Treatment of stress fracture and teenage acne

Josh’s mother has been a patient of mine for many years.  She had originally come to me when she was trying to get pregnant 20 years ago.  Eventually, with treatment, she had Josh.  That is another story, however.  Josh is now an 18 year old athlete.  He is a swimmer and is on the high school cross country running team.  His mother phoned  & asked me to see Josh for a stress fracture in his fibula.  This was his second stress fracture and it was taking a long time to heal.

When I examined Josh, his calf was very painful & swollen at the fracture site.  He was unable to do weight bearing activities,  and  even walking a short distance was painful for him.  The fracture occurred in early July & his first treatment with me was in late August.  It had been a long summer for him.  During his first treatment, I surrounded the fracture area with 4 needles and hooked the needles up to an electro-acupuncture machine.  Electro-acupuncture is useful for moving congestion, such as swelling and bruising,  in an area and speeding the healing of fractures.   I used ear acupuncture to needle the area corresponding to his leg, Kidney, Liver and Spleen.

In Chinese Medicine, the Kidney organ is responsible for bone growth and health.   By stimulating points related to the Kidney, bone formation and  healing is stimulated.  Because Josh was incredibly tight, I needled the Liver area in his ear to relax the tendons.  The Liver energy is responsible for the health of the tendons.  The Spleen is responsible for the production of Qi in the body, which is essential to healing.  Other body points I used were the Kidney shu points on the back, GB 30, 31, 32 & 34, down the side of the leg through the calf.  The focus of the treatment was to heal the bone, reduce the swelling, relax the tendons and increase circulation to the break site.  I advised him to increase his stretching and to take up yoga.

Like most teenagers, the minute the needles were in place, Josh was asleep.  He slept deeply during the 30 minute treatment.  After the treatment, the swelling was reduced and Josh reported that it was less painful and tight feeling.  I made Josh a formula of Chinese Herbal Medicine that combined herbs to invigorate and move the blood at the break site,  with herbs to reduce the swelling and promote healing of the bone.  There are special “messenger” herbs that take the forumla to specific areas of the body.  The herb for the lower body is Nui Xi.  I also gave him a package of   Yunnan Biao herbal patches that I’ve found to be very helpful for healing injuries and my patients love.

Tongue diagnosis is always used in Traditional Chinese Medicine.  Josh’s tongue was very interesting.  Initially, it was very red and coated.  After drinking herbs for a short time, it had changed dramatically.  The color was a more normal pink and the coating was reduced.

Josh returned again three days later and I gave him a similar treatment.  I saw Josh twice a week for three weeks until his leg had substantially healed.  When he returned to cross country running, he complained of shin splints.  I began working on both legs to increase circulation to his calf’s while continuing to  work on the fracture site.    As his leg healed, I  added herbs to his formula to clear up  his acne.

Yesterday was Josh’s last treatment for awhile.   The site of the stress fracture had healed and was no longer swollen or painful.  He had resumed a work-out schedule, though on a modified basis, was competing in school meets & his face was starting to clear up.  I told Josh that I thought his leg was fine and to come in again if it bothered him.   I encouraged him to continue drinking his herbal formula as I thought we could substantially clear up his acne with more treatment.

About Francine Ball, L.Ac.

I am a licensed acupuncturist practicing in Walnut Creek, California. I have been in private practice since 1984. In my practice I see a wide variety of patients with many types of health problems from late stage cancer to allergies and infertility, and everything in between. The age of my patients range from infants to 96 years old. I have many children and teenage patients. My areas of specialty are internal medicine, infertility and neurology.
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