If you are a keen amateur sportsperson or a serious athlete, you will know that the physical and mental health benefits of participating in your chosen sport can be immense. However, whether you are pushing yourself to the limit or just being active, you are putting your body under stress which means that occasionally, injuries do happen. While some injuries can be cared for at home and will heal with the appropriate rest, others will require professional support to ensure that they heal correctly without any lasting effects and the best person to provide this support is a chiropractor with experience in sports injuries.
Sport’s injuries can be caused by a range of different things including:
Trips and falls
Suffering a heavy blow (such as that experienced in contact sports)
Failing to warm up properly before exercising
Using incorrect equipment
Using improper techniques
Failing to cool down properly after exercise
Pushing yourself too hard
Common sports injuries
There is a huge range of different injuries that can occur as a result of participating in sports. Nevertheless, there are some that are more common than others. Some of the sports injuries most seen by chiropractors include the following:
Patellofemoral Syndrome: a condition characterized by pain affecting the knee.
Shoulder dislocations: occurs when the ligaments holding the shoulder bones tear and can’t hold the joint together, causing it to come out of its socket which is extremely painful.
Tennis elbow: a condition characterized by pain on the outside of your elbow.
Golfer’s elbow: a condition characterized by pain on the inside of your elbow and down your arm.
Hamstring sprain, also called a pulled hamstring: This occurs when you experience a strain or tear to the tendons or large muscles at the back of the thigh and can vary in severity.
Sciatica: which refers to irritation or compression of the sciatic nerve, the longest nerve in the body, and runs from the lower back, through the buttocks and down into the legs and feet. This causes shooting pain and numbness, among other symptoms.
A groin pull: occurs as a result of putting too much stress on the muscles in your groin and thigh. They are particularly common in people who play sports that involve lots of running and jumping and can be very painful.
ACL injury: the anterior cruciate ligament is one of the major stabilizing ligaments of the knee and injuries usually occur when the athlete makes a sudden pivot or change of direction. Again, the severity of ACL injuries can vary dramatically with severe tears usually requiring surgical repair.
A chiropractor is a trained health care professional that is focused on the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal injuries and disorders and works to resolve them using manual adjustments of the spine, massage, physical therapy, and other non-invasive techniques. In doing so, not only can they help to heal injuries and eliminate the symptoms that the patient has been experiencing, but they can also support whole-body wellness. This is because the spine helps to protect the central nervous system, which is responsible for all body systems and functions.
The exact techniques recommended to you will depend on the location and severity of your injury, but could include:
Spinal manipulations. These are short, thrusting movements that are designed to release areas of tension identified in the spine, which reduces and eliminates pressure on surrounding nerves and brings the spine back into alignment. This is important since when the spine is properly aligned, it enables the entire body to function better and feel healthier, stronger, and more flexible.
Sports massage. Sports massages can alleviate the pain and swelling incurred due to an injury, enabling the site of the injury to heal more quickly. They can also serve to optimize performance by stimulating healthy blood flow and warming up the muscles so that they are less likely to be injured.
In addition to speeding up your recovery from your injury, your chiropractor can also enhance your future performance and prevent new problems from occurring. This is because regular chiropractic treatment can reduce the risk of injury and improve performance. Your chiropractor can also advise you on the correct way to stretch and warm-up, as well as cool down after physical activity so that the soft tissues of your musculoskeletal system are less likely to become damaged.
For more information about how chiropractic care can help with sports injuries, or to schedule an appointment, please contact our chiropractic team today.