Sports injuries are not just limited to professional athletes, today a large number of people of both sexes and all ages are regularly participating in sports and fitness activities. The vast majority of both sexes play golf, tennis, basketball, and/or participate in aerobic activities like running. Regrettably, risk of injury is always a possibility with any sports activity.
Nearly all of injuries generally fit into two groups:
- traumatic injury, such as a slip, fall, or collision.
- repetitive stress or overuse injury.
A high percentage of traumatic injuries are to the ligaments, the tissue that connects bone to bone, and bone to muscles, although fractures and dislocations do happen at times, in particular with contact sports. Damage to a ligament is called a sprain, while trauma to a muscle or its tendon is a strain. The most frequent places for these types of injuries are the ankles, knees, and shoulders, nevertheless other areas can be affected including the low back and neck. Because the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves can be harmed, injury to the neck and low back can be extremely serious.
Traumatic injuries can vary from a mild “muscle pull” or ankle twist to a serious problem requiring surgery. It all depends upon the degree of tearing of the tissues, the location, and the age of the person. Some degree of swelling takes place with most sprains and strains. Strains and sprains demand appropriate attention, especially during the initial stages of an injury, to insure correct healing and avoid future disability. Therapy from a competent chiropractor, is highly expedient and could mean having a competitive edge while minimizing future risks of injury and time spent off the court or the gym.
If you’ve sustained an injury, the best course of action is to see a professional. Until assistance is attainable, remember the acronym, PRICE:
- P Protect injury to prevent additional damage
- R Rest the injured area
- I Ice injury to abate swelling, bleeding, muscle spasm, and pain
- C Compress injury with a specifically designed or elastic bandage to support injured tissues
- E Elevate the injury, particularly when dealing with ankles and knees
If not carefully monitored and treated, a sprain or strain injury can result in long-lasting joint instability, painful or weak joints and muscles, and lack of mobility. A chiropractor that is trained in the treatment of sports injuries can give expert advice and management you’ll need to insure that your injury will recover in the best possible way.
Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries
These injuries are becoming more prevalent, especially among individuals going out for sports such as golf, tennis, bowling, and any other activity that necessitates the same movement over and over (repetitively). An activity as un-complex and healthy as running, especially on a treadmill, can also be a factor.
Repetitious activity can frequently create a very slight strain to tissues, expressly tendons and muscles. But, it is the accumulative effects of the repetition that causes the more serious problem. Carpal Tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common types of overuse injuries. Over time the muscle or other affected tissue develops changes that no longer allow it to function correctly, resulting in pain, stiffness and disability. Certain factors predispose a person to these sorts of injury.
Sports equipment can be insufficient–for example an inappropriate grip size of tennis racket or worn-out running shoes are clear examples, even a playing surface can be a factor, e.g., a too-hard surface for soccer or an uneven treadmill. Improper technique in any sport, such as an incorrect golf grip is, as they say, an injury waiting to happen
Another factor is poor conditioning. Some individuals are injured because they are de-conditioned. Added frequency or extended duration of an activity, without easing slowly, can cause the conditions for injury. Insufficient flexibility can produce injury if a person is too stiff to do an activity properly. Lack of warm-up, like stretching and suitable preparation, is a common factor in injuries. And, lastly, and maybe surprising to some, stress is a factor. Muscles that are tense and inflexible as the result of stress are too tight and, hence, unprepared for most sports activities.
If you’ve been injured, it is crucial to seek out an experienced Chiropractor, Dr. Habib will diagnose the nature of the injury and design a plan of care. If left untreated, an injury will not only prohibit someone from participating in a favourite activity, but can significantly affect someone’s life in general. Treatment is often required to stabilize the condition.