Can Acupuncture Heal Damaged Ligaments?

Woman lifting dumbbell.

Ligaments are strong connective tissue bands that connect bone to bones. They are similar to tendons which connect muscles to bones. Ligaments are found between most bones of the body and function to limit movement between bones. Ligament damage often occurs during injuries. Once damaged they cause destabilization of joints and are often slow to heal.

What is a Torn Ligament?

Torn ligaments occur when joints are stressed beyond their normal range of motion. This happens when we twist quickly or change direction abruptly.

A ligament stretched beyond its capacity will begin to tear. The degree of tearing can be minimal to completely torn depending on the force. Ligament injuries are graded based on their severity.

The 3 Grades of Ligament Injury are:

  • Grade I - mild ligament tear

Grade I sprains often heal within a few weeks. The strength of the ligament will recover fully after six to eight weeks. It is important to rest to avoid reinjury while healing.

Treatment with acupuncture helps improve circulation to the ligament supplying important nutrients for recovery and providing natural pain relief.

  • Grade II - moderate ligament tear

Grade II sprains are more significant. There may be more swelling and bruising with these injuries. These injuries rest and stabilization of the joint.

After a grade II injury return to activity is more carefully monitored and requires recovery of coordination and joint stability. This can take anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks depending on the injury.

Acupuncture treatment improves circulation to the ligament aiding healing. Acupuncture also improves proprioception to the muscles involved in stabilizing and moving the affected joint. This is an important part of complete recovery.

  • Grade III - complete ligament tear

Grade III sprain is a significant injury. This is a complete tearing of the ligament and will often require surgical intervention for a complete recovery

Acupuncture helps improve recovery time by increasing circulation to the joint, stimulating the muscles involved and by relieving pain and reducing the dependence of pain medications which have been shown to slow recovery.

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