Sports Injuries and Extremity pain

Chiropractors can treat:

  • Frozen Shoulder
  • Tendonitis
  • Tennis and Golfers Elbow
  • Bursitis, Hip/Groin pain
  • Carpel tunnel
  • Knee pain
  • Runners Knee
  • Shin Splints
  • Sprained Ankles
  • Muscle Strains
  • Achilles Tendonitis
  • Plantar Fasciitis
  • Heel pain
  • ITB syndrome

Participation in sport or exercise is an important step in maintaining your health. Exercise strengthens your heart, bones, and joints and reduces stress, among many other benefits. Unfortunately, injuries during participation in sports are all too common. These injuries can occur in professional sportsmen, weekend warriors or in someone who has just started a sport.

The more commonly injured areas of the body are the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, and spine.

Strains and Sprains
The most commonly injured structures are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. Tendons attach muscles to bones, and ligaments attach one bone to another.

An acute twisting or overextension of a joint can lead to tears of muscles and tendons, called “strains,” and tears of ligaments result in “sprains.” These tears range from mild to severe. The intervertebral disc, a ligament between the vertebrae of the spine that works as a shock absorber, can also be torn, resulting in a disc bulge and/or herniation.

Tendinosis
In those who are training too much, overuse of a particular joint or joints in the body can result in pain and dysfunction. These injuries are called “overuse syndromes or repetitive strain injuries.” A common overuse injury is tendinosis, also called tendinitis. In this condition, the tendon becomes inflamed from repetitive use.

For example, In the shoulder, the rotator cuff (a complex of muscles that stabilizes and moves the shoulder) becomes inflamed, resulting in rotator cuff tendinitis. Tennis elbow is another form of tendinitis that occurs along the outside of the elbow, most commonly in tennis players. In golfer’s elbow, the tendons on the inside of the elbow are affected.

Stress Fractures
Some athletes may experience a stress fracture, also called a fatigue fracture. This type of fracture occurs when an abnormal amount of stress is placed on a normal bone. This might occur in a runner who rapidly increases the amount of mileage while training for a race. Stress fractures also occur in people who begin running as a form of exercise but overdo it from the start, rather than gradually progress to longer distances.

One final common injury is worth mentioning, and that is shin splints. This overuse injury is caused by microfractures on the front surface of the tibia (shin bone). This is most often seen in runners, although other athletes can also be affected.

Diagnosis and Treatment
Sports injuries are most often diagnosed from the history of the activity that brought on the pain, along with a physical examination. In some cases, x-rays are necessary to rule out a fracture. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diagnostic ultrasound are also used in finding soft-tissue injuries, like tendinitis and sprains.

Chiropractors can assist with both prevention and symptomatic treatment of sports injuries by facilitating a healthy neuromuscular system which in turn helps the body to maintain normal nerve, muscle, joint and blood flow function as well as by treating acute and chronic soft tissue  and joint injuries through manipulation and soft tissue therapy.

There is a relatively standard treatment protocol for most of the other overuse types of injuries. This protocol involves the following:

Rest
Generally no more than 48 hours of rest and/or immobilization is needed, depending on the severity of the injury. In most cases, the sooner the person becomes active after an injury, the more rapid is the recovery. In fact, long-term immobilization can sometimes be harmful to recovery. Your doctor of chiropractic will guide this process, as too early a return to activity, choosing the wrong type of activity, or excessive activity can be detrimental.

Ice or heat
Ice or heat can be helpful with pain reduction and tissue healing.

Compression
Compression of the area may reduce the amount of swelling from the injury. Your doctor of chiropractic will determine if this will be beneficial in your case.

Remember that you should discuss any exercise program with your doctor of chiropractic before undertaking such activities.