Sports Chiropractic

Injuries From Exercise

Those who think they have no time for exercise will sooner or later have to find time for illness.

Edward Stanley

It is incorrect to assume that only athletes or professional sports people suffer from sports related injuries that require a different approach when it comes to treatment protocols or rehabilitation. Trends in our modern health oriented society, justifiably, place a large amount of importance on regular exercise as a mainstay of a healthy lifestyle in conjunction with a well balanced health diet.

It is not surprising then that, for a variety of reasons, we notice normally sedentary people being exposed to a wider range of sports related injuries, as well as an increase in the number of sporting injuries in typically active people undertaking new and intensive sporting activities. Rather than relating to the level of activity, sports injuries are related to the mechanism of injury and sports chiropractic is focussed on addressing these inuries in the context of a quicker return to peak performance while minimizing the impact of treatment on training programs.

Avoiding Injuries Altogether

Female athelete with low back pain.

Trying to avoid injuries by simply not undertaking exercise is not really a viable option because of the detrimental effect the lack of exercise has on the body.

The detrimental effects that a complete lack, or insufficient level of exercise have on the body are well documented and extend well beyond weight control, influencing a wide range of body systems including: cardiac health, mental wellbeing and energy levels.

Rather than avoiding exercise completely, certain steps need to be taken before, during and after exercise so as to minimize the risk of unintentional injuries and thereby also limit the amount of time away from effective exercise.

Warming up muscles and joints before exercise to prepare them for the activity to be conducted by doing a dynamic warm up or stretching routine, as well as colling the muscles and soft tissue structures after exercise by doing static stretching are two valuable tools that may help in injury prevention.

Modulating the intensity, duration and frequency of exercise is also extremely important in injury prevention with a good rule of thumb provisor being to gradually build towards the desired exercise level and intensity, rather than just diving head first into the activity.


A Rehabilitation Matrix

Approaching Care Differently

Care for sports injuries needs to be approached from a different perspective taking into account the needs of integrating care, rest and exercise to bring about an optimal rehabilitation program.

In order to minimize the detrimental effect a lack of exercise has on training programs, fitness and performance a dynamic balance needs to be struck between ongoing care and treatment for the presenting injury, rest from exercise to allow adequate injury improvement and modified exercise to allow for maintenance of fitness and performance.

Initially the rehabilitation matrix would include reduced or modified exercise and increased rest while treatment modalities are used to address the injury. Modified exercise would include reduced intensity and duration or possibly altered exercise activity so as to minimize the imapct on the injured area while trying to maintain cardiovascular fitness.

As the original injury resolves a return to normal exercise intensity and frequency program is adopted with a shift away from ongoing care to self managed rehabilitation and strengthening programs in order to prevent recurrence of the injury.

Male runner grasping knee.

Sport injuries are not exclusively reserved for elite athletes.

The mechanism of injury as well as the return to activities requirements determine sports injuries.