Athletes are often in peak physical condition, but regular wear and tear can create chronic aches and pains. With an estimated 8 million Americans (and counting) receiving treatment for a sports-related injury annually, proper care is essential to keeping you in the game. While sports injuries can be devastating, chiropractic therapy can help relieve the pain and heal the damage. The sports chiropractors of Academy Injury & Health are here to share the most common sports injuries and how to treat them.
How to Treat Sports Injuries
Before learning how to treat sports injuries, it’s essential to understand what causes them. Some of the most common injuries occur because of:
- Poor training
- Lack of conditioning
- Improper warmup or stretching
The first thing a trained sports chiropractor will do is identify the problem area. Once identified, a chiropractic rehab program will be established. Sports injuries vary widely, so finding the method best suited for the injury is imperative.
Most Common Sports Injuries
While chiropractic care is most commonly associated with back and neck problems, it can be beneficial for musculoskeletal concerns. Below are some of the most common sports injuries chiropractors care for:
Sprains or Strains
Sprains or strains occur when a ligament, tendon, or muscle is torn or stretched too far. The most common sprains are in the ankles and wrists and are often accompanied by painful swelling and bruising. Strains occur most often in the back, hamstrings, or groin. Strains are similar to sprains; you may experience painful swelling or spasms. Chiropractic treatments for these injuries can include adjustments to relieve tension or tightness in the joints and therapies to reduce muscle spasms and inflammation.
The most common type of knee injury is the runner’s knee. Runner’s knee is associated with tenderness near the knee cap. Four ligaments support the knee, and they can all be damaged during sports activities. Most knee pain is due to muscle misalignments around the hip, knee, or ankle joints. Adjustments to the hips and spine can help alleviate the pain.
Shoulder injuries are extremely common among athletes, especially pitchers, golfers, and basketball players. SLAP tears often occur as well as frozen shoulder syndrome. Symptoms can include deep aches from overhead movement, swelling, or stiffness. A chiropractic adjustment can be used as a therapy, combined with other methods, like the application of heat and ice. In addition to adjustments, a sports chiropractor can suggest exercise and stretching plans to further rehabilitate your shoulder.
Also called lateral epicondylitis, tennis elbow is a form of tendonitis in the elbow. This sudden or gradual injury of the muscles and tendons occurs from the overuse of the elbow in sports like tennis, golf, and other racket activities. A sports chiropractor will restore the joints to reduce inflammation in the tendons around the elbow.
This is a common injury in sports that require repetitive overhead motions, like baseball and tennis. With a torn rotator cuff, symptoms can include a dull ache, weakness, and restricted motion. A sports chiropractor can work to rehabilitate your rotator cuff using several therapies including, the application of heat and ice to reduce inflammation, special exercises to increase strength and mobility, and manipulations or adjustments to restore functionality.
While sports injuries are common, there are several things you can do to avoid them. Stretching before strenuous activity, cross-training to strengthen areas prone to injury, and staying hydrated can all help. Establishing a chiropractic therapy program with your doctor can aid in your recovery and help alleviate the pain faster. If you’ve been searching for a sports chiropractor near me, look no further than Academy Injury & Health. Contact us today to set up your first appointment!