Do you participate in any sports? If so, whether on a casual, social level or as part of a competitive team, it pays to understand what you’re up against in terms of sports injuries. That’s because just knowing a little bit about the most frequent sports-related injuries can help you a lot.
By being informed, you’ll know when to ask for help, when to seek emergency care, and what to tell your health care provider when you discuss the situation. And, if you’re willing to spend a bit more time learning about the ten injuries that account for almost 98 percent of the total, you’ll acquire some basic knowledge about how to prevent many of them. Wearing a helmet for sports that place you at risk for head injury is just one example.
Prevention is the Best “Treatment”
Want to stop an injury before it happens? Here are some of the most effective ways of doing so. Of course, there’s no guarantee that if you stretch, get plenty of rest, ramp up your activity level slowly, and use appropriate equipment that you’ll never become injured. But, by taking just a few simple precautions, you can greatly reduce your chances of becoming injured.
- Stretching: Stretching is not the cure-all that some say it is, but it is a smart way to prepare your muscles for sports. It’s also a relaxing and effective way to cool down when you’re finished doing your activity.
- Easing into the Activity: For a wide range of sports-related injuries, especially ones involving the groin muscles, it can help to ease into the activity. That means not starting out at full-throttle when you take part in fun or competition.
- Rest: If you aren’t well-rested when you play or compete in sports, you’re on a collision course with injury. That’s because when your body is tired, your reflexes are not always quick enough to prevent injuries. Plus, tired people tend to take more risks while playing, and can lead to unwise over-exertion.
- The Right Equipment: Equipment, including headgear, knee pads, shoulder and chest protection, eye wear, gloves, the right kind of shoes, elbow pads, and dozens of other kinds of sports gear can effectively prevent injuries. The key thing to remember is to wear the right kind of equipment for the sport you take part in.
The Most Frequent Sports-Related Injuries
There are dozens of types of sports injuries. You can learn about some of them by reading your favorite news sources that report about football, basketball, soccer, baseball, and Olympic-style sports. Every day, thousands of amateur and professional athletes suffer injuries, some more serious than others.
In no particular order, here are 10 of the most frequent ones that chiropractic physicians encounter:
- Groin Injuries: Common groin strains happen in lots of ways, particularly when the body rapidly switches its direction of movement. Runners and wrestlers tend to get these types of injuries often. A typical treatment regimen includes rest, ice, compression, and elevation, along with a recovery period and minimal activity.
- Low-Back: Low-back injuries are extremely common, especially when active people neglect to stretch and/or warm up. Muscles in the lower back region need to be prepared for activity, so when the get into action too quickly, they often become sore and immobilized. Your chiropractor might decide that rest, ice, and compression is enough to deal with a minor low-back injury.
- AT: AT is Achilles-tendonitis. If you’ve ever experienced the common injury, you already know how painful it can be, and how suddenly it can appear. The main culprits, or causes, are not warming up properly and having weak ankle muscles. A smart way to prevent AT is to do regular calf exercises and to always remember to warm up before taking part in sports.
- PPS: When you have an aching, irritating, or sometimes just a very dull sensation of discomfort or pain in the knee cap, chances are that you have what is known as PPS (patellofemoral pain syndrome), or what is more commonly called “runner’s knee” (even if you’re not a runner).
- Muscle Pulls: One of the most common of all sports-related injuries, muscle pulls often result for using a muscle that has not been stretched or warmed up properly. Weak and inflexible tissue has a greater chance of being injured. A chiropractor might recommend elevation, ice, and rest in many cases.
- G/T Elbow: If you play basketball, golf, tennis, or take part in any of the popular “overhead” sports, you’re probably familiar with what used to be called “tennis elbow.” Nowadays, it’s more commonly referred to as G/T elbow, because golfers come down with it so often. Treatment depends on severity, but in the majority of cases, rest and ice can work effectively in helping the sufferer recover within several weeks.
- Shin Splints: Massage, rest, and ice are common treatments for this injury, which occurs in the front of the shins. What leads to shin splints? Common culprits include playing sports on concrete or other hard flooring, jumping a lot during play, and not doing a long enough warm-up session before taking part in your preferred activity.
- TBI/Concussions: Make no mistake, whether you get a concussion from playing sports, from being in a car accident, or from falling onto a concrete floor while walking, it’s considered a TBI, traumatic brain injury. Concussions are not to be taken lightly, and unlike many other types of sports injuries, usually call for immediate medical attention.
- Ankle Sprains: One of the most frequent of all injuries, ankle sprains happen under lots of conditions, like turning while running, jumping, or even walking. Prevention regimens can include stretching and placing tape around the ankles before activity. Regular stretching, the use of ice packs, rest, and elevation are often good treatment methods.
- Shoulder Injuries: Chiropractors often prescribe therapeutic massage, rest, elevation, ice packs, and stretching for injured shoulders. The frequent cause of these injuries is overuse of the area’s muscles.
Making the Decision for Treatment
The most important thing to do when you suspect that you have a sports injury is to see a licensed chiropractor who can give you a thorough examination. Unless the injury is truly “minor,” like a scraped knee or bruised knuckle, it’s imperative to see qualified medical help as soon as possible
At Integrative Physical Health, we focus on treating the cause of sports injuries, not just the immediate symptoms. Of course, our entire team will help you relieve the pain associated with injuries but will do so in a natural, non-drug, non-surgical way.
Then, we’ll work with you and create a specific plan of treatment based on the particular sports injury. That might mean a certain amount of rest/recovery time, an exercise program, nutritional advice, and physical therapy. The aim of our approach at Integrative Physical Health is to get rid of your pain, put your body back into a state of optimum health, and give you the information you need to prevent future injuries.
Chiropractic treatment means no drugs, no invasive (and costly) surgery, and the use of commonsense scientific techniques for dealing with sports injuries of all kinds. We keep expenses in line, put you on the road to recovery, and deal with the cause of the discomfort, not just the symptoms. That philosophy spells long-term relief and health for you, our patient.
If you have questions about sports-related injuries or any other health issues, we welcome the chance to answer your questions. Call us at (302) 993-9113 or visit our website to learn more about what we do.