Healing Sports Injuries With Chiropractic Care
Back to school season means many children and teens also will be returning to organized sports. Whether their activity is soccer, football, cross country, lacrosse, or cheerleading, the regular exercise and competition helps to build both mentally and physically strong youth.
Active children are not invincible, though. In fact, Yale Medicine reports that more than 2.6 million children up to the age of 19 visit the emergency room each year with a sports- or recreation-related injury. Forty percent of all sports-related injuries happen to children between the ages of 5 and 14.
A family chiropractor like Strelcheck Chiropractic Clinic is uniquely qualified to treat many sports injuries. Relying on a combination of education and spinal manipulation, chiropractors may help young athletes get back to running, kicking, diving, and jumping more quickly—and naturally—than traditional medicine. The art of chiropractic might even prevent injury altogether.
Commons Sports Injuries
Athletes work their bodies harder than the average person. Furthermore, children and teens who practice only one sport might work certain body parts harder than others, taxing those muscle groups.
The following common injuries often are the result of this overexertion as well as collisions, falls, or other unexpected events:
- Sprains, often involving wrists and ankles
- Strains, often involving back or hamstring
- Knee injuries such as tendonitis or runner’s knee
- Achilles tendon damage
- Shin splints
- Pinched nerves in neck or back
Chiropractic medicine may lead to a quicker recovery from each of these injuries, with the exception of concussions. Although a chiropractor cannot repair a concussion, their care after a concussion may reduce headaches, neck pain, and other symptoms related to the injury.
Chiropractic Methods For Treating Sports Injuries
Athletes are tough. So tough, that many tend to ignore their injuries and battle through the pain. They do not want to let down their coaches, teammates, and parents, so they opt to compete.
Unfortunately, pushing aside the injury might lead to more damage. That is why it is important to visit a medical professional, such as a chiropractor, sooner rather than later.
Chiropractic medicine hones in on spinal health as the means for relieving symptoms and fully repairing damage throughout the body. As experts of the human musculoskeletal system, chiropractors have knowledge of the skeleton, muscles, nerves, cartilage, tendons, ligaments, and joints—and how they all connect back to the spine.
After determining a patient’s symptoms, such as pain, tingling, tension, or discomfort, a chiropractor performs spinal manipulative therapy to achieve the following results:
- Improved range of motion
- Improved flexibility
- Improved blood flow
- Reduced inflammation
- Release of endorphins, the body’s natural pain reliever
Through chiropractic, an athlete’s body may be restored to full health. Additionally, the athlete may be protected from future injury.
Spinal Health and Sports Injury Prevention
Keeping the spine strong and aligned with regular visits to the chiropractor is one preventative measure athletes can take to avoid injury. A chiropractor’s office can help in other ways, too:
- Recommend strength exercises and stretches that target specific parts of the body
- Posture correction techniques
- Nutrition counseling, including vitamin recommendations
- Physical therapy
Young athletes also should be sure to warm up their muscles before competition and practices. In fact, Yale Medicine states that 62 percent of organized sports-related injuries happen during practice, not during a game or competition.
Chiropractors and other health professionals also might suggest that athletes practice more than a single sport throughout the year, so as not to experience overuse that leads to injury.
Understand the rules of the sport. Wear proper gear. And finally, make every effort to drink plenty of water and get a full night’s sleep every day.
Stay In Play. Avoid the Sideline.
Of course, not all sports injuries are preventable. High-contact activities mean collisions and falls. Blows and twists. Dance, cheerleading, gymnastics, and other activities requiring repetitive motions also can be damaging over time. It’s all part of the experience.
Before turning to surgery or prescription drugs to address a sports injury, please call Strelcheck Chiropractic Clinic at 815-459-3860. Discover what we can do, including physical therapy! Our goal is to help young athletes to recover quickly and avoid future injuries that might sideline them for days, weeks, or months at a time.