Sports Chiropractic: Injury Prevention and Treatment
Today’s athletes young and old have a tremendous amount of competitive stress to succeed. I focus on the challenges surrounding our young athletes. With the pressures from parents, coaches and from within themselves to excel in their sports, the kids are often pushed beyond their physical limits. There are several reasons why the athletes are getting injured too often. Here are a few simple strategies to treat these unnecessary preventable injuries.
There are 2 types of injuries to discuss; acute trauma i.e..knee sprain, and repetitive stress (overuse) injuries i.e.rotator cuff. There is little you can do to prepare for atraumatic incident in a combat sport, which as a formerprofessional hockey player, I can relate to all too well.These types of injuries are bound to happen occasionally toanyone at anytime. The one way to avoid traumaticinjuries is to be in the best condition you can be by specific training for speed, agility, quickness, flexibility etc. This gives the best chance to avoid these injuries.
As for repetitive stress injuries, there are strategies to avoid these with proper preparation. In my opinion, one of the main reasons the young athletes are getting tendonitis, bursitis etc, is because the kids do not take time off from sports anymore. These overuse injuries historically occur more frequently in adults. In order to be competitive, many athletes participate on 2 -3 baseball or hockey teams at once, which does not leave time for off-season to rest, recuperate and regenerate the body.
Another factor I see daily with the young athletes, most commonly males, is the lack of flexibility in the shoulders, hips and legs coupled with a lack of core strength. They seem to excel in their sports, but too often are suffering unnecessary low back, hip or hamstring injuries. With the young female athletes, the most common issue is instability in the joints. Both boys and girls have problems with muscle imbalance problems.
The first step to combat these problems is a proper assessment to find out the areas of joint dysfunction, excessive tightness, instability or muscle imbalance. Then it is time to address the issues with an appropriate plan of action. This can be achieved with very specific techniques employed by the doctor. Chiropractic adjustments are very effective to restore joint function of the spine and extremities. Next, it would be important to stretch and lengthen tight, overactive muscles and facilitate the inhibited (shut-down muscles). Stretching will help to alleviate muscle imbalance issues that can lead to injury. In parallel, the core strength needs to be addressed with specific exercises. In the case of joint instability, the solution is to strengthen and stabilize the joints and muscles with specific exercises. The athletes will quickly learn the protocols and should be able to do them on there own.
In summary, many injuries can be prevented simply bybeing in the best physical condition possible, and gettingenough time to recover from the strenuous activities. Ifinjuries do occur, whether they are acute injuries, orrepetitive stress injuries, be certain to get a comprehensive evaluation to get the best chance to heal quickly and completely to avoid re-injury. Be proactive and be prepared with the strength, flexibility and knowledge to prevent unnecessary injuries from occurring.
If you or your sports team would like to work with a World Class Sports Doctor who has been a professional athlete and knows personally the demands of keeping the body in top performance shape, please contact Global Body Health today to schedule your complementary consultation with Dr. Taylor.
Author, Dr. Darren Taylor | Board Certified Doctor of Chiropractic | Certified Chiropractic Sports Practitioner | American Chiropractic Rehabilitation Board Level III | Former Professional Hockey Player | Inductee to the Alberta Canada Sports Hall of Fame for Hockey | Yoga Practitioner | Yoga Educator | Co-Founder Global Body Health | Director, Co-Owner Global Body Health | International Speaker | International Educator