Sports injuries are very common, and anyone who regularly enjoys sports activities is likely to have had one at some time. Most of the big professional sports teams have a team of Physios and Chiropractors on hand these days, and proper treatment of a niggling injury is vital to avoid it becoming a chronic injury.
There are broadly 2 types of sports injuries – traumatic or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries account for the majority of injuries seen with contact sports such as rugby and football, and range from bruises and muscle strains to fractures, dislocations and head injuries. Overuse injuries are often caused by a muscle or ligament that is weak due to, for example a problem with the spine, resulting in a sprain or strain of the associated soft tissue.
Bruises are caused by damage to small blood vessels, which results in bleeding into the tissues. A strain is caused by a tearing of the muscle or ligament fibres, and results in the body embarking on a healing process – inflammation.
Inflammation is the first phase of healing, lasts around 5 days and is characterised by pain, swelling, heat and redness, and results in a blood clot followed by scar tissue formation. Too much inflammation results in the healing process taking longer and a delay in return to activity. Examples of sports injuries we commonly see are:
- Hamstring strains
- Calf strains
- Tennis elbow
- Shoulder sprains (rotator cuff injuries)
- Achilles tendon injuries
- Groin or thigh strains
- Low Back Pain
Treatment and prevention
Initially the treatment typically might involve RICE – Rest Ice Compression and Elevation, together with specific exercises and even acupuncture. Prevention of injuries is important, and warm-up exercises can help with this, along with compression sportswear, which is becoming popular and are thought to help with reducing the risk of muscle injury and improve recovery time.
We now offer Kinesio-Taping at the Barron Clinic, one of the cutting edge new treatments for muscle injury prevention and improved function, as used by elite athletes. For more information please contact Catherine Hughes.
From the team at Barron Chiropractic Clinic - celebrating 30 years of providing natural healthcare to the people of Walton-on-Thames