Chiropractic and Sports

Sports Injuries

Sports injuries, these days are not just limited to professional athletes or kids who participate in school sports programs. Today, men and women of all ages are committed to regular sports and fitness activities. The vast majority of people are involved in sports like golf and tennis, and/or other healthy activities like running, aerobic classes, and weight training. No matter what the activity,though, there is constantly the risk of injury.

Most of injuries generally fit into two groups: 1) traumatic injury, such as a slip, fall, or collision and, 2) repetitive stress or overuse injury.

Traumatic Injuries
As the name implies, this sort of injury creates the kind of incapacitation and debilitation most commonly associated with trauma. Nearly all traumatic injuries are to the ligaments, the tissue that connects bone to bone, and to body muscles, but fractures and dislocations do take place at times, especially with contact sports. Damage to a ligament is called a sprain, while an injury to a muscle or its tendon is a strain. Sprains and strains most frequently occur in the ankles, knees, and shoulders, and less frequently in the low back and neck. Because the spinal cord and/or spinal nerves can be affected, injury to the neck and low back can be very serious.

Traumatic injuries can range from a mild “muscle pull” or ankle twist to a serious problem needing surgery. The seriousness of the injury depends upon several factors, such as the severity of tearing of the tissues, the whereabouts of the injury, and the age of the person. Most sprains and strains are identified with some degree of swelling and sometimes with internal bleeding, particularly with injury to the ankles and knees. Strains and sprains need proper attention, especially during the initial stages of an injury, to insure correct healing and avoid future disability. Treatment from a competent health-care professional, such as your Santa Barbara chiropractor, is highly advisable.

Listed below is an acronym for the post-injury management of sprains and strains expressly if no professional aid is available:


P Protect injury to avoid additional damage
R Rest the damaged body region
I   Ice injury to decrease swelling, bleeding, muscle spasm, and pain
C Compress injury with a specifically designed or elastic bandage to support injured tissues
E Elevate the injury, expressly when dealing with ankles and knees

As formerly mentioned, appropriate evaluation and care are essential to a thorough recovery. A chiropractor can determine the magnitude of your injury and institute needed recovery treatment. Nearly all of these injuries can recover, although they do require knowledgeable treatment during the various stages of healing. If not carefully monitored and treated, a sprain or strain injury can result in persistent joint instability, painful or weak joints and muscles, and lack of mobility. Expert care of your sports injury by a chiropractor with years of experience in sports injury management will insure that your injury mends properly. Call your chiropractor if you have sustained a traumatic injury.

Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries

These injuries are becoming more widespread, particularly among people going out for sports such as golf, tennis, bowling, and any other activity that requires the same activity over and over (repetitively). Even running, particularly on a treadmill, can generate such afflictions.

Essentially, overuse or repetitive stress injuries come about when a person is occupied in a repetitious activity that produces a very small strain to tissues, particularly tendons and muscles, that by itself would not cause a problem, but repeated many times has an accumulative effect. carpal tunnel Syndrome is one of the most common classes of overuse injuries. Over time the muscle or other affected tissue develops changes that no longer allow it to function correctly, resulting in pain, stiffness and disability. There are two categories of factors that predispose a person to these types of problems: 1) Intrinsic, i.e., found within a person’s own body, and 2) Extrinsic, i.e., external factors that can generally be changed or controlled by the sufferer.

Some of the most widespread intrinsic factors for injury

Age is the most well-established intrinsic factor for injury. The older a person is, the easier it is for that individual to get injured. Congenital abnormalities are another factor. Some people are born with joint or muscle problems. And, finally, previous injuries are a factor as they often keep the joints or muscles from functioning properly.

Extrinsic factors for injury

Extrinsic factors are abundant. An inappropriate grip size of a tennis racket, worn-out running shoes, an uneven treadmill surface, or a too-hard surface for soccer are all instances of faulty sports equipment that can create problems. Incorrect technique in any sport, such as an awkward golf grip is, as they say, an injury waiting to happen All sports activities necessitate some pre-conditioning, which is why people who aren’t in shape who continue to prolong the duration of an activity without easing in slowly, as well as those who lack flexibility, are injured most often. Warming up is very important before sports activities and lack of warm-up, that is, not stretching or preparing for an activity is a widespread cause of injury. And, lastly, but perhaps surprising to some, stress is a factor. Muscles that are tense and inflexible because of stress are too tight and, as such, unprepared for most sports activities.

There are many factors that are extrinsic and, hence, within a person’s control. Before embarking on a new sport, or as a way to ward off injury in a current sport, it’s wise to get an assessment of your overall body condition. If you’ve been injured, it is vital to seek out a qualified professional, like a chiropractor, to diagnose the nature of the injury and design a plan of therapy. If left untreated, an injury will not only stop someone from participating in a favorite activity, but can greatly affect someone’s life in general. Treatment such as joint manipulation, massage, bracing, and specific exercises is generally needed to stabilize the condition. A chiropractor is your best source of help. Call a chiropractor if you’re either thinking of beginning a new activity, you’re feeling pain related to a current sports activity, or you’ve sustained a sports injury. Dr. Troy has years of experience helping people just like you.