Unfortunately, all sports often present injury risks. This is bad enough if you’re a “weekend warrior” and you don’t want to let your buddies down. If playing a sport is your profession, the setback from an injury can be devastating. Luckily, in many cases a chiropractor can help you recover faster and get you back out there sooner.
Understanding Typical Sports-related Injuries
Sprains occur when ligaments are stretched too far or torn. Bones are connected by ligaments, so sprains and strains occur in the joints. The most common sprains are in ankles or wrists. You may feel painful swelling and bruising, and experience a temporary inability to move your joint.
Strains occur when a muscle or tendon is torn. Tendons connect muscles to bones, and when they are pulled too far, a strain occurs. The most common strains occur in the back or hamstrings. You may feel painful swelling or spasms, and you may experience a temporary inability to move the muscle.
Knee injuries are frequent problems for many athletes. Runners may experience what is known as runner’s knee, which is a tenderness near the knee cap. You may also experience pain on the sides of your knees and tendinitis.
Knees can be more severely injured with bruising to the bone or damage to cartilage and ligaments. Four major ligaments support the knee, and all can be damaged during sports activity. Knee injuries often occur from a lack of warming up, running too hard or too often, and blows or twists at the knees.
Swollen Muscles, Achiles Tendon, Shin Splints
When certain muscles swell, they fill a tough membrane called the fascia. The fascia does not expand, so nerves and blood vessels are put under pressure, and the muscle itself may suffer damage. This painful condition is called compartment syndrome. It occurs in response to a one-time injury to the muscle, after repeated blows in certain sports like boxing, or due to long-term overuse.
The Achilles tendon extends from the calf muscle to the heel. This tendon is commonly stretched or torn during sports activities. They occur from overuse and when stretching is not incorporated regularly in a training routine. They can be season-ending injuries
Shin splints are often experienced by runners. This term describes pain along the shin bone, or tibia. This is the bone on the front of the lower leg.
They can occur when an athlete fails to warm up or stretch. They also occur due to overuse, engaging in activity on hard surfaces, and if you wear unsupportive shoes. People with flat feet may be more likely to get shin splints.
Dislocations & Fractures
Contact sports and high-impact sports can cause dislocations, which happen when bones that form a joint become separated.
If a joint becomes dislocated, the athlete will feel intense pain, and nerves may also become damaged due to the dislocation. The joint will need to be put back into place, and you may need to wear a sling until swelling subsides, usually several weeks.
Rehabilitation is often recommended if your shoulder is dislocated. This therapy can restore strength and range of motion.
A bone may break from either a one-time injury or from repeated stress over time. A one-time injury is an acute fracture which requires emergency treatment. A stress fracture happens in sports with repetitive impact. The pain in a stress fracture worsens when the athlete bears weight on the fractured area.