With almost 30 million children and teens participating in organized sports in America, sports injuries are some of the most commonly treated injuries by chiropractors. In fact, sports result in about 3.5 million injuries a year. When participating in any sport, it is important to take preventive measures to prepare your body for such high levels of activity and impact. With 20% of injuries involving the lower back and neck, it is likely that visiting a chiropractor is the best option for prevention and treatment. In order to prevent a severe injury, we will discuss the most common sports injuries and some preventive measures to implement.
Running is a very popular exercise that many people choose for fitness, weight control and cardiovascular benefits.
Since running is an activity that causes repetitive impact to the body, it is a common cause for lower back pain and discomfort. Running causes repetitive impact and may compress vertebrae, joints, and discs. A thorough warm up regimen before a run is highly recommended to avoid strain. Stretching the hamstrings twice a day is beneficial for runners as it helps alleviate some of the stress on the lower back. A chiropractor also can provide a number of stretches and techniques to be used before or after a run. For frequent recreational or competitive runners, it is strongly advised to make an investment in a supportive pair of running shoes due to the continuous impact imposed on the body.
Tennis is a fantastic recreational activity that provides social interaction and fitness benefits as well. It is important to avoid injuries that are commonly associated with this sport. Tennis is known to cause various types of strains and sprains of the extremities and spine. Tennis includes strenuous use of the elbow and shoulder joints, twisting motions of the torso and back, sudden sprints as well as quick stops and turns. A common tennis injury is often referred to by the layman’s term “tennis elbow”. This is caused when the tendon from the elbow bone sustains a tear or becomes ruptured resulting in pain near the bony protrusion on the outside of the elbow. Some preventive measures for this particular injury include proper stroke techniques, optimal racket size, and increasing your strength, flexibility and overall fitness.
When it comes to the lower back and trunk, tennis players can experience pain from the twisting motion of a swing or the hyperextension of a serve. A few ways to resolve this and decrease the likelihood of pain is to stretch the back muscles thoroughly after a short warm-up. Core strength, flexibility and overall health/fitness play a vital role in the prevention of back and neck strains while playing tennis.
Weight Lifting and Bodybuilding
Many athletes choose resistance training with weights to condition their muscles for general health and fitness. Weight lifting may cause great stress on the body when done improperly and can result in strains of the muscles. Additionally, ligaments and tendons of the spine and extremities may occur with improper lifting techniques. If you are beginning a weightlifting regimen, it is important to progress slowly and always use proper lifting form. One of the best ways to reduce stress of the lower back when lifting is to engage your core. By activating your core muscles (also known as abdominal muscles) you may reduce the stress on the joints, muscles and intervertebral discs of the spine. Strengthening and managing your core is essential in maintaining proper posture while lifting weights. It is also extremely important to keep your spine straight and be attentive to lifting techniques. Arching your back or twisting while lifting weights is a recipe for disaster for your spine. Listening to your body and recognizing when you are physically too tired to continue your workout is vital. If you are no longer able to use your core muscles to assist in a lift, it may be time to put the weights down. It is also vital to get plenty of rest and proper nutrition so your body may recover and become stronger and more fit.
By utilizing preventive measures before you begin any sport, you may reduce your chances of severe injury. However, if pain does arise, it is recommended to visit a chiropractor as soon as possible to receive a diagnosis and a treatment plan. A chiropractor provides non-invasive and natural treatment options to relieve pain and address musculoskeletal problems. Regularly scheduled appointments throughout the year can be beneficial in preventing injuries.
Here at Auburn Chiropractic Associates, we provide guidance and treatment for your sports related and recreational injuries. We utilize an individualized approach for each patient so we can help you enjoy your sport and recreational activities - pain free. Give us a call at (334) 826-2225 or visit our website form to request an appointment.