Chiropractic v. Surgery for Treating Sports Injuries

Sports injuries can cause major setbacks to your training regiment, not to mention the mental struggle that comes with inactivity. No matter if you are training for a career in sports or just an amateur, we understand the need for a speedy recovery.

Sports injuries often occur in casual players who may not have such a strict training regimen. But your skill level certainly doesn’t define passion or make recovery any easier.

Johns Hopkins Medicine Reports: There are over 3.5 million sports injuries each year.

Some main causes of sports injuries include:

  • Forceful impacts
  • Repetitive motion
  • Over-training
  • Failure to warm-up properly

It’s important that you never attempt to “work through” the pain. Pain is your body’s method of telling you that something is wrong. When you experience a sports injury, you want to rest then gage the seriousness of your injury.

There are two main types of injuries:

  1. Acute injury: injuries which occur suddenly during activity.
    • Symptoms include:
      • Sudden severe pain
      • Swelling
      • Inability to place weight on a lower limb
      • Extreme tenderness in an upper limb
      • Inability to move a joint through its full range of motion
      • Extreme limb weakness
      • Viable dislocation
      • Broken bone
  1. Use injury: occurs from physical activities as the result of overuse or misuse of a body part over a long period of time.
    • Symptoms include:
      • Pain when performing an activity
      • Dull ache when at rest
      • Loss of range of motion
      • Swelling

Common sports injuries include:

  • Muscle sprains and strains
  • Tears of ligaments
  • Knee injuries
  • Tears of tendons
  • Shin splints
  • Dislocated joints
  • Rotator cuff injuries
  • Concussions
  • Fractured bones (including vertebrae)
  • Dislocations

The National Institute of Health recommends using the RICE method to relieve pain and inflammation and speed healing immediately after your injury. Continue this treatment for at least 48 hours:

R – Rest the affected area. Do not exercise and reduce daily activities.

I – Ice your injury for 20 minutes at a time, four to eight times a day.

C – Compress the affected area with elastic wraps, ace bandages, special boots, air casts, and splints.

E – Elevate your injury above the level of your heart to reduce swelling.

Once you’ve rested your injury or if your pain and symptoms worsen, it is time to weigh your treatment options. Treatment can be a daunting process, that is why it is important to review your options and find the course that is best for you.

Risks related to surgery

shutterstock_105929993When you are considering surgery for your sports injury it is important to understand the risks involved.

  • Surgery is very costly
  • Surgery can come with unwanted side effects.
  • Surgery often requires extensive recovery and healing time
  • Surgery can complicate an injury, causing more pain, discomfort and a longer healing period.

Obviously, for some serious injuries, surgery is the only option, but it is important to explore all of your choices before making a final decision. Chiropractic care can be a safe alternative, helping you heal your sports injury without adverse side effects.

How can chiropractic help?

shutterstock_590281562.jpgThere are various non-surgical methods to control pain, restore joint function and heal damaged tissue. Chiropractic is a non-invasive solution to treating sports injuries. Relieve pain and stiffness without surgery or toxic medications. Not to mention once you are recovered, chiropractic can keep you on top of your game with improved balance and mobility.

Chiropractic can help to heal injuries throughout your body, such as in your:

  • Neck
  • Back
  • Shoulder
  • Knee
  • Ankle

Chiropractic care can treat symptoms from:

  • Concussions
  • Neck pain
  • Shin splints
  • Muscle strains
  • Achilles tendinitis
  • Pulled muscles
  • Back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Runner’s knee
  • Sprained ankle
  • Surgery rehabilitation
  • Inflammation
  • Bruising and swelling

Severe injuries may need emergency treatment, that includes surgery. Most musculoskeletal sports injuries can be assessed and in many cases, treated by chiropractic. Chiropractic care is used to enhance joint function, reduce inflammation while resolving your pain. Not only does chiropractic relieve pain but it helps your body to heal properly.

During your chiropractic visit your doctor will perform a structural exam of your back, extremities, tendons, ligaments, and joints, possibly take some x-rays. Once you the chiropractor has a better understanding of your injury he will create an individual treatment plan.

Two common types of chiropractic treatment for sports injuries:

  1. Spinal Manipulation – The chiropractor places you in different positions and performs manual impulses to relieve pressure on your joints and align muscles.
  2. Spinal Mobilization – used for patients who require a gentler approach, utilizing tools or simple stretches to release pressure in joints.

Treating your central nervous system through chiropractic care improves coordination, muscle strength, and mobility. When your joints are aligned muscles and tendons are able to heal properly and prevent future injury. Chiropractors may also use other treatments like heat, ice, electric stimulation or therapeutic massage.

Chiropractic helps to improve range of motion, minimize recovery time and improve athletic performance.

If you find yourself suffering from a sports injury, stop exercising, apply the RICE method, assess your injury and consider your treatment options.

If you’d like to discuss treating your injury with chiropractic, no commitment, just consider every option before deciding on which treatment suits you best.

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