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Int J Sports Med. 2011 Oct;32(10):807-13. doi: 10.1055/s-0031-1277213. Epub 2011 May 26.

Changes in blood circulation of the contralateral Achilles tendon during and after acupuncture and heating.

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Life Science (Sports Sciences), University of Tokyo, Japan.


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of acupuncture and heating (application of hot pack) treatments on blood circulation in the contralateral Achilles tendon. During the treatments (10 min for acupuncture, 20 min for heating) and recovery period (40 min), the blood volume (THb) and oxygen saturation (StO2) of the treated and the non-treated tendons were measured using red laser lights. During both treatments, THb and StO2 of the treated tendon increased significantly from the resting level. The increased THb and StO2 of the treated tendon were maintained until the end of the recovery period after removal of the acupuncture needle, although these values decreased after removal of the hot pack. Although THb of the non-treated sides did not change during both acupuncture and heating treatments, it increased gradually after removal of the acupuncture needle or the hot pack. For both treatments, the amount of increase in THb of the non-treated tendon was significantly correlated to that of the treated tendon during the last phase of recovery period. These results obtained from the healthy subjects imply that blood circulation in the injured tendon in a plaster cast may be improved by applying acupuncture or heating treatments to the contralateral healthy limb.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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