This study, recently published, aims to determine if acupuncture at the PC 6 Neiguan and ST 36 Zusanli acupuncture points could decrease blood lactate levels in elite basketball athletes after exercise.
In sports, a very important process for athletes is recovery after exertion. In a competition, some of them may compete more than once a day, and therefore, being able to recover fast is essential for them. Professional athletes are often involved in high-intensity exercise, which increases lactic acid in muscles. This accumulation of lactic acid in muscles is often associated with muscle fatigue. The blood lactate clearance rate is indicated by the decrease in lactate, used as a criterion to assess the quality of the recovery rate of athletes. Several studies have demonstrated that the lactate clearance rate associated with the recovery rate of athletes could be increased by modalities such as acupuncture, massage, stretching etc.
This randomized controlled trial included 36 Indonesian elite basketball athletes who were divided into 2 groups: the acupuncture group (n = 18) and control group (n = 18). The athletes performed a high-intensity exercise after which the lactate levels were measured at 5 and 25 minutes with the athletes in a sitting position.
The results of this study showed that acupuncture at the PC 6 Neiguan and ST 36 Zusanli points remarkably decreased the blood lactate levels of elite basketball athletes after exercise. Nevertheless, the decrease in the lactate levels may have been affected by other factors such as the athletes’ fitness etc. In this study, several subjects in the control group showed faster decrease in the blood lactate levels at the end of the exercise although they received no acupuncture intervention
This study was carried out by L Tandya, H Mihardja, A Srilestari, J Kurniarobbi and A Kurniawan, and it was published in 2018 by IOP Publishing (L Tandya et al 2018 J. Phys.: Conf. Ser. 1073 062050)
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