A sports injury can occur anytime - an accident or repeated overuse of joints, tendons and muscles are the most common ways. In fact, in organized sports, more than 50% of sports injuries occur in practice rather than the actual game.
As an athlete, it’s not difficult to understand the numerous demands that you may face in the practice sessions or during the actual event. Tackling, running and jumping can result in painful strains, sprains and tears.
Failure to warm up properly, over-training, repetitive motions and forceful impacts are some of the main reasons athletes suffer from sports injuries.
Visiting a chiropractor can certainly help you when you’ve suffered any sports injuries. Moreover, with the chiropractor’s help, future sports injuries can also be prevented.
When Should I Consider Visiting a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor who has specialized training in treating sports injuries can successfully help you recover and also help prevent any future injuries. It’s essential to detect the problems earlier on to avoid aggravating the sports injuries.
If you experience any of the warning signs mentioned below, you should consider contacting a chiropractor immediately.
● Swelling or tenderness in a muscle or joint before or after an activity.
● Extreme tingling or numbness.
● Any pain during range of motion.
● Unusual looseness, stiffness in a joint or reduced range of motion from a previous injury.
● Some sort of weakness in a muscle.
How Can Chiropractors Help With Sports Injuries?
A chiropractor’s practice is often misconstrued. They are often associated with treating only the spine and neck.
But most chiropractors, like us, also treat many other types of sports injuries to the ligaments, joints and muscles of the body, including but not limited to the ankles, knees, wrists and shoulders. We do this by manually adjusting the spine and active rehabilitation of the surrounding soft tissues.
If you’ve suffered a sports injury, it’s best to seek the assistance of a chiropractor, especially professionals who have experience in treating as well as preventing further sports injuries.
We are based in Naperville and our chiropractors, Dr. Tom Campbell and Dr. Chris Kessler offer the best in sports injury recovery and prevention, in addition to health enhancement, performance enhancement and healing enhancement.
Before suggesting any treatment, chiropractors need to assess the injuries properly to ensure that the athlete recovers quickly.
Diagnosing, Evaluating and Treating Sports Injuries
The very first step in diagnosing and evaluating sports injuries is by getting all the details like how, when and why it happened. If the doctor thinks it’s vital, an x-ray may also be required.
After the diagnosis and the severity of the injury has been determined, a suitable treatment will be recommended. Since the nature of the sports injury differs from person to person, the treatment will also vary.
So, depending on the treatment required, physiotherapy or adjustive procedures may be used. This reduces the swelling and improves the area in and around the injury.
In the initial stages of treatment, your chiropractor may use any one of the following modalities to lessen the swelling around a muscle or a joint.
● Ice massage
● Galvanic stimulation
Another technique that your doctor may use is called passive range of motion. It is a proven modern technique to minimize the swelling. It will also initiate and enhance the healing process to the injured area.
As the treatment progresses, the later stages of care will lay emphasis on improving the strength and use of the injured tissue. This can be done through stretching, careful mobilization, massage as well as application of heat.
All of these therapies are great to remove any waste products or chemicals from within the injured area. If it’s left untreated, it could potentially lead to arthritis. So, it’s very important that you follow the entire treatment until the end.
Once the sports injuries are well-healed, the doctor will give you a strengthening plan to prevent injuries in the future.
However, there are some precautions that you can take to prevent sports injuries in the first place. Let’s take a look.
Recent studies have shown that excessive stretching before an event is quite unnecessary. But what you must do is stretch the muscles to ensure ease of use through the expected range of motion. This is a way of warming up the muscles, which is highly recommended.
Using Ice Before Warming Up
New studies suggest that using ice on a joint or a muscle before warming up increases the blood supply to those areas. So, icing them first and then warming up is a great option.
Your warming up routine should include mimicking parts of the activity that you would actually perform during the event. So, things like a brief jog before running or rotating the shoulders before pitching the ball is advisable.
Cooling Down After the Activity
You should take about 5 to 10 minutes to cool down by walking, jogging, or doing some light exercises before leaving the activity completely. If you cool down properly, your body will benefit in the following ways.
● Removes waste products like lactic acid.
● Lowers your heart rate and respiration slowly.
● Helps in preventing muscle soreness.
Eating a proper diet not only helps in managing your weight, but it also helps in controlling your cholesterol levels. Moreover, it helps to build healthy muscles and maintain your joints. You can talk to your chiropractor who can help you with a special diet plan that will suit your sport.
If you’ve ever been sidelined due to a sports injury, you should definitely consider visiting a chiropractor. Sports chiropractors are able to understand the exact injuries and know how to address them.
Instability, imbalance, lack of muscle flexibility and structural misalignment of the joints are some of the reasons of sports injuries. Many elite athletes and competitors at NCAA as well as Olympic levels have benefited by visiting a chiropractor.
Sports injuries are inevitable, but proper care and management will ensure that you don’t miss the next match or activity.