No matter your age or level of proficiency, playing sports regularly can have some great benefits for your health. However, although it has many benefits, it can also lead to injury and many people – approximately 2 million in just America – suffer a sports related injury each year. These injuries range from very minor to some that are more serious and can result in long term health complications.
Sports Injuries: How do they happen?
When it comes to playing any sport, there are almost countless factors that can lead to the development of an injury. It can start in the locker room or gym, with excessive or improper training, or out on the field, with a clumsy ankle turn or an accident involving another player. Sports injuries can also manifest themselves through abnormalities or weakness in the bones and muscle that can lead to more serious injuries gradually over time. When sports injuries happen, they are often caused by force to a joint in motion that can lead to hyperextension or hyperflexion. Below we review some of the most common types of sports injuries.
Shin splints can occur on the outside or inside of the shin and can be very painful. The pain from an anterolateral shin splint is felt around the front of the shin and starts immediately when your heel awkwardly strikes the ground. With posteromedial shin splints, the pain is felt in the inner part of the shins and becomes worse when you stand on your toes. If a shin splint goes untreated, the pain can spread toward the knee.
For athletes that participate in sports that require running or jumping, the achilles tendon is likely to become damaged at some point. The tough ligament that connects the calf muscle to the back of the heel bone, the achilles tendon can feel tender when squeezed between the fingers when injured. The pain associated with an injured achilles tendon is usually worst in the morning and improves with walking. Although exercise helps relieve the injury, it’s important to never exercise a damaged achilles tendon without the supervision of a sports chiropractor or other physician specializing in sports injuries.
Considered the standard weightlifter’s injury, lumbar strains is significant lower back pain caused by straining those muscles. Lumbar strains can also occur in athletes that play sports that involve sudden twisting of the back, such as golf and baseball. Although the pain may seem minor, it’s important to get it examined as lumbar strains can cause sudden deterioration with extreme pain and back spasms.
Lateral and Medial Epicondylitis
Often referred to as tennis elbow, lateral and medial epicondylitis can cause a lot of pain for tennis players and other athletes alike. With these injuries, you feel the pain when you flex your wrist, either backward (lateral tendons) or forward (medial tendons). These injuries can be caused by motions performed while playing tennis, golf, baseball or even people who have to carry heavy suitcases around.
Metatarsal Stress Fracture
A metatarsal stress fracture is an injury that occurs in your toes. An athlete’s toes are vulnerable to breakage if he or she pushes off with their toes when sprinting or running a long distance. Athletes that often do running drills are likely to suffer metatarsal stress fractures, as well as dancers and gymnasts, because of frequent jumping. When you have a metatarsal stress fracture, the front of the foot starts hurting during exercise and then subsides when the workout is over. However, if not treated, the pain will only get progressively worse, leading to a longer recovery time.
Sciatic pain is usually caused by a pinched nerve in the body. One of the more common sciatic pain injuries athletes undergo is a torn Anterior Cruciate Ligament, or ACL. Pinched nerves can cause significant pain and debilitation, leaving the athlete unable to play any sports or exercise.
Whiplash occurs when an athlete’s neck is strongly pushed in a whipping motion during exercise and the neck becomes inflamed. Whiplash can cause pain and limited range in motion and can be detrimental to athletes, especially those who play contact sports.
These are just some of the more common injuries that athletes can experience. Any injured tendon can suffer permanent damage if you continue to put pressure on it without seeking treatment. When you suffer an injury, it’s important to seek non-invasive treatment to ensure no further aggravation of the problem area. That’s why chiropractic services are the best choice for those who have suffered sports related injuries. They are trained with knowledge and techniques to treat injuries in a safe, non-invasive way.
Benefits of Seeing a Sports Injury Doctor
Meeting with a chiropractor regularly can provide a lot of benefits to athletes such as:
- Speedier Recoveries – When you see a chiropractor regularly, the adjustments and alignments can help you heal from injuries faster and help prevent future complications from occurring.
- More Aligned and Even Body – When you have inconsistencies from one side of the body to the other, it can have a negative impact on your game. Whether you are stronger on one side or more flexible on the other, regular chiropractic adjustments can help get the body properly aligned, reducing the risk of injury and improving your athletic ability.
- Improvement in Mobility – Seeing a chiropractor regularly can help athletes’ muscles and other soft tissues heal thoroughly by loosening and strengthening the trouble areas. This helps improve an athlete’s mobility and flexibility.
- Relieve Pain More Efficiently – With regular chiropractic treatment, you can can help reduce the strains on your body that come with playing sports. As your joints become more properly aligned through chiropractic treatment, you’ll experience less pain and will be less susceptible to injury.
Whether you’re a world class athlete or a casual marathon runner, it’s important to listen to your body and take care of it when it needs attention. If you’re experiencing pain from a sports injury, come see one of our doctors at Quantumcare Sports and Injury Center. Our doctors have a combined 30 years of experience in chiropractic care and are committed to helping all of our patients, including athletes, get their bodies back to feeling great.
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