Sports medicine is a broad and complex branch of health care that involves several disciplines. Essentially, sports medicine applies western medical and scientific knowledge to prevent, recognize, assess, manage and rehabilitate injuries related to sport, exercise or recreational activity. Sports medicine is targeted not only to the professional athlete but the person with an athletic or active lifestyle to enhance health, fitness and performance. Sports medicine is used by a variety of health care professionals and is practiced in a number of venues with overlapping but distinct areas of expertise. This includes athletic trainers, acupuncturists, massage therapists, podiatrists, dietitians, psychologists, exercise physiologists, chiropractors, surgeons, physical therapists and several other specialties. Each health care discipline practicing under the umbrella of sports medicine has the same goal of rehabilitating the injured athlete back to full participation and function. The athlete young or old, professional or recreational are those individuals that use regular exercise to obtain health.

Sports Medicine Acupuncture contains both Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Sports Medicine diagnostic techniques used to view the patient’s injury from each of these different perspectives. With both the professional and recreational athlete, the goal is to accurately assess the mechanism and severity of the patient’s musculoskeletal complaint. This is accomplished by using a combination of orthopedic special tests, range of motion, manual muscle testing and palpation to identify the injured tissue. These techniques used to assess local stagnation are joined with TCM differential diagnosis, providing a paradigm of the athlete’s local injury and overall health (Qi, Blood, Yin, Yang, Shen). The objective of this combination, Sports Medicine Acupuncture is to address the athlete’s healing potential thereby strengthening the patient, and as a result, decreases injury rehabilitation time. Getting the athlete back to their desired activity, enhancing performance and preventing re-injury through treatment and education is the goal.

Matt Callison
Excerpt from the Sports Medicine Acupuncture textbook (in press)

Goals of the SMA certified practitioner:

  • Take a specialized TCM differential diagnosis from eastern methods and incorporate western approaches.
  • Perform postural analysis and understand muscle imbalance in relationship to injury.
  • Learn to palpate channel imbalances and accurately identify injured tissue.
  • Apply orthopedic examinations, range of motion and manual muscle testing to accurately assess musculoskeletal injury and dysfunction.
  • Formulate a diagnosis, develop a treatment plan and protocol and implement a successful treatment strategy from both TCM and western perspectives.
  • Communicate effectively to with MDs, PTs and other relevant healthcare providers.