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TCM for Pain & Sports Injury

Are you experiencing any chronic pain or have sustained a recent injury? Read on to find out more how traditional chinese medicine (TCM) can help with relieving pain and healing injuries.

What is Chronic Pain?

Chronic pain is defined as pain that lasts for more than three months. It can be caused by a number of factors, including injury, illness, disease, or a combination of these. 

The following are some of the common musculoskeletal pain conditions that TCM can help with (but not limited to): 

What are Sports Injuries?

Sports injuries are musculoskeletal injuries that occur while participating in sports or physical activities. These can range from minor strains and sprains to more severe fractures and dislocations. They can affect various parts of the body, including muscles, ligaments, tendons, bones, and joints.

Injuries can be further categorised into the following types:

  • Acute injuries: Injuries that occur suddenly and are usually the result of a specific incident or trauma. 
  • Overuse injuries:  Injuries that develop gradually over time due to repetitive stress on a particular body part. These injuries are often associated with activities that involve repetitive motions, such as running, lifting heavy items.

    The common types of injuries we can help with include (but not limited to): 

  • Ligament tears
    • Anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tear
    • Meniscus tear

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TCM View on Pain & Injuries

From a TCM view, pain occurs when the normal flow of Qi (vital life energy) and blood are disrupted. This may be caused by any of these factors:

  • External (environmental) factors, which can be any of the six elemental factors: wind, cold, heat, wetness, dryness and fire. 
  • Physical trauma (e.g. injury).

Internal factors such as Qi or Blood imbalance or deficiency in the internal organs.
The imbalance and stagnation that can arise from any of the above causes can cause pain, swelling, and impaired healing. Treatment in TCM often aims to promote the smooth flow of Qi and blood to relieve these symptoms.

TCM Orthopaedics

TCM Orthopaedics is a specialised branch of TCM that focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and management of musculoskeletal and orthopaedic conditions. 

This field combines the principles of TCM with modern orthopaedic knowledge to address a wide range of issues related to the musculoskeletal system, from bones, joints, muscles, tendons to ligaments. 

TCM aims to facilitate the body’s natural healing processes and the recovery of musculoskeletal injuries or pain.  It can be used as an alternative treatment or to complement conventional medical treatments. 

Initial Consultation

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Our physicians will begin with a consultation and assessment process involving: 

  • Interviewing patients for their medical history and the history of their pains/injuries  
  • A TCM diagnostic examination to assess overall health and identify health imbalances. Our physicians would employ TCM techniques such as tongue and pulse examinations. 

This diagnostic process  aims to assess each patient’s unique health imbalances based on Chinese medicine theory.  The  diagnosis will then be connected to the presenting condition and inform the choice of treatment methods. 

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Treatments

Based on your presenting problem and unique health imbalances, your physician would then implement the appropriate TCM treatment modalities. For pain and injuries, typical treatments used range from  acupuncture, herbal medicine, cupping therapy, scraping therapy (Gua Sha), tuina (Chinese medical massage) to bone setting

TCM Treatments

Acupuncture
  • Thin needles are inserted into acupuncture points on the body to stimulate the flow of Qi and blood
  • Different acupoints are stimulated to target different purposes
  • Reduces pain and promotes blood circulation in the body. 
Tuina
  • A form of Chinese therapeutic massage 
  • Various techniques to manipulate the muscles, tendons, and joints
  • Improves circulation, reduces muscle tension, and relieves pain.
Cupping/Scraping
  • Cups are placed on the skin to creating suction (Cupping). Or certain areas are ‘scraped’ with a stone-based tool (Scraping).
  • Stimulates blood flow, reduces muscle tension and alleviates pain
Medication (optional)
  • Herbal formulas tailored to each individual’s specific condition
  • Promotes healing, reduces inflammation, and alleviates pain.
  • Often used in conjunction with acupuncture or another treatment.
Bone Setting
  • Involves gentle adjustment and realignment of bones and joints
  • Relieves acute and chronic pain
  • Enhances mobility and ease of movement

NOTE: In cases of severe trauma, fractures, or injuries requiring immediate medical attention, TCM should not be used as a primary treatment. Seek conventional medical care first. Our physicians will also refer you to the appropriate medical specialist whenever necessary. 

When considering TCM for pain or injury management, please consult our physicians to discuss your condition and explore the best treatment options for you. 

Relieve pains and heal your injuries the natural way.

Book your appointment with a PULSE physician today.

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