Participating in sports at any age is an enjoyable way to stay fit, healthy, and young at heart. However, even the most elite athletes, as well as weekend warriors, understand there is always a potential that a sports-related injury could sideline them for a few days or longer.
Fortunately, healthcare specialists like chiropractors have the skills and experience to identify and assess musculoskeletal issues and injuries that may happen while exercising, engaging in your favorite sport, or simply by an unanticipated mishap.
Chiropractic Assistance for Sports Injuries
A professional chiropractic evaluation is the most direct way to determine the extent of your injuries and the most appropriate treatment plan to get you back to your pre-injury level/ability. Without a proper exam, you may choose, in error, to continue to play (even though the body’s structure is misaligned) and in doing so –
- Take preventable risks because injuries tend to make the body more vulnerable to a more serious or intense injury.
- Play at less-than-optimal levels.
While over-the-counter medicine can help reduce inflammation and even mask the pain and discomfort, these meds fail to address the pain’s underlying cause. Even more concerning is that hiding the pain may unintentionally exacerbate or worsen the underlying condition because it creates a misguided sense that you are participating safely when you should rest and recover until the injury has fully healed.
Chiropractor treatments for sports injuries focus on relieving discomfort and other symptoms related to injuries in the neck, shoulders, back, and extremities. However, chiropractors can also treat underlying issues related to a sports injury and symptoms that are related to –
- Biomechanical Deficits
- Muscular Imbalances
- Inappropriate Sports Techniques
- Improper Training and Conditioning, to name a few.
Chiropractic Treatment Options for Sports Injury
Treatment for sports injuries offered by a professional chiropractor typically focuses on relieving neck, back, shoulder, and leg pain. These available options include -
- Adjustments/Spinal Manipulations - Manual or instrument and table-assisted spinal adjustments help realign joints that assist in improving joint function and mobility. Ultimately, chiropractic adjustments help to -
- Reduce pain
- Allow for quicker recovery time
- Restore normal range of motion
- Perform at optimal or peak efficiency
- Combat daily stressors and anxiety
- Soft Tissue Therapies - Soft tissue therapies offer complementary techniques that address sports injury-related spasms, muscle tension/tightness, and adhesions. The methodologies include –
- Various Massage Techniques.
- Myofascial Release – is when sustained pressure is applied to the muscle’s connective tissue (i.e., fascia) – releasing tension and improving one’s mobility.
- Trigger Point Therapy - where sustained pressure is applied to the muscle’s trigger points to release tension, alleviating pain.
- Electrotherapy and Alternative Modalities - Some chiropractors use the following therapies to promote healing and reduce pain and inflammation –
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation (EMS) complements manual adjustments and reduces muscle-related pain. Interferential Current Therapy is another type used to enhance blood flow and reduce spasms.
- Ultrasound Therapy - generates sound waves that promote relaxation and tissue healing by increasing blood flow and decreasing inflammation.
- Cold Laser Therapy – a technique that employs low-level lasers to stimulate cellular processes, relieving pain and inflammation and promoting tissue healing.
- Cryotherapy/Heat Therapy - Chiropractors may use ice or heat packs to manage pain and inflammation after a sports injury. Ice is the preferred treatment for acute injuries, while heat works well for chronic conditions as it relaxes muscles and increases blood flow.
In addition, chiropractors may also offer these therapies to help you recover from a sports injury –
- Nutritional Counseling
- Stretching/Rehabilitation Exercises
- Advice on Injury Prevention
Chiropractic Assistance for Sports Injuries – The Take-Away
Chiropractic care is accomplished without the use of medicine while offering a way to fine-tune your performance and prevent injuries in the future.