the effects after a contusion to see if these effects were still possible against the body's bruising responses.
They divided 45 rabbits into 3 groups - a control group, a contusion group (without treatment) and a contusion group (with EA treatment). The EA treatment group received needling with electrostimulation at ST 36 and local ashi points with 0.4mA (2 Hz) for 15 minutes. They then evaluated the bodies level of healing at days 7, 14 and 28 with EMG, nerve conduction tests and levels of acetylcholinesterase (AchE) and Agrin expression.
Researchers found that the EA treatment group "effectively promoted recovery of the electrophysiological properties" of the calf muscle post contusion. They felt that these positive effects were "realized by promotion of the regeneration of myofibers and nerve fibers, as well as acceleration of NMJ reconstruction by upregulation of AchE and Agrin expression".
This study shows that acupuncture can stimulate the healing potential of the body at a deep tissue level.
This post has the following associations:
Acupoints: st 36
Below are the most recent, view all here.