When you play sports or routinely partake in physical activity, you can easily sustain an injury. Sometimes, the injury isn't from a misstep or fall, though. Instead, the injury may be an overuse injury that stems from repetitive stress on the body part. Certain repetitive stress injuries are more common than others. But fortunately, a local chiropractor can help you recover and prevent these injuries in the future, no matter their location.
Common Overuse Injuries
Although overuse injuries vary based on the physical activity you participate in and what body part you work the most, these are some of the more common injuries that chiropractors see:
You could develop a strain if you frequently use a muscle or tendon and move it in the same direction. It could also come from poor form and participating in the same exercise repeatedly. This injury most commonly occurs in the thigh or back.
With a strain, you either overstretch or tear the muscle and tendon. As a result, you may have pain, swelling, and spasms. You might also notice you have a limited range of motion in that body part. It could be stiff or tender as well.
Tendinitis describes an overuse injury that affects the tendons. When you repeatedly use a tendon, it will become swollen, tender, or possibly painful. This injury most commonly affects the shoulders, wrists, heels, knees, or elbows. Because tendinitis so frequently happens in athletes, certain varieties of it have developed nicknames, such as:
A shin splint is a generalized term that describes pain in the shin. It can arise from a repetitive stress injury from playing sports.
One specific form of shin splints is medial tibial stress syndrome -- an injury that happens when the tibia is pulled by the lower leg muscles.
When you overtrain, in particular with jumping or running, you could develop this stress injury. Symptoms of it include pain, swelling, tenderness that affect the lower leg.
Bursitis affects a bursa -- a fluid-filled sac near your joints. It occurs when one of them becomes inflamed as a result of repetitive stress. If you have bursitis, you'll experience pain in the joint. You might notice visible swelling. This issue could make it difficult for you to move that body part.
This condition affects the facet joints, which are the ones that align with the vertebrae. Basically, spondylolysis is a stress fracture or weakness in the facet joint. With this condition, you may notice the bones will slip out of place, which can place pressure on the nerve and cause nerve-related symptoms, such as weakness, numbness, pain, or tingling in the region.
You might not have any symptoms of this condition, though. A chiropractor or other practitioner may detect it on imaging. If you do have symptoms, you might have pain that worsens when you extend the area.
Chiropractic Treatment for Injuries
The treatment you receive for a repetitive stress injury depends on the particular injury and the part of your body you injured. For instance, sometimes, you may receive a brace to stabilize the part as it heals.
Your practitioner may recommend ways to ease the pain, such as hot and cold therapy. Part of your treatment may consist of massage therapy, which encourages blood flow to the area to promote healing. Additionally, it can help ease inflammation and pain.
If you sustained a back injury, a chiropractor may recommend you undergo chiropractic alignments. This treatment consists of a chiropractor moving the vertebrae to align with the discs in your back.
Ultimately, this relieves pressure on the soft tissue and nerves. When there's less pressure on the soft tissue, you'll have less pain. Moreover, the disc, soft tissue, or nerves will have a chance to heal without excess pressure.
In some cases, a chiropractor will recommend spinal decompression if you have an injury to a disc in your back. During spinal decompression, the chiropractor will connect you to a machine that will pull one side of your body and the other. As it does, the machine will separate your discs and vertebrae so they can heal.
Part of injury treatment will consist of advice on when you can resume working out or playing sports again. This varies based on the severity of your condition as well as the affected part.
Chiropractic Care for Prevention
Whether you already have an injury or would like to prevent a repetitive stress injury in the future, a chiropractor can help. Your practitioner will recommend an exercise schedule that gives your muscles and other soft tissue time to heal in between sessions. A chiropractor will also inform you of the proper form. This will reduce your likelihood of getting injured.
Besides advice, your chiropractor may also guide you through exercises that increase your flexibility and strength. By doing so, you'll make your soft tissue more resilient to injury.
Athletes of all skill levels can benefit from visiting a chiropractor. You'll receive advice as well as treatments that help with the healing process. Not to mention, your practitioner will be able to help you prevent injuries in the future.