Chiropractic Management Can Relieve the Pain of Sports Injuries

June 6, 2009


Does it Hurt to Get Adjusted

Not too long ago sports injuries were usually limited to professional athletes, young people participating in school sports programs, and the occasional male “weekend warrior. Everyday, men and women of all ages are involved in regular sports and fitness activities. A large percentage of people are involved in sports like golf and tennis, and/or other healthy activities like running, aerobic classes, and weight training. Sadly, risk of injury is certainly a possibility with any sports activity.

Nearly all of injuries can be put into two classifications: 1) traumatic injury, such as a slip, fall, or collision and, 2) repetitive stress or overuse injury.

Traumatic Injuries

As the name implies, this kind of injury produces the sort of incapacitation and debilitation most often associated with trauma. As a rule injuries to the ligaments (the tissue that connects bone to bone) and to muscles are the most frequent, although the trauma of fractures and dislocations frequently occurs in contact sports. A strain is any damage to either a muscle or its tendon, and a sprain is an injury to ligaments.  The most frequent areas for these kinds of injuries are the ankles, knees, and shoulders, nevertheless other areas can be affected including the low back and neck. Injuries to the neck and low back can be extremely serious as the spinal cord or spinal nerves can also be affected.

Traumatic injuries can range from a mild “muscle pull” or ankle twist to a serious problem needing surgery. The seriousness of the injury depends upon several factors, such as the degree of tearing of the tissues, the location of the injury, and the age of the person. Almost all sprains and strains are identified with some degree of swelling and on occasion with internal bleeding, especially with injury to the ankles and knees. Strains and sprains need competent attention, especially during the initial stages of an injury, to assure complete healing and protect against future disability. Attention from a competent health-care professional, such as your Santa Barbara chiropractor, is highly expedient.

If you’ve sustained an injury, the best course of action is to see a professional. Until aid is attainable, remember the acronym, PRICE:
P    Protect injury from further damage
R    Rest the damaged body region
I     Ice injury to lessen swelling, bleeding, muscle spasm, and pain
C    Compress injury with a specifically designed or elastic bandage to support injured tissues
E    Elevate the injury, particularly when the damage is to ankles and knees

As formerly mentioned, proper diagnosis and care are essential to a complete recovery. A chiropractor can ascertain the degree of your injury and institute appropriate recovery treatment. When knowledgeable management is given during the various stages of healing, the majority those who have experienced sprain and strain injuries will recover. If not treated attentively, some sprains and strains can result in long-lasting problems such as joint instability, painful or weak joints and muscles, and lack of mobility. Good care of your sports injury by a chiropractor with years of experience in sports injury treatment will insure that your injury mends properly. Call your Santa Barbara chiropractor if you have sustained a traumatic injury.

Repetitive Stress, or Overuse, Injuries

These injuries are becoming more widespread, especially among people pursuing sports such as golf, tennis, bowling, and any other activity that necessitates the same activity over and over (repetitively). An activity as uncomplex and healthy as running, particularly on a treadmill, can also be a factor.

Basically, overuse or repetitive stress injuries happen when a person is involved in a repetitious activity that causes a tiny strain to tissues, particularly tendons and muscles, that in and of itself would not create a problem, but performed many times has an accumulative effect.  Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most frequent classes of overuse injuries. The pain, stiffness, and disability concomitant with carpal tunnel problems takes place over a period of time as the muscles and other affected tissue establish changes that no longer allow proper function. Definite factors predispose a person to these sorts of injury. A few are “intrinsic,” meaning the factor is found within a person’s own body. Other factors are “extrinsic,” which means that the factors are external and can often be changed or controlled by the individual.

Some of the most prevalent intrinsic factors for injury

Age is the mostwell-established intrinsic factor for injury. The older a person is, the easier it is for that person to get injured. Congenital abnormalities are another factor. Some people are born with joint or muscle problems. And, ultimately, previous injuries are a factor as they generally prohibit the joints or muscles from functioning properly.

Extrinsic factors for injury

Extrinsic factors are plentiful.  For instance, sports equipment can insufficient–a wrong grip size of tennis racket or worn-out running shoes are clear examples, even a playing surface can be a factor, e.g., a too-hard surface for soccer or an uneven treadmill. Incorrect technique in any sport, such as an unsuitable golf grip is, as the saying goes, an injury waiting to happen All sports activities necessitate some pre-conditioning, which is why people who aren’t in shape who continue to increase the duration of an activity without easing in slowly, as well as those who lack flexibility, are injured most often. Lack of warm-up, like stretching and appropriate preparation, is a prevalent factor in injuries.  And, finally, but perhaps surprising to some, stress is a factor. Being tired or stressed can create tense, inflexible muscles that are too tight for most activities.

It is encouraging to remember that most factors are extrinsic and, consequently, they are factors that can be individually managed. Before beginning a new sport, or as a way to avoid injury in a current sport, it’s smart to get an evaluation of your overall body condition. If you’ve been injured, it is extremely to seek out a competent professional, like a chiropractor, to determine the nature of the injury and create a plan of treatment. If left untreated, sports injuries can considerably affect a person’s life and limit a favorite activity. Treatment such as joint manipulation, massage, bracing, and specific exercises is generally required to stabilize the condition. A chiropractor is your best source of help. Call a chiropractor if you’re either thinking of beginning a new activity, you’re feeling pain related to a current sports activity, or you’ve sustained a sports injury. Your Santa Barbara Chiropractor has years of experience helping people just like you.

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