Practicing Outside the Lines: Using Acupuncture in the Athletic Training Room and on the Field

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Acupuncture can be used to treat athletes in an outpatient clinic setting, athletic training room, or even on a football field sideline. This article details 3 scenarios, in 3 illustrative cases, in which acupuncture was used for sports medicine in more unconventional settings. The author describes each case and shares his observations about them. First, acupuncture was used on a high-school football field sideline to help alleviate acute calf cramping in a player. Second, acupuncture was used in a division 2 college athletic training room to treat a player with subacute thoracic pain that was not improving with the usual treatments provided by the athletic trainers. Third, acupuncture was used to treat hamstring strain and tightness in a professional National Football League player to enhance his performance. These situations demonstrate the versatility of acupuncture in the realm of sports medicine. Acupuncture is an added-value service for athletes, and acupuncture providers should not be afraid to promote it in this population that is always looking for a competitive advantage.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)266-269
Number of pages4
JournalMedical Acupuncture
Issue number5
StatePublished - Oct 1 2023


  • acupuncture
  • athletic performance
  • musculoskeletal pain
  • rehabilitation medicine
  • sports medicine
  • trigger point


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