Sports Injury Management and Performance Enhancement

There are a number of conditions that can result from playing sports. Overuse and strain injuries are most common. An overuse injury results from excessive wear and tear on the body, especially in areas subject to repeated activity. Ankle, knee, shoulder and elbow joints are most prone to overuse injuries. A strain injury is where fibers in a muscle or tendon tear as a result of overstretching. A variety of muscles, joints and ligaments are used when involved in active play, all of which can be affected by strain from overuse, trauma, or not being properly warmed and cooled down (1) for example hamstrings, quads and calf muscles.

Sports injuries are more commonly occur in the form of soft tissue injuries, which refers to any damage to the soft tissues of the body, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves, joints and connective tissue (1,2).

There are a number of ways in which a soft tissue sports injury can occur (1):

  • Muscle strain – when the muscle or tendon is pulled too far in one direction
  • Contusions – resulting from a direct blow to the muscle/tissue
  • Tendinopathy – when the tendon becomes overstressed and inflamed, often due to inappropriate equipment, faulty technique and lack of flexibility
  • Ligament Sprains – when the ligament is stretched beyond its normal range

The Chiropractors and Osteopaths at Tweed Coast Chiropractic have a special interest in the non-drug treatment of musculoskeletal problems, including joint sprains and disk injuries. Our aim is to provide care in the conservative
management, rehabilitation and performance optimisation of the
neuromusculoskeletal system for athletes.

Often, when a muscle or joint is injured, the body naturally compensates, attempting to maintain balance and protect itself by tightening other muscles and joints (2). For example, the persistent pain in your shoulder could be the result of a direct injury to the shoulder; it could also reflect your body’s compensation for spinal-joint movement restrictions in your neck.

During many sports, body contact, fast stops and starts, and positioning place an unusual amount of strain on the spine and structural system.

Treatment of sports injuries at Tweed Coast Chiropractic focus on the application of a multimodal treatment approach that may include Active Release Technique, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation, rehabilitation excercises, soft tissue therapies, strapping, bracing and acupuncture. These approaches are applied to injury management in the form of acute,
subacute and chronic injury as well as in the prevention of injury with the aim of attempting to optimise athletic performance (3,4,5,6,7).

Source: Chiropractors association of Australia