Participation in sports or exercise is an important step in maintaining your health. Exercise strengthens your heart, bones, and joints and reduces stress, among many other benefits. Unfortunately, injuries during participation in sports are all too common. Often, these injuries occur in someone who is just taking up sports as a form of activity, doesn’t use proper safety equipment, or becomes overzealous about the exercise regimen.
The more commonly injured areas of the body are the ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, and spine. Remember that you should discuss any exercise program with your doctor of chiropractic before undertaking such activities.
Nearly all of injuries generally fit into two groups:
1) traumatic injury, such as a slip, fall, or collision and,
2) repetitive stress or overuse injury.
These injuries create the debilitating problems often associated with trauma. A high percentage of traumatic injuries are to the ligaments, the tissue that connects bone to bone, and to body muscles, although fractures and dislocations do happen at times, in particular with contact sports. Damage to a ligament is called a sprain, while trauma to a muscle or its tendon is a strain.
Traumatic injuries can vary from a mild “muscle pull” or ankle twist to a serious problem requiring surgery. It all depends upon the degree of tearing of the tissues, the location, and the age of the person. Some degree of swelling takes place with most sprains and strains. But, with certain injuries, particularly those of the ankle and knee, there can be some internal bleeding as well. Strains and sprains demand appropriate attention, especially during the initial stages of an injury, to insure correct healing and avoid future disability.
Overuse or Repetitive Strain Injuries
These injuries are becoming more prevalent, especially among individuals going out for sports such as golf, tennis, bowling, and any other activity that necessitates the same movement over and over (repetitively).
Diagnosis and Treatment
Sports injuries are most often diagnosed from the history of the activity that brought on the pain, along with a physical examination. In some cases, x-rays are necessary to rule out a fracture. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and diagnostic ultrasound are also used in finding soft-tissue injuries, like tendinitis and sprains.
Recent research has shown us that, in some cases, joint manipulation can be helpful with pain reduction and more rapid recovery. Your doctor of chiropractic will determine if this procedure will be helpful in your case.
And Remember: PRICE
P Protect injury to prevent additional damage
R Rest the injured area
I Ice injury to abate swelling, bleeding, muscle spasm, and pain
C Compression of the area may reduce the amount of swelling from the injury. Your doctor of chiropractic will determine if this will be beneficial in your case.
E Elevate the injury, particularly when dealing with ankles and knees