Procedure Performed at MWA by Emma McGowan, M.D. & Martin Gallagher, M.D.
Acupuncture May Improve Strength Performance
In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover study involving 33 recreational athletes (average age: 25 years; 20 men, 13 women), treatment with acupuncture was found to significantly improve strength performance, as compared to placebo laser acupuncture (a deactivated laser device). Subjects received either a) real acupuncture; b) placebo laser acupuncture; c) sham acupuncture (needling at non-acupuncture points). Immediate changes in maximum rebound height and quadriceps maximum isometric voluntary force (MIVF) associated with bipedal drop jumps, surface EMG activity of the rectus femoris muscle during 30 second sustained MIVF of knee extensors, and muscular endurance were assessed. Results found that immediately following real acupuncture the mean change in MIVF from baseline was 46.6 N, as compared to sham laser acupuncture (19.6 N) and sham acupuncture (28.8 N). The authors conclude, "The present study shows that a single acupuncture treatment was efficacious for improving isometric quadriceps strength in recreational athletes. These results might have implications not only for athletic performance enhancement, but also for rehabilitation programs aimed at restoring neuromuscular function."
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