8 Common Sports Injuries

Sports are a big part of life in Sarasota. Because of the beautiful weather, many of us play sports recreationally to enjoy the sunshine. Our kids play on school sports teams, and we even host professional ball players during spring training. But no matter your level of skill and commitment, there is one common denominator – sports injuries occur. In fact, all sports inherently involve a risk of injury, and getting back on the field (or court) is essential.

sports injuries chiropractor

In this article, we will discuss common sports injuries and how a chiropractor can help you to heal and recover.

  1. Sprains happen when ligaments are stretched too far or become torn. Because ligaments connect bones, the injury occurs in the joint. The most common injuries of this type are ankle and wrist sprains, which can cause pain, swelling, and bruising. Typically you may also lose mobility in the area.
  2. Strains occur when there is a tear in the tendon or muscle, typically related to being pulled too far. The most common strains affect the back or hamstrings and manifest as painful swelling or spasms. As with sprains, you may experience temporary mobility impairment.
  3. Swollen muscles, when enlarged, fill a membrane called the fascia which does not expand with the muscle. This condition, known as compartment syndrome, causes the nerves and blood vessels to be subject to pressure, potentially damaging the muscle. This painful issue can result from long-term overuse of the muscle – but can also occur after a single injury.
  4. Knee injuries occur frequently in the sports world. Runners may be afflicted by runner’s knee, which causes soreness and tenderness near the knee cap, pain on the sides of your knees, or tendonitis. Knees can also sustain more severe injuries if bone bruising or cartilage and ligament damage are evident. There are four major ligaments that support the knee, and if one – or all – of them is damaged, it can sideline an athlete. Knee injuries can result from not warming up adequately or running too hard (or too often). Being hit in the knee, collisions, and twisting can also cause significant pain and injury.
  5. Shin splints are well-known to runners at all levels of proficiency. This injury manifests as pain along the tibia (shin bone) on the front of the lower leg. Shin splints generally occur when an athlete doesn’t warm up properly or stretch adequately. They can also show up because of overuse and repeated activity on hard surfaces, especially if unsupportive shoes are worn. People with flat feet are considered more vulnerable to shin splints.
  6. Fractures occur when a bone breaks, either from a sudden injury or repeated stress. In sports, an acute fracture requires emergency treatment, while a stress fracture, caused by repetitive impact may be treated with therapy. The pain associated with a stress fracture grows worse when weight bears down on the fractured area, eventually making participation impossible.
  7. The Achilles tendon connects the calf muscle to the heel, and injury to this tendon is relatively common in sports. An Achilles injury can end your season when it becomes stretched or torn due to overuse. These injuries are typically caused by overuse without proper stretching.
  8. Dislocations are serious sports injuries most often associated with contact and high-impact sports. When joint bones become separated and damage surrounding nerves, it is intensely painful. The joint must be repositioned in place, and the patient may need to wear a sling for several weeks until the swelling subsides. Rehabilitation is often necessary as it can restore your strength and range of motion.

Treating a Sports Injury

Except in the case of fractures and breaks, athletes often tend to self-treat their pain, numbness, swelling, or bruising at home. Many minor sports injuries can be effectively treated using rest, ice, compression, and elevation.

However, an experienced chiropractor can help to alleviate pain, hasten healing and assist with rehabilitation. By manipulating joints and muscles, sports massages can ease the pain and swelling related to these injuries, as well as stimulate healthy blood flow and warm up muscles – which will help optimize healing and future performance.

For those serious about sports, regular chiropractic treatment can significantly reduce the risk of injury and improve overall performance and wellness.

Whether you have been injured or want to proactively work towards prevention, contact Dr. Ryan Johnson at Integrated Chiropractic today. Dr. Johnson utilizes a unique combination of traditional methods and innovative technologies to provide targeted, personalized care to his clients.

Chiropractic Treatment for Runner’s Knee

A 2021 Fitness Trends report revealed that nearly 60% of adults consider running one of the best ways to stay healthy and lose weight – for many reasons. No gym membership is required, the equipment cost is minimal, and anyone can work out at their own experience level. Running is especially popular in Sarasota, where we have sunny skies, beautiful scenery, and plenty of opportunities to jog.  Running is known to clear your head and produce the endorphins referred to as a “runner’s high.” However, vigorous and high-impact exercise such as running can have adverse effects on one’s health as well. One of the most common injuries is “runner’s knee,” which typically manifests as a dull pain around the front of the knee (patella). 

Runner’s knee is a broad term covering various running-related knee injuries. The condition is usually the result of some misalignment in the body, causing the muscles and ligaments around the knee and leg to become twisted or displaced. While runner’s knee can be caused by running in general, it can also result from being flat-footed or having limited ankle mobility.

Most Common Symptoms of Runner’s Knee

The most evident symptom of runner’s knee is pain, generally felt at the front of the knee, although it can also be felt around or even behind the kneecap. Some other symptoms include: 

  • Swelling around the kneecap
  • Increasing pain throughout the workout
  • Reduced pain when at rest

While many people believe it is beneficial to “run through the pain,” it is not advisable to run when in pain, as you are likely aggravating an injury. 

How Chiropractic Treatment Helps with Runner’s Knee

While a chiropractor may not be your first thought for treating runner’s knee, there are many benefits to seeking this type of care. Remember, knee pain is often associated with twisted or displaced ligaments that can benefit from the manipulation a chiropractor utilizes for healing. Here are three ways chiropractic care is ideal for runner’s knee. 

Minimizes pain and strengthens the knee: The primary benefit of chiropractic care is that it can alleviate pain. Chiropractic treatments employ manipulation of muscles, ligaments, and tendons, relaxing tense muscles while realigning the spine. Once the body is aligned correctly, the knee is less vulnerable to strain or stress. 

Determines the root cause of the condition: Chiropractic care seeks to identify the root cause of any injury rather than just treating symptoms. For instance, knee pain often indicates a misaligned spine – and treating the spine will ease the knee pain. Chiropractors who work with athletes are especially proficient at diagnosing and treating athletic injuries such as runner’s knee.

Preventative care and treatment:  Of course, it is preferable never to develop an injury like runner’s knee at all. Regular chiropractic appointments will help to discover any weak areas of the body that may be susceptible to injuries – before they occur. A chiropractor can work with an athlete to proactively strengthen muscles and align the spine before injuries develop.

A chiropractor will also notice when rest may be necessary to avoid overstressing the body. Serious injuries can occur when the body has been worked too strenuously, and they can significantly impair future athletic performance. Recurring runner’s knee injuries can translate into less time running, working out, or competing in races, whether elite marathons or local 5Ks. 

Dr. Ryan Johnson of Integrated Chiropractic is committed to delivering the best patient care. Call today if you are in pain or if maintaining optimum health and athletic performance is important to you. 

The 21st Century Health Paradox

The year is 2017 and we are all living in amazing times! We have more science, research, education, and information than all previous generations.  The 21st century health paradox is that we are sicker, more obese, and unhappier than ever before. We also live in a time where humans are living longer than  ever. However, longer isn’t always better. The oldest verified person on record was a French woman named Jeanne Calment (1875–1997), who lived to the age of 122 years, 164 days. Isn’t that amazing?!  Why aren’t we all living to that age? As research and science progresses, the possibility of living longer may be obtainable, but not desirable. The quality of life and living is measured by how someone feels. Aches and pains tend to accumulate over the years and effect people’s quality of life. We now know that we are going to live a longer life than the previous generations. The average lifespan of someone born in the 1800’s ranged from 38-58 years old.  In 2015 the average life expectancy in the US was 79 years old. (The US ranked 31st out of 183 Countries.)

The point of all this information is that we know we are going to live longer and to live happier and healthier we need to invest in our bodies and have a health plan. This should start right at birth but many do not find out about true health until much older. It’s never too late to start investing in your health! A quote I once read from a famous railroad tycoon who was dying of lung cancer said, “All the money in the world can’t by my health back.” And as my idol Jack LaLanne said, “Your health account is like your bank account: The more you put in, the more you can take out.”

For your health,

Dr. Johnson