Chiropractic care has received much attention in regards to its successful management of sporting injuries. Since the majority of sports injuries are soft tissue in nature and because many of injuries arise from improper body biomechanics and improper sporting techniques, chiropractic doctors have become the doctors of choice - from the weekend warrior to the professional athlete.
According to an article in the June '98 issue of The Physician and Sports Medicine, "Interest in alternative or complementary medicine 'especially chiropractic' is booming... active patients are running to unconventional providers to treat their aches and pains... from chiropractors and acupuncture to magnets and meditation."
It's really quite simple. Chiropractic care - through the use of safe and natural spinal adjustive techniques, physical therapy applications, soft tissue mobilization, stretching and exercise programs, diet and nutritional counseling, and extensive biomechanical training - focuses on all causes which have lead to the symptoms of pain and tissue injury and do not focus on solely eliminating pain.
Successful treatments must focus not only on pain relief, but must address the underlying causes such as muscular imbalances, biomechanical deficiencies, improper sporting techniques, and improper conditioning, to name a few.
Treating an Injury:
- Use Ice Promptly Following an Injury: When ice is applied promptly after an soft tissue injury (sprain, strain etc.), it can slow the bleeding and fluid build-up which lead to longer healing times. The injured area should be cooled for approximately 7 to 10 minutes. Never apply ice or a "cold pack" directly on the skin.
- Rest Following an Injury: Returning to competition to soon after an injury can lead to repeated injuries of the damaged tissue. However, returning to controlled motion early can be the key to better healing. Being aware of your body and its limits may help to save your competitive career and you enjoyment of your sport.
- Diversify Your Training: Repetitive injuries such as sprains, stress fractures and strains can result from repeat performance of a specific task. When you vary your workouts you give your body time to repair and strengthen stressed areas.
- Concentrate on Workout Quality: When working out, focus on the quality of the exercises, not on the number of exercises.
- Stay Well Hydrated: Drink water throughout the day, not just when training or competing. Increased respiration and perspiration increase the amount of water needed. If you are conducting a strenuous workout, you may consume approximately one half of your body weight in ounces of water (for example, a 120 pound individual may need up to 60 ounces of water per day).
- Use Braces Sparingly: Although when used appropriately braces and taping can have great benefits, a brace worn for too long or for the wrong purpose can lead to destabilization of the joint. It is always best to restore natural stability to a joint through strengthening and rehabilitation.
- Give Your Body a Chance to Acclimate to Time and Place: Allow two to three hours of awake time prior to competition. Not only does this allow you to wake up, it also gives you time to limber up so that you will be less likely to be injured. Also be aware of high altitudes. Many mountain climbers/ have fallen prey to altitude sickness by not properly acclimating to the stresses of high altitudes. Extreme temperatures can also impact on your performance, for example, rock climbing in cold weather can lead to an increased risk of tendon injuries in the fingers.