Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or a weekend warrior, participating in sports is good for your body and mind.
Physical activities provide an opportunity to socialize, exercise and have fun. But occasionally the demands of sports can lead to an injury. Even if you’re in great shape, overuse, impacts, and strains can lead to damage.
Treatment for a sports injury may vary depending on the type and severity of the injury. Immobilization, physical therapy, and surgery can be part of a treatment plan. In some cases, chiropractic care can also help treat sports injuries.
What Does Chiropractic Care Involve?
Chiropractic care is based on the philosophy that the body can often heal itself if it is in proper alignment. Wear and tear, along with trauma can cause the spine to become misaligned. The misalignment can lead to a variety of problems including making you more susceptible to further injuries.
A large part of chiropractic care involves adjusting or realigning the spinal column, which can reduce pressure on the nerve. When a nerve is pinched, it cannot carry messages from the brain to the body or the body back to the brain as efficiently. Inefficient nerve impulses can cause problems with the muscles, joints, and bones.
Common Sports Injuries and Why They Occur
Common sports injuries include sprains, strains, and dislocations. Sore back muscles and knee injuries are also very common. A variety of factors can contribute to injuries. For example, during certain sports, such as hockey, football, and basketball, contact with other players often occurs. Trauma or force to the body can cause an injury.
Force or trauma does not only occur during contact with another player. Twisting or turning the joints wrong way can also lead to a sprained ankle, back injury or dislocation. In another example, repetitive movements during sports can develop wear and tear on a joint. For instance, sports, such as tennis or baseball may involve the same motions repeatedly which may cause tendinitis.
How Chiropractic Care Can Help
Chiropractic care for sports injuries involves spinal adjustments, which are intended to reduce pressure on the nerve and allow the body to coordinate the healing process. After an adjustment, the flow of nerve impulses improves, the pressure is released in the joints, which may decrease muscle tightness and promote healing.
During treatment, a chiropractor takes a medical history, performs an exam and may use x-rays to determine the injury. In many instances, force is applied in a specific way to adjust spinal structures to relieve pressure and realign the spine.
The exact technique used to adjust the spine may vary based on the injury and body part affected. The chiropractor may place you in a few different positions to perform the adjustment. Chiropractors may also use stretches or tools to decrease pressure in the joints gently. Some treatments also incorporate methods, such as heat, electrical stimulation, and ice.
Chiropractic care is not only helping to treat injuries, but it may also prevent future problems. Keeping the spine in proper alignment helps the body work more efficiently. Also, if there is less tension in the body, it may also prevent future injuries.
Choosing a Chiropractor for Sports Injury Treatment
Chiropractors are trained healthcare professionals who have a doctorate in chiropractic. They must also become licensed in the state they wish to practice. Any licensed chiropractor should be qualified to develop a treatment program for an injury related to sports. But some chiropractors also specialize in sports injuries and neuromuscular rehabilitation.
When visiting a chiropractor, it is essential to discuss all your symptoms. Sometimes an injury in one part of the body also causes pain in another area. Understanding all your symptoms, allows a chiropractor to consider various options to develop a comprehensive treatment plan.
Prevention of Sports Injuries
It may not be possible to prevent all sports injuries. But there are things you can do to decrease your chances of getting hurt, such as the following:
- Wear proper gear: Always use the appropriate protective equipment and gear for the sport you’re participating in. Gear may include helmets, pads or shin guards depending on the sport. Also, be sure to wear the correct shoes for the sport. Proper footwear and well-fitted gear can often protect you from injury.
- Use correct form: Whether it is tackling incorrectly in football or using poor form sliding in baseball, using incorrect techniques can quickly cause injuries. Always use proper form and adhere to the guidelines of play.
- Warm-up: Exercising when muscles are tight can quickly lead to an injury. Before participating in a sport, do some light exercise to warm-up muscles. A combination of light cardio and dynamic stretching can loosen up the muscles and prepare the body.
- Strengthen muscles: Having strong muscles may help decrease sports injuries. Performing conditioning exercises, especially for the sport you participate in is one of the best ways to keep your body strong and avoid hurting yourself.
- Don’t ignore pain: Pain in the body is often a signal that something is wrong. Ignoring an injury can lead to complications and longer recovery time. If you sustain an injury, don’t hesitate seeking an evaluation and treatment from a medical