Medical Research

Immediate effects of acupuncture on strength performance

Kristen Sparrow • December 18, 2010

In this study, the researchers were looking for improvement of athletic performance after a single acupuncture treatment. This doesn’t really fit into the Traditional Chinese Medicine array of uses for acupuncture, but it gives some heft to the observations of the NFL athletes cited in my previous post. Not that NFL athletes need any additional heft.
Following are a few exerpts from the abstract. We are again left with the conundrum of the verum acupuncture and the sham acupuncture both being effective, though the verum acupuncture more so.

(To read more about acupuncture and my practice, please click here.)

Immediate effects of acupuncture on strength performance: a randomized, controlled crossover trial. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2010 Sep;110(2):353-8. Epub 2010 May 25. Hübscher M, Vogt L, Ziebart T, Banzer W. Department of Sports Medicine, Goethe-University Frankfurt, Frankfurt, Germany.

The present study investigated the immediate efficacy of acupuncture compared to sham acupuncture and placebo laser acupuncture on strength performance. ..Assessment included bipedal drop jumps for maximum rebound height and quadriceps maximum isometric voluntary force (MIVF). ..Measurements were performed at baseline and immediately after treatment by a blinded investigator. ..The difference in the mean change in MIVF from baseline between acupuncture (46.6 N) and sham laser acupuncture (19.6 N) was statistically significant (p < style=”font-style: italic; font-weight: bold;”>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.