Sports injuries are injuries that occur in athletic activities. They can result from acute trauma, or from overuse of a particular body part

5 of the Worst Sports Injuries An Athlete Could Encounter

5 of the Worst Sports Injuries An Athlete Could Encounter

Being an athlete takes determination and perseverance, and they always run a high risk of getting seriously injured. Professional athletes must take all precautions to prevent any injuries that can affect their performance and professional career. Although injuries can be prevented at times, this does not mean that accidents aren’t bound to happen! It’s unfortunate to see talented professional athletes lose their potential to perform to their fullest capacity because of a serious injury that hindered their professional career forever. Here is a list of the worst sports injuries that a professional athlete may encounter while out practicing any sport:

  1. Severe Concussion

    Concussions are common with athletes and are a devastating injury that can affect the motor function both in the short term and long term. Concussions have rapidly become a pressing issue in the NFL and are now altering the way sports are played. Experiencing a concussion weakens the body’s ability to perform accordingly and can have mental implications as well. Concussions cause athletes to be forced to take weeks up to months off from being able to do any normal activities. There are some cases where it can lead to not returning at all, and instead becomes a fast path for retirement! Some additional major issues that can occur from concussions are long-lasting effects in the in the memory and vision.

  2. Torn ACL

    ACL tears are extremely painful and often there is a detectable pop at the moment of the injury. The ACL is one of the main ligaments of the knee joint and is exceptionally important to stabilizing the knee joint. For athletes with a torn ACL, it is commonly necessary to get surgery in order to strengthen the muscles back to their original capabilities. There are also long term consequences with ACL tears, and about 65 percent of patients with a torn ACL experience a torn meniscus shortly after. When the injured person is determining if surgery is a personal option for their lifestyle or not, they must also consider the alternative, which is using strengthening program for a duration of ten months.

  3. Torn Ulnar Lateral Ligament

    The Ulnar Collateral Ligament is the tissue that keeps the inside of the forearm in tact with the outside of the forearm. Efforts related to throwing anything with the forearm can cause stress. If this is done repeatedly, that’s when the band tissue is likely to tear. Common amongst baseball and volleyball players, a torn Ulnar Lateral Ligament is immensely painful from the elbow all the way up till to the wrist. Exercises like throwing the ball hard into a far distance can be a culprit of this injury; if the ulnar lateral ligament tears they will hear a “pop” that causes them to feel excruciating pain. Physical therapy is a good way to treat a torn ulnar lateral ligament because it facilitates the healing processing by correcting movements, improving range of motion and strengthening the muscles. This is a good treatment to consider without having to go through any major surgery.

  4. Broken Leg

    The leg consists of three different parts: the fibula bone, the tibia bone and the thighbone. All three of these parts are prone to being broken in sports, becoming a major difficulty that is challenging for any athlete to overcome. Immediately following a strong force on the leg, the pain is sharp and only gets worst if the athlete tries to move the leg. If an athlete experiences these symptoms right after the impact, it’s important to seek medical attention immediately. Once a doctor takes a look at it he/she can take an x-ray to determine how impacted the leg is. The treatment for a broken leg is most commonly treated with a plaster cast worn to allow for bones to heal in a time frame of 7 weeks. It is also recommended to be in a rehabilitation program once the cast is removed in order to gain the strength needed for the leg to be at its best shape again.

  5. Fractured Vertebrae

    The vertebra is most commonly broken in the lower back area, just below the spine. This may just be one of the most dreaded injuries on the list since it can cost an athlete’s ability to move and end their sports career. The pain is primarily in the spine and can happen from any strong force that leads you to fall on your spine from extreme sports. The implications can be life threatening, an extreme injury can even lead to paralysis. Treatment for fractured vertebrae could include wearing a back brace or getting prescribed the right antibiotics that can help soothe the pain in the spine. Antibiotics including opiates will provide significant relief to fractured vertebrae. Another treatment that can help is exercise that includes stretching and a strengthening program will help the movement in the spine and lead to quicker healing process.

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care You Didn’t Know About

6 Benefits of Chiropractic Care You Didn’t Know About

Chiropractic care is the natural approach to relieving back pain and has been proven to assist in discovering a path of wellness and health! Chiropractic care is a proactive way of relieving pain in the back and can truly change one’s lifestyle for the better! A licensed chiropractor can adjust the part of the spinal and joint function, to relieve any pain and promote overall wellness! For those of you who may be skeptical and tend to rely on modern medicine, chiropractic care is definitely worth trying out! Here are 6 benefits of chiropractic care that you didn’t know about:

  1. Relief from Back and Neck Pain

    One of the major benefits that comes with going with a chiropractor is the healing of your back and neck. In many cases, prolonging the pain will only make it much worst. British Medical Journal 2003 did a study involving 183 patients who were struggling with neck pain who received chiropractic adjustments as well as some general practitioner care. The results of the study showed that the the healing results were much faster in the patients who had received the chiropractic adjustments as opposed to those who used other methods. Patients who had been dealing with back pain discovered the same results as those who were in the study that Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. The study resulted in higher satisfaction than those who went to family physicians. If you are dealing with pain in these areas, don’t hesitate to get to the base of the problem and experience effective results with chiropractic care!

  2. Improved Posture

    Many go through life with poor posture. Whether the shoulders are slouched with the back curved or your neck sticking out similar to that of a turtle. Unfortunately, mobile devices and computers in today’s day and age have caused much harm to everyone’s posture. To help regain great posture, chiropractors are able to perform posture evaluations to adjust your neck and back lifting so much weight off areas of pressure!

  3. Relieve Headaches and Tension

    It’s only natural to feel stressed out time after time when leading a fast-paced life! Along with tension comes migraines, and many patients solely depend on medication to relieve the pain. What many don’t realize is that migraines rank second after back pain as one of the most commonly treated issues treated by chiropractors. Chiropractic adjustments initiate relief and also reduce the chances of the pain from returning! This is the most important benefit. Relieve the migraine pain and also prevent them from returning.

  4. Improve Physical Function and Performance

    Chiropractic care is extremely effective among athletes of all kinds! This is because chiropractic care focuses on the musculoskeletal system and works to help you achieve the athletic performance you’ve been desiring to reach. Chiropractic is a perfect method to consider with any athletic injuries or to simply relieve muscle tension. Although these are some of the main treatments, chiropractic isn’t limited to just these treatments. Chiropractic care can simply improve your overall well-being!

  5. Relief from Arthritis

    According to the Arthritis Foundation, depending on a patient’s medical history, chiropractic care can help with arthritis! It’s important to find a chiropractor who is specializes in working with patients with arthritis to better diagnose and treat the pain. With rheumatoid arthritis, a doctor of chiropractic can present an exercise plan that will get you on the path to a happier and healthier you!

  6. Improved Joint Motion and Coordination

    Joint dysfunction in the spine can cause many different pain points. Even if the pain is not extremely sharp, it’s never a good idea to allow it to continue for an extended period of time without consulting your chiropractor or physician. To prevent pain from spreading to other areas of the of the body, regular chiropractic adjustments will improve any symptoms you may be experiencing!

5 Common Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them

5 Common Sports Injuries and How to Prevent Them

Whether you’re an All-American athlete or a weekend warrior that takes part in pick-up games and backyard sessions, sports injuries always pose a potential threat. These injuries can range from minor to severe – some may even require surgery. Luckily, these injuries can be prevented through proper conditioning, warm-ups, technique exercises, and more. Here are 5 common sports injuries and smart ways to prevent them from happening so you can stay in the game:

  1. Strains and sprains

    Common among athletes of all levels, strains and sprains usually occur in the wrists, ankles, or knees. A strain is most commonly known as a pulled muscle, while sprains occur when ligaments are torn or overstretched. Both of these injuries limit the range of motion in the damaged joint and require ample amount of recovery time.

    Preventing these types of injuries require an increase in flexibility and strength. It’s important to condition your body to vigorous exercise prior to any games to ensure the safety of your muscles and joints. Additionally, working on the proper technique for your sport is essential since it can minimize the risk of painful impact and overstretched muscles.

  2. ACL injuries

    This dreaded injury occurs when the anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) suddenly gets hit from the side, causing the ACL to strain or tear. ACL tears are one of the more severe and common sports injuries that an athlete can get. Surgery is usually required for people with torn ACLs to help them regain their physically active lifestyle.

    ACL injuries could be potentially devastating to an athlete’s sports career. Preventing an unfortunate event like this from happening requires knowledge of the correct mechanics of your sport. This means having the proper form when it comes to doing lunges, squats, jumps and landings. If an athlete’s knees or ankles are collapsing on every rep, it greatly increases their risk for an ACL injury. Getting into the habit of practicing the form can significantly decrease the risk factor for this unpleasant injury.

  3. Groin pull

    Athletes that participate in sports that require running or rapid changes in direction are more likely to receive groin injuries. The muscles that are affected are the “Adductor” muscles, which help bring the legs together. When one your Adductor muscles are pulled, it makes it difficult to kick, jump, and accelerate rapidly.

    Preventing a groin pull involves frequent stretching and thorough warm-ups to promote blood flow to the muscles, which in turn increases flexibility.

  4. Hamstring strain

    Hamstring injuries are common among athletes that over-stretch their hurdles and lift their leg up past their range of motion. This injury is slow to heal since hamstrings are required to walk and are constantly under stress.

    Stretching is key when it comes to hamstring injury prevention. Making sure your leg muscles are warmed up before engaging in physical activity can greatly reduce your chances of obtaining this injury. Some examples to help prevent hamstring damages are running and stretching the backs of your legs by touching your toes.

  5. Shin splints

    A shin splint is a sharp or dull pain that occurs along the shinbone, sometimes extending down to the foot and ankle. This injury is most common among runners, especially those who run on hard surfaces or long distances.

    Failing to warm up the shin muscles before running is a common mistake made among all athletes that require running in their sport. Improper running techniques or wearing unsupportive running shoes are also major contributors to shin splints and can make it painful to walk or even stand.

Overall, no matter what sport you participate in, it’s important to remember to warm-up your body before engaging in any type of vigorous activity. Working out daily and conditioning your body can produce double the benefits, giving you the ability to maintain a healthy body while still being able to stay in the game during the weekends.

5 Ways Athletes Can Avoid Sports Injuries

5 Ways Athletes Can Avoid Sports Injuries

All sports have a risk for injury and some are serious enough to cost you an entire sports season or career. Luckily, they can be prevented if you are cautious in using the correct steps to protecting and warming up your body, along with allowing your body to rest. Here are 5 ways athletes can avoid sports injuries and stay in the game:

  1. Get in shape before starting a new activity or sport

    Expecting your sport to get you in shape without any additional exercise is a major mistake an athlete can make, especially if you are not accustomed to the full, physical intensity of a specific sport. Get in shape before you start your sport by incorporating regular exercise into your daily regimen. This can mean doing physical training or following an off season conditioning program that is designed for your sport, as it can build your balance of strength, agility, flexibility, coordination and endurance. Not only can it better your physical abilities, but also improve overall technique. Cross training is also an option that can prevent burn out and overuse injuries. Mixing routines and workouts can improve your range of movement and activate other muscle groups in your body, which in turn, improves performance during a game.

  2. Warm up and cool down

    Warming up and cooling down your body is just as important as the game itself. So before any type of vigorous movement, it’s crucial to prevent any potential risks for injury by protecting your muscles in the long-run. This means increasing your heart rate to get your body adjusted to continuous movement and warming up large muscle groups to activate certain parts of your body. Then, when your muscles are warm, strengthening and lengthening your muscles can not only assist you in your performance during the game, but also prevent any potential injuries.

    After the game, it is important to cool down your body with stretches that can slowly and safely ease your heart rate. Instead of laying or sitting down in a stationary position, keep your body and your blood flow moving by taking a walk and/or stretching any fatigued muscles.

  3. Wear protective gear

    Many sports require gear such as helmets, cleats, pads (neck, shoulder, elbow, chest, knee, shin), face guards, mouthpieces, protective cups, and/or eyewear. Making sure your equipment is correct for your sport is also important. For example, wearing running shoes would be great for a marathon, but not for a soccer game. It’s crucial to wear properly fitting equipment to reduce the likelihood of major injuries, however, athletes should not assume that it will fully protect them. Along with proper technique and playing safe, all rules should be enforced and all gear should be in good condition and worn appropriately.

  4. Stay hydrated

    Many athletes underestimate their fluid needs and find themselves exhausted and dehydrated in the midst of an intense game. Dehydration leads to poor performance due to lower blood volume, which makes it more difficult to send oxygen to your muscles. Emphasizing fluid intake will not only keep your body cool, but also decrease your chances of feeling fatigued. Adequately hydrating before, during and after a game is important to replenish your body of all fluid loss. Depending on the duration and intensity of the exercise, incorporating some type of electrolyte can assist your body in getting the nutrients it needs. However, drinking plain water will suffice and will reduce the risk of dehydration.

  5. Don’t play when you are injured

    Although there are many ways to prevent sports injuries, injuries may still occur. Allowing your body to recover and rest to let the injury heal will be more beneficial to your body rather than “playing through the pain.”

    There are two types of sports injuries: acute and chronic. Acute injuries occur suddenly while chronic injuries happen after playing a sport or exercising for a long time. When dealing with an acute injury, remember to use RICE: rest, ice compression, and elevation. When dealing with a chronic injury, it is important to contact a doctor and let them determine what precautions you should take before playing or exercising.

    Additionally, even when you are not injured, fatigued muscles can put you at risk for potential injuries. It’s important to allow your body to have one day to recover, especially if you are continuously playing throughout the week. Ultimately, continuing to play during an injury can only make it worse and may even lead to chronic problems. Taking a few days off may prevent the loss of an entire season or career.

Good luck and play safe!

Techniques for the Best Sports Massage

Techniques for the Best Sports Massage

Sports massages are beneficial to athletes of all levels. When performing a sports massage, technique is very important. The main reason technique is important is to ensure no further damage is being done. The best time to receive a sports massage is referred to as a post-event massage. The reason for a post-event massage is to return the body back to normality and oftentimes prevent an injury.

All sports massages are broken up into three main categories of techniques: effleurage, petrissage, and frictions. A few less common techniques are percussion and vibrations. Sports massages come with many benefits. Some of these benefits include enhanced circulation, reduced muscle tension, relieved mental tension, stimulated nerves, and injury prevention.

Effleurage is always used first in a massage to warm up the muscles and at the end of a massage to relax the body. Effleurage consists of a variety of strokes with the palm of the hand and the fingers spread wide. This technique ensures that the muscles are warmed, circulation is increased, and the body is prepared for deeper strokes to come. These strokes are meant to be firm, but compared to the rest of these techniques the strokes are fairly light. It is often during this stage that the problem areas are discovered.

Petrissage is often referred to as kneading. This is a technique that targets the deeper tissue. Petrissage must be performed carefully because this is a powerful technique that is particularly effective in mobilizing fluids into the deeper tissues and applying a good stretch to the tighter muscles.

Frictions are performed by using long, slow strokes and sometimes are performed in a circular motion. Frictions are not used for a long time during the massage because they are often painful. They can be used to search for muscle problems and break down scar tissue. Frictions often clear away waste and correct muscle problems but also tend to cause inflammation. Frictions should be followed by a round of effleurage to help with this inflammation.

The last two techniques are not as common but are still very effective. Percussion includes several techniques clumped together. These techniques include a chopping motion, a tapping of the fingertips to help the nerves, and sometimes slapping or a light pounding with the fists. All of these motions contribute to the reason why this technique is called percussion. Another technique used called vibrations is performed by the hand shaking the legs or back in a shuddering motion. The outcome of vibrations is often a calming of the nerves.

A sports massage therapist will use a variety of these methods. A skilled therapist assesses the body’s needs before and during the massage process. Whether you are a professional athlete, recreational athlete, or a fitness enthusiast, adding a sports massage to your weekly routine could drastically change your life and peak your performance.

Shoulder Instability and Chiropractic Care

Shoulder Instability and Chiropractic Care

Shoulder instability occurs when the structures surrounding the shoulder joint are unable to properly hold the ball in its socket. Ongoing instability can lead to overall shoulder dysfunction, making it an issue that should be addressed as soon as possible so that a treatment plan can be developed.

What causes shoulder instability?

Anyone who has suffered a prior shoulder dislocation is at an increased risk for shoulder instability. When the joint comes completely out of place, this can tear the ligaments. These ligaments will eventually heal, however they often are looser than they once were, creating instability and the possibility of future dislocations.

In addition to a full dislocation, instability can also cause a shoulder subluxation. This occurs when the joint only partially comes out of place.

Athletes who participate in sports that involve repeated overhead arm motions such as baseball pitchers and volleyball players have a higher risk than most of stretching out their shoulder ligaments which, in turn, can create shoulder instability. Others may have loose shoulder joints due to a connective tissue disorder that affects joints throughout the body, which sometimes can be referred to as ‘double jointed.’

Chiropractic treatment:

When it comes to treatment, it is important to keep in mind that each patient’s needs are different. Sports taping can provide additional support that can be especially helpful for athletes.

One option that your chiropractor may suggest is a strength training exercise plan in order to help build support around the shoulder joint. Chiropractic manipulation may be used in conjunction with an exercise plan, but it also can be used on its own. In order to achieve the best results, patients should continue with chiropractic treatment on a regular basis.

Thanks to these chiropractic treatments, many patients are able to avoid a costly surgery. Be sure to contact Peak Form Health Center if you have any questions about shoulder instability and/or chiropractic care.

Concussions and Chiropractic

Concussions and Chiropractic

From car accidents to sports injuries, there are a number of possible causes of concussions. According to the CDC, a concussion is a type of traumatic brain injury that can affect the way the brain works. Although the severity of each one will vary, they all should be taken seriously. A few examples of some symptoms that may be associated with concussions include dizziness, headache, blurry vision, memory loss, nausea and vomiting. Thanks to improvements in technology, more concussions are being diagnosed than ever before and, as a result, fewer of them are being left untreated.

Not everyone may be aware of this fact, but chiropractors receive extensive training when it comes to recognizing concussions. Along with the actual head injury itself, there can often be a neck injury inflicted at the same time with symptoms of its own that may be difficult to differentiate from those of the concussion. Your chiropractor can not only help identify these injuries, but he or she will also help develop a treatment plan to alleviate painful symptoms and help your body heal properly! Sidney Crosby of the Pittsburgh Penguins is an excellent example of an athlete who received successful chiropractic treatment that helped improve both his cognitive and physical abilities after suffering a concussion during a hockey game.

If you ever suffer a head injury while playing a sport, be sure not ignore it and keep playing. Let a medical professional examine you to determine whether or not you have a concussion.

rock climbing injury

Rock Climbing and Pulley Injuries

Finger pulley tears are one of the most common injuries in rock climbing, but many climbers may not know how to identify or treat this type of injury. What is a pulley, anyways? A pulley could best be described as a group of fibers that help secure tendons to the bone. For those who may be experiencing a finger pulley injury, be on the lookout for the following:

  • Grade I (sprain):

    Symptoms may include some pain when squeezing or climbing. Treatment may include taping the injured finger to relieve stress and massaging the finger at the injury site. Squeezing a putty such as TheraPutty a few times each day is also a very good tool to aid in recovery. Climbing is okay, but should be done at a reduced level of difficulty. Soft tissue treatment such as Graston and Active Release Technique (ART) can be effective for in the initial phases for Grade I.

  • Grade II (partial rupture of pulley tendon):

    Symptoms include pain with squeezing or climbing and possibly when extending the finger. Treatment can include massage and putty, as with Grade I, but no climbing should be done for the first 1-2 weeks. When it is time to return to climbing, start back slowly and tape the fingers.

  • Grade III (complete rupture of pulley):

    Symptoms can include sharp pain at the pulley, you may hear a “pop” sound, possible bruising and swelling, pain when squeezing/climbing. Treatment may include taking ibuprofen and the regular use of a cold compress for the first couple of days. No climbing! A splint may be used to immobilize the injured tendons. After 4-8 weeks, putty can start to be used to help strengthening, along with the Grade II treatment.

As with any injury, your first step should be to seek care from a medical professional to determine the correct treatment plan, but these descriptions are intended to serve as a general guideline of what to expect from a pulley injury. If you’re in pain, make sure you don’t ignore it!

Preventing Swimming Injuries

Preventing Swimming Injuries

With the summer months upon us, there are bound to be more people swimming, which also increases the chance of swimming related injuries. Swimming is one of the most popular low-impact fitness activities. There is a wide range of skill between those swimming competitively and those that choose it as a recreational sport. The majority of swimming athletes practice and compete year-round. Elite swimmers sometimes train more than five miles per day, putting their joints through intense repetitive motion. Depending on the stroke used, the majority of swimming injuries affect the shoulders, knees, hips, or back. Minor injuries can cause shoulders to become unstable and lead to shoulder pain and tendinitis. Other frequent injuries include inner knee and hip issues from breaststroke kicking, as well as back injuries from dolphin kicks or dry-land cross-training.

Typically, the most common injuries are shoulder and lower body injuries. The shoulder is the one joint most commonly affected by swimming injuries and overuse. Shoulder injuries could include rotator cuff impingement, in which there is pressure on the rotator cuff from part of the scapula or shoulder blade as the arm is lifted for a stroke. Fatigue and weakness of the rotator cuff and muscles surrounding the shoulder blade can result in biceps tendinitis (painful inflammation of the bicep tendon) and shoulder instability, wherein structures that surround the shoulder joint do not work to maintain the ball within its socket. Knee injuries that involve the tendons and ligaments are also common. Swimmers who regularly do the breaststroke may also experience hip pain from inflammation of the tendons in the hip. Back problems, as well as lower back disk problems, may be increased by the dolphin kick which is often used in competitive swimming.

Correcting one’s technique may help prevent these conditions from affecting your swimming. Using good, symmetrical body rotation will help prevent shoulder injuries. Changing your stroke technique to enter the water with a flat hand, finger tip first will also benefit. Furthermore, many swimmers don’t give very much attention to their upper body posture when swimming. If you are one that has poor posture from your daily life already, it can really affect how your muscles work when you are swimming. To introduce better posture while you swim, try to consciously think about having your shoulders back and chest forward. If possible, lessen the repetitive strokes that are causing overuse injuries. Be sure to exercise your muscles regularly when out of the water to keep your muscles and ligaments strong and flexible. Always speak with a sports medicine professional or athletic trainer if you have any concerns about injuries or prevention strategies.

Hopefully you do not encounter any of these injuries and can continue to enjoy your swimming activities, whether it be for personal enjoyment or competitive swimming.

Prevent Running Injuries

Run Healthy, Prevent Injury

Running is a great means of exercise, recreation, and sport participation for adults and children. As the weather improves and people spend their time outdoors running and training, the risk of injuries also increase. Whether you are maintaining your daily exercise regimen or training for a marathon or track event, running, when done properly, can enhance your physical coordination, fitness, sense of accomplishment and physical and emotional development. Even so, running with inadequate equipment or while in pain can cause a variety of injuries and physical stress.

Common running injuries include knee injuries like tendonitis and knee pain as well as lower leg pain like shin splints, stress fractures and calf pain. In addition, it is common for runners to occasionally have foot and ankle injuries like sprains, heal pain, and plantar fasciitis. Pelvic and hip injuries can also occur in runners varying from muscle pulls to groin pain, and in children sometimes growth plate stress injuries arise. One major organ in your body, your skin, also is susceptible to injury especially when outdoors. Heat rash and sunburns may seem minor, but dehydration and heat stroke can be very serious.

Signs that you may have an injury like those previously listed could begin with just minor discomfort when running. However, if the pain continues, gets worse or you notice pain even while resting, you may have a more serious problem. Furthermore, if you start having trouble sleeping, walking or breathing you should seriously consider consulting a sports medicine expert. It is important to stop running if you experience these signs or feel you may have an injury. Pushing through your pain only makes the problem worse, which will potentially keep you from running for a long period of time. However, stopping when there is a problem and correcting it will get you back running again in the quickest and safest amount of time. Most of the time, running injuries can be easily treated if they are attended to quickly. If you ever experience any problems during or after running, it is important to consult a sports medicine professional immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment.

Proper planning and safety can help you prevent future injuries. Develop a running plan with a trainer or coach and make a strategy that is compatible with your goal and your current level of fitness. Remember to stay hydrated, stretch properly and ease into your running pace. Wear flexible, breathable clothing and if outdoors, consider wearing a hat, sunglasses and sunscreen when needed. Proper socks and thickness will help avoid irritation and blisters. Moreover, it is very important to wear appropriate shoes with good support in the arches that fit well and are comfortable. If necessary, wear orthotic shoe inserts for increased support.

ProForm is available to answer any questions you have about injury prevention or help assess your running injuries and get back on your feet!