American researchers have shown that acupuncture can help to prevent delayed-onset muscle soreness in footballers. In a prospective feasibility study, 42 healthy male participants aged 13 to 18, received treatment on at least one of five treatment days. In all, 147 individual treatments were given, lasting 15 minutes each and targeted at the main muscle groups of the legs. Delayed-onset muscle soreness (DOMS) was significantly improved.
The researchers conclude that providing acupuncture to multiple adolescent football players in their training environment is feasible with appropriate staff and resources. Despite mild adverse effects such as tingling or numbness, the treatment was well tolerated. This study provides guidance on acupuncture delivery to other athletes in their training environments.
(The Feasibility and Effects of Acupuncture on Muscle Soreness and Sense of Well-being in an Adolescent Football Population. American Journal of Physical Medicine & Rehabilitation, November 2019.)