Sports generally consist of activities that are very demanding to the body. In those that practice sports professionally, it is not only the kind of activities that are performed but the amount of time that they are practiced; these athletes have very intense training. Due to this, athletes and people that practice sports are at a higher risk to suffer certain injuries and conditions during their active years. Even, it is thought that about 55% of all muscular injuries occur during the practice of a sport. An injury can end or interrupt the career of an athlete, which makes frequent care crucial. Chiropractic care has an essential role in the prevention and treatment of these injuries.
Injuries can vary across sports since sports require different levels of effort on different parts of the body. Regardless of the differences, some injuries are shared between sports; for instance, the muscular tear. A tear occurs when a muscle or tendon is stretched or twisted beyond its capability. This can happen in different parts of the body. For example, in gymnastics, it commonly occurs in the hands, while in American football it can be seen in the lower body. The sprain is most common in the general population but is frequent in the world of sports as well. A sprain occurs when a ligament is broken or damaged because of an inappropriate movement. The ankle and thumb sprains are usual.
Starting with the most popular sport in the United States of America, American football. American football players suffer many injuries due to the aggressiveness of the sport. Half of the injuries suffered occur in the lower body and the majority are injuries of the knee. Specifically, 40% are sprains and tears.
Cervical injuries, which are very serious, are not as common as they were before because of the improvement in the training and tactics of the players. Injuries in the lumbar spine are also seen in American football and are difficult to treat. Rehabilitation of this injury includes pain control. Joint dislocations are fairly common too. These can be treated by a chiropractor as long as they are not serious. In the case that they are serious, the athlete should visit a medical doctor first and then make an appointment with a chiropractor. Chiropractic care will help rehabilitate and prevent future injuries of this kind.
Rugby is not as popular in the United States, however, it is a very similar sport to American football. Therefore, similar injuries are also observed for this sport. The difference lies in the severity of the injuries. Because rugby involves less protective gear, injuries tend to be more serious.
In baseball, injuries are different for obvious reasons and they can vary by player. It is common to see pitchers with shoulder tears. This happens because of the abrupt movement that players execute in this position when they throw a ball. In the case of batters who also have to run, slide and abruptly stop, it is more common to see injuries of the knee.
Additionally, there is a common condition in baseball players called spondylolysis. This is a fracture in the spinal column. When this fracture is not treated properly, it can turn into a spondylolisthesis in which the fractured vertebrae slips and pinches nerves in the area. This condition can cause very painful muscle spasms. Because softball is very similar to baseball, one can observe very similar injuries.
In soccer, the most common injury is the ankle sprain followed by fractures and joint dislocations. Soccer games are rather intense since they last 90 minutes, and players have to constantly run back and forth while handling the ball without the support of their upper bodies. Naturally, legs are the most affected. However, players fall frequently, making wrist sprains another common injury in the sport.
Moreover, bursitis is a commonly seen condition in soccer players. It is the inflammation of the bursae, a small sac in the knee responsible for the protection and lubrication of the joint. The condition is caused by trauma or excessive friction, which can be inevitable considering the amount of time that these players spend running and training. Apart from the treatment of common injuries like the ankle or wrist sprain, a chiropractor can decrease the inflammation and the pain experienced because of bursitis.
When one talks about injuries in basketball, it is believed that most are caused because of a lack of rest after an injury. Meaning that these players suffer small injuries but don’t rest enough before returning to the game, which worsens the injury. Basketball players suffer injuries throughout the entire body. Players use their lower bodies to jump and run while using their upper bodies to catch, handle and throw the ball. In this sport, one can also see injuries of the ankle and knees with injuries of the fingers added to the equation.
Achilles tendinitis is a condition that some of these players suffer from. The Achilles tendon is that one which connects the calf to the heel, it’s inflammation is given the name of tendinitis. This condition can similarly be seen in runners. In some cases, tendinitis can result in a tear but this can be avoided if treated early. This might require surgery, however, chiropractic care can treat the condition and prevent the need for surgery.
Athletes are clearly at risk of experiencing injuries because of the intense activities that are performed. Treating injuries and conditions is not the only role that a chiropractor has in sports; an athlete can highly benefit from chiropractic without being injured. Visiting a chiropractor can help prevent the development of injuries. A doctor of this expertise will assist in stretching, freeing nerves, relaxing muscles, and in the improvement of the immune system so the athlete can perform better in their discipline.