You're accustomed to visiting your medical doctor for back and neck pain. Chiropractors are also trained to take care of a number of the typical injuries you may have from playing sports. Their goal is to get you back on your feet and out on the field with the least invasive treatment possible. Here are some of the injuries which your chiropractor can be help you with.
Muscle and tendon injuries are common when playing sports. Your shoulder or knee is overextended during play and the muscle fibers are stretched beyond their limit. This results in torn muscle fibers, inflammation and pain. Your chiropractor can treat strains with massage and active release techniques to reduce pain and inflammation. Taping or wrapping a joint, when possible, limits joint movement while the muscle fibers are healing.
The overextending and tearing of ligaments, called sprains, is also a frequent sports injury. Your ankle may twist or turn in, or your knee may take a blow from the side, stretching the ligaments that hold the bones together. This injury makes the joint feel unstable, as if it will collapse when you put weight on it.
The chiropractor will again relieve the inflammation and pain in the joint with massage techniques. They may also use joint manipulation to improve circulation, reduce swelling and realign the bones in the joint properly. Ligaments heal slowly, so your doctor will prescribe a wrap or brace to limit the joint's movement. In cases of severe injury, such as a torn ACL in the knee, you may be referred to an orthopedic surgeon for arthroscopic repair of the ligament.
Overuse of tendons and muscles is another common sports problem. When overused, or when your warm up is not sufficient, the tendon becomes inflamed and painful. This is often seen in the rotator cuff of the shoulder and in the tendon on the outside of your elbow ("tennis elbow"). Treatment of tendonitis will include cold packs for the swelling and rest for the joint. If the muscles were also stretched during the overuse of the tendons, your doctor will also massage and use active release techniques to relieve muscle tension.
When you overwork the muscle and tendons, you are also at risk for a stress fracture. A runner training for a marathon may extend the distance, putting more stress on the leg and foot bones. Starting a new exercise and being too aggressive with it can also stress bones. These fractures normally don't become displaced. You will have pain and swelling over the fracture but the bone otherwise appears unhurt. X-rays are needed to show the fracture.
Your chiropractor will give you a wrap or brace to wear as the fracture heals. Your chiropractor will also make sure that you rehabilitate your injury safely. You'll often get to resume normal activities quickly while the break heals. Some breaks, such as in the foot bones, heal slowly, so your medical doctor may apply a cast to prevent movement of the foot for a few weeks. For more information, contact a professional like Reinecke Chiropractor.