If you’re an athlete, you know sports injuries are pretty much inevitable. That’s the risk you take when you play the game. But those injuries don’t have to sideline you for longer than necessary when you receive the right type and frequency of treatment.
At Bomberg Chiropractic in New Hope, Minnesota, we understand sustaining an injury can be difficult for athletes of all levels. Whether you’re a professional player, a student-athlete, an avid gym-goer, or a weekend warrior, when you live an active lifestyle, getting sidelined from your favorite activities can be devastating.
From a physical standpoint, you suffer injury-related pain and limitations throughout the healing period. Perhaps worse, forced abstinence from an activity you love can have significant implications for your mental health. That’s why prompt diagnosis and regularly scheduled treatment for sports injuries is critical for accelerated healing.
Below, we outline five of the most common athletic injuries, how a chiropractor can help speed recovery from those injuries, and how routine care can help protect against future sports-related musculoskeletal trauma.
You don’t have to be an athlete to sustain an overuse injury, but athletic individuals are highly prone to them due to the repetitive movements involved in most sports. These types of injuries form when specific motions are performed over and over and your body fails to adapt to them properly.
Eventually, a small degree of tissue damage occurs, which results in inflammation and pain. Discomfort may be mild or even non-existent in the early stages of overuse, which is why many people mistake the signs of such an injury for typical soreness. Overuse issues are commonly seen in:
● Soft tissues
● Connective tissues, including bone
● Nerve tissue
Without treatment, overuse injuries can cause limited range of motion, restricted function, redness, warmth, and tissue swelling. If you’re experiencing any of these symptoms, a chiropractor can evaluate and diagnose the area and formulate an effective course of treatment.
Depending on the type and extent of the injury, several chiropractic treatments can help alleviate discomfort, increase mobility, and speed healing. Kinesio taping, movement-based massage, hydromassage, or TENS therapy may be included in a comprehensive treatment plan.
Sprains happen when ligaments are torn or stretched beyond their capacity. Since ligaments connect two different bones at the joint, a sprain results in pain and limited mobility of the affected joint. Beyond pain and movement restriction, sprains may also produce the following symptoms:
● A popping sound in the affected joint when the injury occurred
Mild sprains usually don’t require professional treatment as the RICE approach (rest, ice, compression, elevation) typically works well. But if you experience moderate pain and have difficulty using the affected joint, chiropractic care can help. Whiplash is one highly common type of strain that typically responds very well to chiropractic treatment.
An experienced practitioner can apply gentle chiropractic adjustments to realign the affected joint and help ensure the ligament heals properly. In addition to direct treatment, your chiropractor can also give you safe strengthening and mobility exercises designed to rehab the injury.
Colloquially referred to as a “pulled muscle,” a strain occurs when a tendon or muscle stretches too far or tears. Since tendons connect muscle to bone, when the tendon stretches beyond its limit during a movement, either the muscle or the tendon itself can experience a partial or complete tear. Signs of a strain include:
● Tenderness or pain in the affected area
● Bruising or redness
● Muscle spasms
● Limited range of motion
● Weakness in the affected area
● Swelling and/or warmth
Strains are highly common in the low back, neck, hamstrings, and shoulders. Often, spinal misalignment plays a role in the development of strains as the body must compensate for an improperly aligned spinal column by placing undue stress on certain muscles and connective tissues.
Strains don’t typically require advanced treatment like surgery as they tend to respond quite well to a more conservative approach. The RICE approach, along with chiropractic care, can speed recovery and alleviate discomfort.
Other chiropractic treatments, such as TENS therapy, Kinesio taping, and instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization can also help reduce pain, increase circulation to the affected tissues, and improve mobility.
Total Joint Dislocations
A complete joint dislocation occurs when some form of trauma forces a joint out of its normal position. This intensely painful injury can cause temporary joint deformity and complete joint immobility and can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from a broken bone.
Beyond pain and immobility, dislocations typically produce one or more of the following symptoms:
● Visible joint deformity
● Tissue discoloration
With proper treatment, fully dislocated joints typically return to normal functioning within several weeks of the injury. Chiropractic adjustments, Kinesio taping, and certain types of tissue manipulation can help speed healing and reduce discomfort.
Subluxations are partial dislocations that can negatively impact joint stability. They may also affect nerve function, as well as the connective tissue, cartilage, and bones that comprise the affected joint.
Vertebral subluxation (aka spinal misalignment) is the most common type of subluxation among both athletes and the general population. Partial joint dislocations are also commonly seen in the shoulder, elbows, hands, hips, and knees.
The problem with subluxations — beyond their negative effects on the above-mentioned tissues — is that they don’t always produce highly recognizable symptoms as complete dislocations do. As a result, many people don’t know those misalignments are even there. That’s where a chiropractor comes in.
To locate subluxations, a chiropractor performs a comprehensive evaluation, which may include diagnostic imaging. He’ll also evaluate health history, mobility, posture, and other factors to reach a diagnosis and develop a comprehensive treatment plan. Chiropractic adjustments and other complementary therapies help realign joints, improve mobility, reduce pain, and restore functionality.
Preventive Chiropractic Care
Beyond providing reactionary treatment, chiropractors also provide preventive care by properly aligning the spine and peripheral joints, improving joint mobility, mobilizing soft tissues, and enhancing nerve function. Scheduling ongoing chiropractic wellness care treatments is an excellent way to help reduce your risk of future subluxations, dislocations, and soft tissue injuries.
Whether you’ve suffered a sports injury or you’re interested in routine chiropractic care as a preventive measure, don’t hesitate to get in touch with our team at Bomberg Chiropractic. We specialize in a variety of evidence-based chiropractic treatments and offer multiple, flexible payment options for individuals without insurance coverage.
To get started, give us a call at 763-450-1755 or schedule an appointment. You can also message us with any questions, and we’ll be in touch!