Sports Injuries: Can Chiropractic Care Help?
Sports Injuries really stink.
That’s because if you enjoy playing sports, whether it’s tennis, golf, bowling, basketball, soccer, hockey, or weight training, any discomfort while playing will take away your willingness and desirability to play.
The longer you’re injury and pain persists, the more likely you are doing damage to the particular structures in the body that are injured.
As you know, unlike the marine motto of the marines “pain weakness leaving the body”, pain is also the way our body tells us something is going awry.
Thus, it’s very important whether you’re a weekend warrior, or a highly competitive athlete (or both), to return to the “field” as soon as possible.
Types of Sports Injuries That Chiropractic Care Can Help:
I can’t tell you how many of my patients tell me: “I thought chiropractic care was for bad neck or back”.
While that may be the majority of cases that seek out chiropractic, chiropractic care can apply to any musculo-skeletal injury/dysfunction the human body can experience (not to mention or exclude the entire wellness for the human body).
The majority or sport injuries involve a combination of a muscle, tendon, ligament, cartilage, joint capsule, and joint itself.
An example would be a twisted ankle, hyperextended knee, injury to the lower back, shoulder pain, elbow pain, wrist pain, etc.
Chiropractic involves 3 areas:
The science of chiropractic involves the musculoskeletal of the human body, with its associated biomechanics. It also entails the nervous system, biochemistry, physiology, and nutrition.
Hence when a sports related injury presents to my office, within the science area of chiropractic, I would evaluate structural alignment, faulty biomechanics (of not just the injured area, but other areas that may have compensated), muscle balance and symmetry, posture, balance, stability, strength, flexibility, and ergonomics.
The art of of chiropractic focus on the technique that the chiropractor utilizes in order to help the sports injury. That is, how many tools does the chiropractor have in his bag.
Different techniques exist on how to address the faulty biomechanics or a joint, how to realign the position of the joint, how to balance muscle imbalances, how to re-establish proper posture, how to reduce muscle tension, how to break up scar tissue, how to correct faulty ergonomics, etc.
The philosophy of chiropractic is one in which the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord, and peripheral nerves) regulate proper and optimal regulation and function of the body.
Whenever an interference impacts the proper functioning of the central nervous system, then injury, disease, less then optimal functioning of the body occurs.
Hence, a sports injury will ultimately impact the proper regulation of the body.
What Does a Chiropractor Do for Sports Injuries?
Sadly, when people experience sports injuries, what do they typically do?
Most likely, they go to the medicine cabinet or the local walgreen’s drug store and pick up an over the counter pain pill.
While yes I may agree that pain relief is important, to me, trying to correct the problem as opposed to masking it is the real solution.
So what can you expect with sports injuries in my office?
Different technologies exist to help sports injuries:
■ Spinal decompression
■ Ultrasound/iontophoresis/electrical stimulation
■ ice baths
■ wobble boards, balance training and stability training
■ cold laser
■ flexion-distraction tables
■ massage therapy
■ core-strengthening protocols
■ nutritional evaluation/protocols for accelerated healing
■ tubing/bands/resistance machines
■ neuromuscular re-education
You see, chance are, sport injuries are the result of repetitive micro-trauma. I see this a lot with golfer’s elbow, tennis elbow, ilio-tibial (IT) band syndrome, carpal tunnel, shin splints, shoulder tendonitis, and any bursitis.
That is, joints undergo repetitive contractions over and over again with the action required in sports (like swing a club or racquet), to the extent that breakdown in the joint occurs.
Breakdown entails microscopic tearing of muscles/tendons/ligaments, inflammation into the joint, torn cartilage, rubbing of bone and bone, muscle imbalance, weight bearing inequalities, grinding of joints.
All better known as “wear and tear”.
So wouldn’t it make sense to try and address the actual breakdown that is occurring.
■ reduce inflammation
■ balance muscles
■ increase length of shortened muscles
■ breakdown scar tissue, trigger points and adhesion in the muscles
■ align and stabilize the joints of the body optimally,
■ create proper firing and contraction of the muscles/joints
■ strengthen up weakened core strength,
■ increase muscle endurance
As you can see, going to your medicine cabinet is not going to address these changes that cause and effect sports injuries.
So whether you are a weekend warrior or a professional athlete, getting back to your sport pain free, and as fast as possible, next time give chiropractic a try.