Tour de France and the Use of Acupuncture

 Tour de France and the Use of Acupuncture

Anyone who has ever watched the cyclists in the Tour De France competition has to wonder how these elite athletes do what they do. This cycling competition requires that the athletes race up and down through the beautiful French mountainsides and somehow keep up with all the other competitors who are pushing themselves beyond endurance. It’s all an absolutely amazing feat that requires nearly superhuman strength and fortitude. How do they do it and then recover to race again?

Alberto Contador Is an Acupuncture Fan

Some of the top cyclists on the circuit are now turning to the ancient practice of acupuncture to heal their strained muscles after racing. Alberto Contador has experienced severe knee pain from racing, but he is having great results from his work with a skilled acupuncturist. The treatments he’s receiving help lessen the pain and inflammation he endures after racing, and it’s helping him to become stronger. Retired cyclist Tyler Hamilton has also recently stated that an acupuncturist helped him during the 2004 Tour de France competition.

Cycling Weekly Reports on Contador

Cycling Weekly recently ran a story on Alberto Contador and his success with his treatments with an acupuncturist. According to Contador, the inflammation in his knee had become serious, as he was injured during two crashes during the 2014 Tour de France.

The Associated Press has also reported on cycling and how the athletes deal with their injuries. Tyler Hamilton injured his back as well as his shoulder during the competition in 2004, but he recovered thanks to the help of an acupuncturist.

The Acupuncture Secret

What is it about acupuncture that is sending these top athletes in for the cure?

Acupuncture is an ancient healing system that utilizes needles, muscle pressure and herbal remedies to stimulate the body’s natural healing centers. Acupuncture is a holistic and drug free type of treatment that works with a different philosophy than traditional western medicine. Acupuncture originated in Asia, and the Japanese and Chinese styles of healing differ slightly in the use and type of needles, as well as in the use of herbal remedies.

What Does Acupuncture Treat?

Acupuncture is used to treat a wide range of physical problems, from the kind of specific muscle strain and inflammation experienced by cyclists to problems with the immune system and even with menstruation in women. Other issues treated by this ancient healing approach include: Cold and flu symptoms, weakness in the immune system, gout, anemia, emotional problems, stress symptoms, arthritis, sciatica and more.

There’s no doubt that this ancient healing system is effective, as it is utilized by people from all walks of life, from corporate professionals to professional athletes working at the highest level of performance. The healing power of this holistic approach has been used since ancient times, and today, more and more people are discovering the power of this gentle yet highly effective style of treatment.


In this instance, an athlete was originally diagnosed with minor quadriceps muscle strain and was treated for four weeks, with unsatisfactory results. When he came to our clinic, the muscle was not healing, and the patients’ muscle tissue had already begun to atrophy.

Upon examination using MSUS, we discovered that he had a full muscle thickness tear that had been overlooked by his previous provider. To mitigate damage and promote healing, surgery should have been performed immediately after the injury occurred. Because of misdiagnosis and inappropriate treatment, the patient now has permanent damage that cannot be corrected.

The most important advantage of Ultrasound over MRI imaging is its ability to zero in on the symptomatic region and obtain imaging, with active participation and feedback from the patient. Using dynamic MSUS, we can see what happens when patients contract their muscles, something that cannot be done with MRI. From a diagnostic perspective, this interaction is invaluable.

Dynamic ultrasonography examination demonstrating
the full thickness tear and already occurring muscle atrophy
due to misdiagnosis and not referring the patient
to proper diagnostic workup

Demonstration of how very small muscle defect is made and revealed
to be a complete tear with muscle contraction
under diagnostic sonography (not possible with MRI)


Complete tear of rectus femoris
with large hematoma (blood)


Separation of muscle ends due to tear elicited
on dynamic sonography examination

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