How Can Chiropractic Help with a Sports Injury?

If you’re an athlete, you understand the numerous demands of participating in a sport such as running, jumping and tackling. Putting your body through these activities can result in painful tears, sprains, and strains. But seeing a chiropractor can help you when you’ve suffered sports injuries and also help to prevent them.

Chiropractors treat and can help prevent injuries of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, and ankle. They’re skilled in manual adjustment of the spine, ensuring that bones are lined up and balanced, which helps relieve tension in the body. This allows the body to function better and become less susceptible to injury. The goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or enhance joint function while resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. This hands-on therapy is often used to treat neck or back injuries but also relieves pain throughout the joints and muscles in the body.

Sometimes pain and loss of function from injuries are immediately noticeable. Other times, it can be a gradual progression, particularly if your body tries to compensate for it by working harder or bearing more weight in other areas. Chiropractic care can relieve this pain by getting the body back into proper alignment and reducing the stress that is being placed on nearby joints and tissues. In the case of sports injuries, results can often be seen quickly. Regular visits will promote quicker recovery after games and training as well as better balance and overall performance.

Injuries That Benefit From Chiropractic Care

Any injury that affects the neck, back, or joints is a good candidate for chiropractic care. Typical sports injuries that are treated with chiropractic include the following:

Shoulder injuries– Shoulder injuries most often occur as sprains or strains in athletes involved in upper body sports such as baseball, volleyball, golf, as well as collision or high impact sports like football or hockey.

Knee injuries– Knee injuries typically arise due to repetitive use. Chiropractors commonly see soccer and football players or runners who are experiencing knee pain.

Low back and hip injuries. Low back and hip injuries can arise from repetitive use, commonly seen in weightlifting, running, or cycling. They can also be progressive and develop over time.

Treating and Prevention of Sports Injuries

Many people wonder how long they’ll have to receive chiropractic care to treat a sports-related injury. Unfortunately, there is no average number of treatments to expect based on the injury incurred. It all depends on the seriousness of the injury and the athlete’s response to treatment.

There are generally three categories of chiropractic care for sports injuries:

Acute care is for pain that has recently developed as a result of a specific injury. Most athletes will receive acute care because they can pinpoint when the injury occurred and quickly realize something is wrong. For athletes, it’s critical for the body to be operating at top form, which makes them seek out treatment immediately before the injury affects their performance or prevents them from playing their sports. 

Ongoing care is frequently seen in athletes who are trying to maintain peak performance. These are often maintenance treatments that take place on a semi-regular schedule. They serve to keep the body in proper alignment and performing at optimum levels. Ongoing care treatments include adjustments, exercises, and other treatments prescribed by the chiropractor.

New care for old injuries occurs when an old injury gets re-aggravated or “flares up”.  This can be the result of an injury that was never treated or wasn’t treated properly. Because proper diagnosis of this is important in order to give long-lasting relief, the chiropractor will want a detailed history of the injury, including how it happened, care received between then and now, what (if anything) has been done to manage it, and how much use the area receives now. 

While pain is generally the driving force behind seeking chiropractic services, pain relief is not the only benefit athletes receive. In addition to treating injuries, chiropractors can also help you prevent injuries from occurring. Before beginning an exercise regimen or a sport, it’s recommended that athletes get evaluated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors can check your muscles and spine to detect imbalance and alleviate tension so that the body can work naturally rather than be prone to injury.