As the weather turns nice, you'll be back out on the golf course or soccer field. A twisted ankle or sprained wrist can ruin the day, and a few weeks of your spring and summer, if not treated properly. Your chiropractor has a number of non-invasive techniques to treat these soft-tissue injuries and get you back out enjoying your favorite sport quickly.
Typical Sports Injuries That Respond to Soft-Tissue Treatments
These injuries can occur any time, but your chiropractor sees them most often as people become more active in their favorite sporting activities:
- Sprains - Small tears in the ligaments that attach bones to each other. These are often seen in ankles and knees.
- Strains - Small tears in muscles or tendons, which attach muscles to bone. These occur most often in knees and shoulders but can affect any muscle that is overworked.
- Tendonitis - Overworked muscles and tendons become inflamed and painful.
These can happen when you warm up improperly or push a muscle beyond its limits. A fall or a blow to a joint is another cause of these injuries.
Soft-Tissue Treatment Goals
The goal of these treatments is to encourage healing in these tissues without the need for surgery. Your doctor will use one or more of these techniques to:
- increase circulation to the muscles
- remove scar tissues from tears that prevent the muscle from healing
- stretch out muscle fibers that have contracted due to the injury
- reduce pain and inflammation in muscles and tendons
- free up nerves and blood vessels trapped in scar tissue
Active Release Technique - This focuses on the scar tissue created by muscle and tendon injuries. Your doctor uses their hands to massage the muscle fibers along their normal path, breaking up any tough scar tissue they feel. This technique promotes circulation through the injured area and reduces swelling.
Myofascial Release - The doctor uses their hands, elbows, knuckles or a special tool to apply force to tight muscles until they relax and stretch out on their own. Tense muscles contract causing pain and swelling. This technique does not force the muscle to stretch but manipulates it until it naturally releases the tension.
Massage Techniques - Your doctor may also recommend one of a number of muscle massage techniques to relax muscles. Swedish massage is one technique which can include sliding motions, kneading, tapping, friction and vibrations on muscles to help them relax. These may be used once your doctor has worked on your injury with one of the other soft-tissue techniques.
Don't miss out on the good weather this year. See your chiropractor if you've overdone it out playing sports and suspect a strain or sprain. The sooner you get treated, the sooner you'll get back outside. To learn more, contact a company like Gillette Chiropractic Center with any questions or concerns you have.