If you or someone you know in Southlake is seeking treatment for a sprained knee, you might be wondering if there are natural solutions to treating the pain. Kalpesh L. Patel, a licensed acupuncturist, has recently opened a new location for his practice, On-Point Acupuncture & Wellness, in Southlake. He offers acupuncture, acupressure, cupping, and herbal remedies for a variety of conditions, including sports injuries. This blog will give an overview of how acupuncture helps injuries heal–specifically, knee sprains.

Who Is at Risk for Knee Sprains?

Many people have experienced a sprain of some kind, either in the knee or ankle. However, they may not know exactly what a sprain looks like underneath the skin.  A knee sprain is actually a partial or complete tear of one of these four ligaments:

Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL: A band of tissue inside the knee joint, towards the front.

ACL tears can happen when a person lands from a jump, slows down after a run, or participates in a sport that requires them to switch directions suddenly, like basketball or soccer.

Posterior Cruciate Ligament, or PCL: Another ligament located inside the knee, behind the ACL.

One example of a PCL injury is “dashboard knee,” which is caused by the force of your bent knee hitting the dashboard in a car accident.

Medial Collateral Ligament, or MCL:  A ligament on the outside of the kneecap. It connects your thighbone to your shinbone.

Lateral Collateral Ligament, or LCL: This ligament runs outside the kneecap, along the opposite side of the MCL. It connects the bottom of the thighbone to the fibula (lower leg bone).

When the MCL or LCL are injured, it’s usually because of a blow to the outside of the knee. Contact sports, such as football, are often the cause.

Acupuncture is recommended for knee sprains where the ligament is partially torn–a completely torn ligament requires surgery.  In mild or moderate knee sprains, acupuncture can help you heal faster with or without the use of over-the-counter medications.

How Western Medicine Treats Knee Sprains

The conventional treatment for a sprain, for the first 24 to 48 hours, is R.I.C.E. (Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation). In addition to resting the knee as much as possible, your doctor may tell you not to put weight on that knee.

Anti-inflammatory drugs may also be prescribed. After one to two days have passed, your doctor will advise you to begin rehabilitation exercises to strength the surrounding ligaments, reduce stiffness, and improve the knee’s range of motion.

Knee Sprains According to Acupuncture Theory

Acupuncture was originally developed to help martial artists recover from their injuries. In the world of professional sports today, many athletes have discovered that acupuncture not only reduces their pain, but helps them get back in the game sooner.

Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) approaches the treatment of a sprain differently from western medicine. The first priority is to treat the patient’s pain, and then to see if acupuncture can correct the internal imbalance that is slowing the patient’s natural ability to heal.

According to acupuncture theory and TCM, the body is covered in meridians that facilitate the flow of qi (pronounced ‘chee’), your body’s circulating life force. If some of these meridians become blocked–by stress, or injury, for example– the result is pain. After assessing your condition, an acupuncturist will identify which meridians need to be unblocked for your knee sprain to feel better.  

Acupuncture needles, which are hair-thin, help to stimulate the flow of qi. Not every patient responds to acupuncture, and sometimes multiple sessions are required to reap the full benefit of this kind of therapy. In the end, the result should be better circulation, reduced pain, and relaxed muscles.

An acupuncturist will also look at your overall health to see if there are other contributing factors that could be causing your sprain to heal more slowly than it should.

When and Where to Seek Acupuncture Treatment in Southlake

When you’re injured with a sprain, the sooner you can see an acupuncturist, the better. Traditional Chinese Medicine teaches that the longer a person’s meridians stay blocked, the more likely their injury will turn into chronic issues. That said, if you have been experiencing any kind of chronic pain, it’s not too late to try acupuncture, either. In this case, your acupuncturist will probably want to treat you over a longer period of time to completely resolve the chronic issues present.

On-Point Acupuncture & Wellness has locations in both Southlake and Irving, Texas. Licensed acupuncturist Kalpesh L. Patel uses acupuncture to treat ailments of both the body and mind, but has a special interest in treating sports injuries.

Whether you’re the parent of a Southlake Carroll Dragon with a recent knee injury, or you’ve been experiencing pain from daily exercise, Patel will create a personalized treatment plan for you during your first consultation visit. If you’re not satisfied with your knee sprain’s recovery, don’t hesitate to try acupuncture and see if it works for you.