We have been asked about muscular tension in recovery after injury a few times, and a typical answer has been:
A: It certainly couldn't do any harm to try traditional acupuncture. We choose out words carefully, though; when we say traditional acupuncture we mean acupuncture based on an understanding of the principles of Chinese medicine. There is a great deal of acupuncture being offered these days by people whose focus is primarily musculo-skeletal, such as physios, osteopaths and chiropractors, and while we have no doubt that they often do very good treatment as an adjunct to their primary discipline, there are times when this kind of 'point and shoot' approach will not be enough. The problem from our perspective, of course, is that when this doesn't work people say 'acupuncture didn't work', to which we respond 'only a very reduced form of it.'
Chinese medicine looks at the body as a dynamic structure of energy, called 'qi' in Chinese thought, whose flow, rhythms and balances are integral to good health and well-being as well as to good recovery from the injuries which everyone experiences from time to time. In cases like yours this means two things. First, it is possible that there has been disruption to the flow of energy locally which, by the use of both local and distal treatment, a practitioner might be able to correct. If there is a local weakness or blockage, most treatments are only going to be partially successful in restoring function.
Second, there are often cases where an injury manifests as an acute problem on top of a more chronic weakness which has not generated any symptoms as yet, and also may manifest against a backdrop where the entire body is running below par. The problem with acute then chronic problems is that they prevent the system as a whole from recovering and lock the problem in for a long time.
Acupuncture treatment may be able to address both of these issues, and a visit to a BAcC member local to you for a brief face to face assessment may be able to establish very quickly whether the practitioner thought that there was something they could do to help.
As general guidance we think that this is still a good start. When applied to specifics, like an ACL reconstruction, we would want to ask a number of additional questions based on our experience over the years. This would involve asking about and looking for scar tissue, checking the geometry of the joint to see that it hadn't been minutely altered by the work done to the ACL, and also looking at any learned postural habits which have become slightly more entrenched during a recovery period. It is not uncommon, for example, for people to develop a slight rotation at the sacro-iliac joint as they favour the opposite leg during recovery, and this can have all sorts of implications for the body's flexibility even where the deviation is very small.
The advice we gave before, to visit a local BAcC member for an informal chat, is by far the best thing to do. Each case is unique and different, and it often takes a brief face to face chat and examination to give a properly informed view.