NFL Players Relieve Pain With Acupuncture | STACK

NFL Players Relieve Pain With Acupuncture

December 4, 2010

Seeking to relieve pain and soreness that result from their battles on the gridiron, NFL players seek out massage therapists and chiropractors, practice yoga, receive electronic stimulation and nap in hyperbaric chambers—to name just a few modalities. According to a recent article in the New York Times, another therapy, one that seems to be growing in popularity, is acupuncture, the procedure of inserting and tweaking small needles in various points on the body.

New York Jets fullback Tony Richardson and cornerback Darrelle Revis, Pittsburgh Steelers linebacker James Farrior and Miami Dolphins quarterback Chad Pennington all receive regular treatments from NFL acupuncturist Lisa Ripi. Richardson swears his soreness vanishes after being treated by Ripi.

Just as each position in football requires different training techniques, Ripi’s methods (and the number of needles she uses) vary depending on the location of the pain—such as the shoulder for a quarterback or the hamstrings for a running back. Ripi describes her therapy as closer to Japanese style than traditional Chinese—focusing less on established pressure points and more on sore areas.

The idea behind acupuncture is to increase blood flow and relax clenched-up muscles. Ripi does use trigger points to release "stuck blood." When Revis suffered an injury to his hamstring, she stuck one needle in the top of his head—tapping a nerve that shoots feeling from a lower extremity to the brain. Some studies suggest acupuncture can even alter the brain’s perception and processing of pain.

For more tips on relieving muscle soreness, check out these STACK articles:

Stay Loose with a Softball
Beat Muscle Soreness With Anti-Inflammatory Foods
Reduce Muscle Soreness With Cherry Juice
Stretch for Success
The Role of Flexibility and How It Affects Your Game
Yoga for Athletes

Source:  NYTimes.com

Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
Maddy Lucier
- As an associate editor for STACK, Maddy creates lifestyle, social media, gear and nutrition content for our audience of athletes. She played volleyball and basketball...
More Cool Stuff You'll Like

How to Prevent Baseball Injuries During the Off-Season

So much emphasis is placed on peaking our athletes for tryouts and the start of the season. Moving forward, great strides have been made in creating...

How to Train With Shin Splints

Does Loss of Sleep Have Same Effects as Sports Head Injuries?

What You Need to Know About Tiger Woods' Back Injury

6 Simple Tips to Prevent Knee Injuries

How to Keep Your Feet Healthy On and Off the Field

How to Avoid Softball Pitching Injuries

6 Steps for Recovering From a Season-Ending Injury

Tommy John Surgery 10 Times More Common Than a Decade Ago

4 Strategies to Prevent Tommy John Surgery

Bulletproof Your Body with 5 Easy Injury Prevention Exercises

Why Strengthening This Muscle May Fix Knee Pain

Where The Best Athletes Get Better

The New Rules for Cryotherapy: Why You're Icing Wrong

8 of the Most Ridiculous Off-Field Athlete Injuries of All Time

How Cristiano Ronaldo Can Defeat the Witch Doctor's Curse

Prevent ACL Injuries With This Hamstring-Focused Workout

Why Your Shin Splints Aren't Really Shin Splints

How to Bench Press With a Shoulder Injury

4 Sports Massage Techniques to Relieve Tight Muscles

3 Ways to Prevent the Most Common Hockey Injury

2 Ways to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

How to Fix Anterior Pelvic Tilt

Connective Tissue: The Key to Preventing ACL Injuries

Outsmart Injury With These 4 Predictive Tests

5 Tips to Intelligently Train Through Lower Back Pain

5 Exercises to Prevent ACL Tears

Impressive Advances in ACL Rehab

Maintaining Your Lower-Body Strength After Tommy John Surgery

Evan Gattis's Protection-Enhanced Catcher's Helmet

Pectoral Tendon Ruptures and Injury Prevention

Predicting the Impact of DeMarco Murray's Hand Injury

How to Prevent Injuries With 3 Yoga Poses

Avoid Low-Back Pain With These 7 In-Season Exercises

How to Protect Yourself From Heat Stroke This Summer

The 8 Most Dangerous Exercises for Your Shoulders

Tips for Working Out With a Hand or Arm Injury

Will Joel Embiid Be Able to Succeed in the NBA?

3 Ways to Protect Your Knees and Prevent ACL Injuries

4 Exercises to Fix Bad Posture and Help You Move Better

3 Reasons to Correct Your Weak Links to Prevent Common Injuries

Quarterbacks: 4 Tips to Keep Your Throwing Shoulder Healthy

Why a Sports Hernia Won't Ruin Jadeveon Clowney's Rookie Season

3 Causes of Recurring Hamstring Injuries