Recovery: Healing from Sports Injuries
The Bottom Line:
Whether your sport of choice includes involvement in a local sports league or you are training for a professional sport, a growing amount of athletes turn to chiropractors who concentrate on treating sports injuries to get them back in the game. Because of its multimodal nature, chiropractic care is well-positioned to treat injuries from all over the body. It can potentially help you avoid advanced interventions like surgery, which may keep you out of the game for longer.
Why it Matters:
Chiropractors can help prevent and treat sports injuries with many tools and often combine several treatment approaches to accomplish optimal results. Here are a few common treatments used by chiropractors to promote recovery of sports injuries:
1. Spinal Manipulation - Spinal manipulation is what chiropractors are most well-known for. It is the satisfying 'pop' that many patients seek, but it can be essential for restoring joint motion and reducing muscle stiffness for athletes. After training or playing in a game, an athlete may not feel as though they have sustained an injury, but muscles and ligaments have undergone minor levels of stress and strain, causing stiffness.
2. Graston or Instrument Assisted Soft Tissue Mobilization (IASTM) - IASTM treats the soft tissues in the body, like muscles, tendons, and ligaments, with stainless steel instruments designed to glide across the body tissues. This treatment aims to promote blood flow to the areas, encouraging faster and more effective healing of the soft tissues.
3. Active Release Technique is a soft tissue technique used to break down fibrous scar tissue and lengthen muscles to maximize range of motion and reduce pain. OSHA recognizes this as a "first aid" for musculoskeletal pain.
4. Neuromuscular Education (NMES), Electric Muscle Stimulation (EMS), Transcutaneous Nerve Stimulation (TENS)- While these three look similar to patients, they actually serve different purposes in the muscles because they vary in the depth of the tissues they affect. NMES is used to encourage a muscle contraction, EMS is used to address weak motor fibers of a muscle and promote strength and TENS is used to address the sensory fibers of the muscles and reduce pain in the muscle.
5. Alter G anti Gravity Treadmill--The anti gravity treadmill allows athlete to run at full speed but weight 20% of their typical weight--allowing them to train while injured, and to continue getting repetitions even as they ramp up for a long distant run
6. Normatec Compression Therapy: Compression therpy for the whole body to encourage blood floow and metabolic recovery to get back at training as soon as possible
When an athlete suffers an injury, they often want to return to play as quickly as possible. Some body parts are more susceptible to injury because of the stress that specific sports place on different anatomic locations. If you'd like help recovering from, or reducing your risk of sports in-juries, schedule an appointment with our practice today.