Common Sports Injuries and How a Chiropractor Can Help
Whether you play sports for fun or are a professional athlete and your sport of choice is your livelihood, you are at risk for sports injuries. Sports injuries can affect both physical and mental health. An injury can keep you out of action for weeks, even months. An unattended sports injury can have lifelong consequences.
Common Types of Sports-related Injuries
Sprains and Strains
A sprain occurs when a ligament is overworked and stretched, and (as a result) tears. Strains are tears in the muscle from overuse or injury. Because bones are connected to each other by ligaments and muscles create movement between two bones, sprains and strains occur in the joints. Sprains can occur in the upper or lower part of the body. The most common location for a sprain is in the ankle.
Ankle sprains are more common than you think. Around one million ankle injuries occur in the country. Out of them, around 85 percent are sprains. Most ankle injuries occur when a person’s foot turns inward as they fall, run, turn or land on their ankle after a jump.
Some signs of a sprain are bruising, pain, swelling, and the loss of ability to move the affected joint. The intensity of pain and swelling can vary depending on the seriousness of the sprain.
A strain occurs when a muscle or tendon is pulled too far and as a result tears. The most common location for a strain is in the back or hamstring.
Some common signs of a strain are redness or bruising, tenderness or pain, muscle spasms, and weakness and swelling.
Do not ignore a sprain or strain. An untreated sprain can lead to chronic instability. Torn ligaments can fuse together haphazardly to form scar tissues.
In addition to causing pain episodes, an unaddressed muscle strain can release proteins into the bloodstream, causing kidney-related complications.
Swelling occurs when an organ or skin enlarges due to a buildup of fluid. Swelling can either occur internally or affect your outer skin or muscles. Sports injuries are one of the most common causes of swelling. Some common signs of swelling are itching, flatulence, vomiting, and pain in the affected area. If the swelling is internal, you may experience the following symptoms:
- Fever, and
The Achilles tendon or calcaneal tendon connects the bones in the lower leg to the bone in the heel. It allows us to push off while walking, running, and jumping. Despite being the largest and strongest tendon, the Achilles tendon is vulnerable to injury.
When you play a sport, repetitive movements can cause your Achilles tendon to get damaged. An Achilles tendon injury can take several different forms, including an Achilles tendon tear, Achilles bursitis, Achilles tendinosis, and Achilles tendon rupture.
Some Achilles tendon injury symptoms are pain above the heel, tenderness, stiffness, and swelling. The intensity of pain can vary depending on the nature of injury. You may experience excruciating pain when you stretch your ankle or stand on your toes. An instant and severe pain can indicate a ruptured tendon.
Shin splints occur when the bone, tendons, and muscles around the tibia become overworked, and as a result, swell. Shin splints result from repeated stress to the shin bone due to frequent tugging and pulling of the muscles in the lower leg.
Athletes, long-distance runners, people with flat feet or rigid arches, and individuals with vitamin D deficiency or osteoporosis are at high risk. Pain from shin splints can be a dull ache or a sharp one. It often gets worse after activity and usually affects the inner lower part of the leg or front of the shin bone.
A dislocation occurs when an injury forces a joint out of its normal position. People who play contact sports and high-impact sports have an increased risk of dislocation. A dislocation can be extremely painful. It can prevent the affected joint from moving and even tear the surrounding nerves, muscles, and tendons.
An untreated dislocation can cause serious and even irreversible damage to ligaments, nerves, or blood vessels. Some signs of dislocation are numbness around the affected area, loss of motion, pain during movement, and a tingling sensation.
How Can a Chiropractor Help?
If you were injured while playing a sport, consult a sports chiropractor near you in Des Moines. The goal of chiropractic care is to relieve pain, reduce joint inflammation, and restore or enhance joint function.
Chiropractic care can help relieve pain from and even help prevent these and other sports injuries.
A chiropractor manipulates the body’s alignment to reduce pain and activate the body’s self-healing mechanism. A sports chiropractor uses a range of pain relief techniques. They use hands-on manipulation to align the spine, which in turn, fast-tracks recovery.
When the spine is aligned properly, the body is less susceptible to injury and different body systems function better.
Many sports injuries result from asymmetries. If one leg or hand is shorter or longer than the other, your chiropractor can help prepare the body to handle these differences and function as one unit. When your body functions as a cohesive unit, you are less susceptible to sports injuries.
Chiropractic care promotes agility and flexibility, helping the body move naturally – as it is supposed to. Chiropractic care can relax overworked and tensed muscles. It can correct misalignments in the spine, enabling the body to move without pain or resistance.
Chiropractic care can also boost performance by improving pulmonary function. Better pulmonary function = more oxygen in the blood and increased energy levels.
Are you struggling with chronic pain? Ascent Chiropractic can help. We use a whole body approach to care. Our techniques are designed to create a stable neuromusculoskeletal interaction. To learn more, call 206-241-3836.