Chiropractic & Sports
Chiropractic has gained significant visibility and popularity in all sports in the past decades. Coaches, trainers and athletes now appreciate the importance of biomechanics, balance and full motion in all joints of an athlete. Elite athletes and sports people of all grades put chiropractic at the top of their list of resources to develop and maintain their fitness and health.
Most ordinary chiropractic benefits actually pale next to the true potential chiropractic has to offer all sports. Under the assumption that no other professional is as well equipped as the chiropractor to evaluate, diagnose and treat the biomechanics of an athlete.
Many professional teams have chiropractors on staff to provide adjustments and treatments to players. Players, however, often are the ones who decide when and how frequently treatment is needed.
Chiropractic is not only beneficial to the experienced and professional athlete, but is beneficial to the amateur and weekend athlete as well. The practitioner’s role is to enhance performance, and prevent and manage injury., The treatment of professional athletes has helped the chiropractor to apply his knowledge of biomechanical injuries and their treatment.
Chiropractors can point out strength and movement imbalances that lead to poor alignment and flexibility and then to soreness or diminishing performance. A series of exercises are often prescribed that focuses on proper ergonomics and balanced limb strength.
Weekend and amateur athletes can learn about the importance of chiropractic adjustments from many professional athletes. No matter which sport you enjoy on your day off, you can find someone you admire in your area of interest that is being treated by a chiropractor. The list of advocates is long. Boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield; Australian Olympic Gold medallist diver Matthew Mitcham, Rip Curl Pro surfer Joel Parkinson, the late Australian race champion Peter Brock, as well as champions in virtually every major sport are becoming regular chiropractic patients. Hundreds of athletes sought chiropractic treatment during the Sydney world Masters Games last October. Many of these athletes insist on being adjusted by their chiropractors just prior to competition. They feel that they are not able to perform at their optimum ability without the reassurance that they have full range of motion without restriction in their joints.
Surfing is an example of how athletes can find an extra edge on their competition. Surfing at the highest level is very dynamic with a large amount of core strength required to perform well. Due to the stance taken on the board, the smallest spinal subluxations have dramatic effects on performance.
At Health plus Chiropractic, our team of chiropractors have a specialist understanding of the spine and the musculoskeletal system plus expertise in sports, exercise and rehabilitation to help prevent injuries, recover from acute or recurrent conditions more quickly and how to maximise performance.
While this involvement in the locker room is truly a success for chiropractic to be included with the trainer, physical therapist, orthopedist, dentist, massage therapist and a host of other professionals, this limited role should never be accepted as the ultimate objective. Chiropractic is capable of offering so much more. And if the profession can fully grasp their potential as the biomechanical experts in the arena of the pro locker room, they can then take that protocol to the colleges, high schools, grade schools and mass market. Every athlete wants the very best care they can get, and chiropractic has an opportunity to be a primary contributor to that care.
At Health plus Chiropractic our combination of detailed understanding of muscle, joint and neurological function with years of experience of caring for sports people will suit anyone who needs assessment, advice or treatment. Add in our university training in rehabilitation, plus focussed training in muscle testing and Functional Movement Systems makes for a great opportunity to improve performance and maintain peak condition.
Sports Injuries and Sports Science
Sports injuries are often overlooked and easily dismissed as they occur so frequently. However injuries in the sporting arena are actually quite varied in terms of areas affected, severity of injury and length of recovery. Since nearly everyone wants to get “straight back into the game” or sporting arena, there is the risk of re-injury or additional injury due to compensation. Assuming that you have been given immediate treatment for your injury and looking for improving recovery process, let’s look at a few areas where exercise physiologists can help with complete sport injury recovery.
– Range of motion (ROM) may be increased with stretching and specific exercises.
– Incremental loading of basic movements help with the body’s biomechanical function.
– A holistic exercise regime will account for any compensated loading of the opposing injury side of the body.
The severity of injury is differentiated not only by size of effected area or depth of injury but also whether it is muscular, tendon, ligaments and bone. One should not rush into rehabilitation before the injury is carefully identified with a specific grading or assessment.
– Exercise (not including stretching) should not be an immediate form of treatment but rather complementary or during the end stage of rehabilitation.
– Once beginning an exercise regime, it is imperative to complete the whole program before being cleared to return to sports. That being said, game-simulations or practice involving game-level intensity can be beneficial to rehabilitation as long as it is carefully monitored.
Length of recovery is therefore the product of both area affected and severity of injury. While it may not take as long before full range of motion is attained or the absence of pain, the injury itself is by no means recovered. We will not be specifically covering timeframes as each injury is different but here are a few descriptive benchmarks when marking out the recovery process.
– Impairment of ROM and pain with movement.
– Impairment of ROM with no pain.
– Full ROM with pain only when using force.
– Full biomechanical function without pain.
– Full biomechanical function without pain with additional external loading of forces.
Keep in mind that any overloading of external force on the injury while in rehabilitation can cause additional injury to the site which is why it is important to have an exercise programme tailored for each individual!
Massage Therapy for Sports Injury Recovery – Sports Therapy
Keeping active as an adult is an essential part of a healthy lifestyle. Making the time to exercise can be a challenge for anybody in today’s society. The stresses and strains of working out can add up to keep us from comfortable activity, putting hurdles in the way of regular exercise. Thankfully remedial massage therapy can help reduce recovery times and help to get you back to working out closer to your peak physical condition.
Tension, muscle strains, shoulder and knee joint sprains, shin splints and tendinitis are common workout injuries. In the days after injury, when inflammation has reduced, massage is indicated as a viable treatment option. Generally, massage can help to improve circulation and reduce pain by stimulating connective tissue, blood and lymphatic vessels, allowing for quicker repair of injured tissue.
Soft tissue release and trigger point techniques are effective at reducing tension and pain in affected muscles. A trigger point is an area of taut muscle that causes pain in other areas, commonly caused by overuse and postural stress. These techniques can help to eliminate pressure that contributes to swelling which can cause pain causing chemicals to be trapped at the injury site.
Massage therapy can help to lengthen muscle and reduce tension in tendons by using stretching techniques that also help to reduce pressure on an affected injury site. When muscles are lengthy enough to allow full range of motion of a joint, the body will function better. Working directly on injured joint capsules can help to break down any adhesions that lead to joint stiffness. Using deep connective tissue and deep transverse friction techniques, massage can help to realign connective tissue fibres allowing injured joints to return to optimum performance.
The combination of massage therapy and a stretching/strengthening routine can help to improve the condition of muscles and joints as well as providing a better understanding of how to exercise correctly. Your massage therapist can recommend a range of stretches appropriate for your condition. Mobilisation of injured joints, both during a massage treatment and after, will help to return the joint to normal function.
Not only is regular exercise essential to keep the body in peak condition, but regular massage therapy also helps to maintain the body’s innate ability to repair itself. The body it like a biological vehicle, when it is regularly serviced, it is less likely to break down. By maintaining the health of our muscles and joints the body will perform with less likelihood of injury. Massage therapy can help you to feel rejuvenated and ready to take on your exercise routine.
Podiatry & Sports Injuries
Athletes choose to use podiatry services to help keep their feet and lower limbs in peak condition. Just as diet and physical training are important to the performance of competitive athletes, so is taking care of your feet and ankles. In competitive sports such as running, triathlon, cycling, soccer, rugby, basketball, netball – an athlete’s feet are important assets. Podiatrists provide preventative care programs as well as offering multiple treatments for common and more sophisticated sports injuries.
Foot and lower leg injuries, as well as biomechanical dysfunction, can significantly impact on sporting performance. Podiatry can play an important role in both prevention and treatment of these conditions, which can be acute or chronic in nature. Some of the more common sports conditions that Podiatrists can assess and treat include (but are not limited to):
- Shin splints
- Achilles pain
- Sinus tarsi syndrome
- Nerve conditions of the feet/ankles
- Muscle and joint sprains or strains
- Stress fractures or acute fractures of foot/ankle
- Back, hip, knee, leg or foot pain due to malalignment of foot posture
Due to the load-bearing and anatomical complexity of the foot and lower leg, these conditions can be quite complex to manage. A podiatrist is a trained expert of both walking and running gait analysis, and will assess function of various joints, muscles, nerves, general alignment and stability, as well as footwear and activities, to determine if any of these things are impacting on performance or contributing to injury within your particular sport. We can also refer for imaging such as x-ray, ultrasound or MRI if required. Some of the treatment options Podiatrists will utilise include: professional advice on activity and injury management, footwear modification and orthotic inserts prescription, taping/strapping and padding, and stretching and strengthening rehabilitation programs.
All serious athletes now rely on massage as an indispensable part of their training programs. A sports massage is a type of therapy geared toward active individuals, usually those who present with common strains resulting from strenuous exercises and movements.
Sports massage uses a combination of deep and light strokes using knuckles and fingers and sometimes elbows to loosen muscle adhesions and release trigger points (knots) in dysfunctional muscle tissue.
Sports massage assists in reducing the risk of injury, cools the body down after exertion and helps enhance the overall physical performance of an athlete by increasing overall motion and flexibility. Whether you are looking to keep an active lifestyle or reach your sporting potential, regular sports massage is vital to your success.
Our massage therapists at Health plus Chiropractic are trained in sports massage from their initial training and have followed this with specific experience in triathlons, football, tennis, basketball to name a few.