Whether you’re an experienced athlete or the parent of one, you’re no stranger to injuries. After all, they go hand-in-hand with sports. The good news is, visiting a chiropractor is an all-natural, drug-free method to help you or your child recover from and prevent even the most common sports injury.
Chiropractic Care for Sports Injuries
Adult and youth athletes alike run a fairly high risk of enduring a sports-related injury. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, 8.6 million people from 5 to 24 years old experience a sports injury each year. According to Stanford Children’s Health, 3.5 million of those people are children under 14 years old. In fact, sports and physical activity injuries account for one third of all injuries in children.
With that in mind, it’s important to know the best options for sports injury treatment and prevention. One excellent option you can use to enhance your recovery, wellbeing, and athletic performance—or your child’s—is chiropractic care.
Common Sports Injuries Your Chiropractor Can Treat
Of all athletic injuries, strains and sprains are by far the most common. Other common athletic injuries, both chronic and acute, include:
- Achilles tendinitis
- Broken bones
- Frozen shoulder and rotator cuff injuries
- Knee injuries, such as torn ACL, runner’s knee, patellar tendinitis, and patellofemoral syndrome
- Plantar fasciitis
- Runner’s knee
- Shin splints
- Tennis elbow
Common symptoms of sports injuries include:
- Aching or sharp pain in the joint or muscle
- Headache, dizziness
- Inability to move or place weight on the injured limb or joint
- Swelling and inflammation
- Weakness in the affected area
Your chiropractor can help alleviate symptoms and bring you back to wellness for most of these common sports injuries.
However, if you have a concussion, check with your doctor before seeing a chiropractor. In many cases, chiropractic care can help relieve post-concussion symptoms such as headaches, but it is not the best option when you are dealing with the immediate aftermath of such an injury.
Similarly, you shouldn’t see a chiropractor if you have a fracture, broken bone, or dislocation. Once the injury has completely healed, chiropractic care and other holistic methods can help the body recover from any imbalances or lingering symptoms that the fracture, break, or dislocation has caused.
Sports Injury Treatments
Oftentimes with sports injuries, especially less severe ones, the well-known recommended treatment is RICE: rest, ice, compression, and elevation.
Physical therapy is also a wonderfully effective option for healing and restoration, and chiropractic care can be paired with it to achieve a full-body recovery and get you ready to play your next game.
Depending on your particular injury, your doctor may also prescribe pain medications, bracing, surgery, or other treatments.
Chiropractic Treatments for Sports Injuries
When looking for a chiropractor to treat your sports injury, it’s important to take into account what holistic treatments are offered and whether the doctor specializes in athletic injuries. Some chiropractors even dedicate their whole practice to sports-related treatments.
Many chiropractors will be able to provide multiple advanced treatment methods, including personalized chiropractic adjustments, massage therapy, dry needling, and ultrasound therapy. You and your chiropractor can discuss which approach is best for your situation.
Benefits of Seeing a Chiropractor for Your Sports Injury
Sports injuries are often caused by blunt force trauma, overuse, or inadequate stretching. Regardless of the specific location of the injury, any of these factors can leave the rest of the body suffering as well. Your spine, hips, or shoulders can become misaligned. The side of your body that is not injured may overwork to compensate for the deficit on the injured side, causing additional strain. Pain may radiate to other body parts.
This is where chiropractic care comes in as a safe, holistic approach in treating your injury and restoring your body to wellness.
There are many benefits to seeing a chiropractor for a sports injury. Some of them may surprise you:
Prevention.One of the best things you can do for your body as an athlete is to take precautions to protect yourself from injuries. This includes staying hydrated, stretching properly before and after competing, wearing appropriate protective gear, and listening to your body.
Seeing a chiropractor regularly is also an effective way to prevent injuries. When your spine is misaligned, the rest of your body overcompensates, making you more susceptible to being hurt. When your spine is in alignment with your body, it affects everything your body does, both on and off the field. Regular chiropractic adjustments keep your body in tune and help you function at peak performance.
Of course, this does not guarantee that you won’t be injured, but it does lessen your chances, especially in regards to overuse injuries.
Pain relief. If someone is looking for a chiropractor, most likely their biggest motivation is pain relief. Through various personalized treatments, your chiropractor can relax your muscles, improve blood flow, and allow the nervous system to better communicate with the rest of your body, all of which diminishes pain.
Decreased swelling.The same goes for swelling. When your muscles are relaxed and your spine and joints are properly aligned, your body is able to function at its best, resulting in decreased swelling in the affected area. Of course, a swollen joint should never be adjusted, as this can result in aggravation of the injured area and actually increase swelling and pain. But adjusting or massaging the surrounding areas often brings positive results.
Improved mobility.Using traditional spinal adjustments as well as advanced methods such as dry needling, your chiropractor can increase your range of motion in the injured limb or joint as well as other areas that may be affected. For example, if your neck is inhibited from a fall, an adjustment can release that tension and restore mobility. Sometimes patients experience instant relief from impaired mobility, and sometimes it is a more gradual process, depending on the injury.
Faster recovery.Many acute sports injuries, as well as flare-ups from chronic injuries, require you to step away from the game for a while in order to heal properly. For the eager athlete, it can feel like forever. Thankfully, chiropractic care can actually help hasten the recovery process.
This is because spinal alignment leads to better oxygen and nutrient flow to the injured area, which promotes healing. Additionally, spinal adjustments, dry needling, and massage therapy are known to help break down scar tissue and build up strength and flexibility in the damaged area, promoting a faster recovery.
Better performance.One somewhat surprising benefit of seeing a chiropractor for your sports injury: you may actually find yourself performing better than usual. When your spine and body are in harmony and alignment, your body is able to handle more stress and strain, provide more energy, and support your muscles and joints in action. So beyond healing and symptom relief, you get the added benefit of upping your game.
If you or your young athlete are suffering from a sports injury, or would like to take preventative measures against them, consider chiropractic care as the kickoff to help you reach your wellness goals.
At All Star Chiropractic, our goal is to help our patients recover from back pain, neck pain, lack of mobility, joint issues, range of motion issues, and more—without the use of prescription drugs. Our chiropractors are trained to treat a range of health issues, including sports injuries. We believe in taking a holistic “whole-body” approach to your health. We don’t want to just temporarily fix your pain—we want to determine and treat the root cause so you live an active and pain-free life.
Call one of our locations today to schedule an appointment, or to learn more about how chiropractic care can help you.