Competitive and recreational athletes sustain a wide variety of soft tissue, bone, ligament, tendon and nerve injuries. Most of these injuries are related to direct trauma or repetitive stress and account for a significant amount of down time for the athlete. Chiropractic care works on optimizing biomechanical function to give athletes the best opportunity to reach peak performance. The focus is on treatment of joint and muscle function of the injured area, as well as assessing the whole body for compensating movement patterns. Neurological control of the body is also a prime consideration. Our chiropractors at OHP assess athletes by examining joint range of motion and perform specific orthopedic, chiropractic and neurological tests to evaluate the static and dynamic function of the specific joints. We examine the biomechanical chain of joints (i.e. with knee injury, the hip and foot are assessed) to determine the causation of the injury as well as treating the injury itself. When the problem area is identified we use adjustments and soft tissue techniques, such as ART, and Graston, to restore the joints mobility and muscle efficacy. Athletes of all skill levels and ages can benefit greatly from chiropractic care at OHP as it can speed recovery time and help prevent future injuries. Here at OHP we know what it is like to be an athlete as our Kelowna chiropractors have competed nationally and internationally at sports such as Soccer, Volleyball, Track and Field, Adventure Racing, Tae Kwon Do, and Squash. We treat many local, national and international athletes, and have treated at many local, national and international events.
A Couple Common Sporting Injuries
Long Distance Running
Also known as plantar heel pain syndrome and heel spur syndrome, is a condition that is caused from inflammation of the plantar fascia. Often it is felt as a stabbing pain in the central or medial heel, worse in the mornings or after a long period of sitting, and is a common disorder in long distance runners. Management: Chiropractic care modifies the talocrual-ankle-range of motion. As well it is necessary to address the site of the plantar fascia injury with Active Release Techniques (ART), and appropriate home care such as icing, stretching and massaging. According to research by Stuber et al, 98, chiropractic care can significantly improve the condition.
IT band syndrome is a common condition in many long distance runners and is characterized by lateral (outside) knee pain without a traumatic onset. Pain initially begins during running and may progress to pain at rest especially walking down stairs. It is caused by a tight IT band that rubs against the lateral knee. Pronation of the foot and downhill running often predispose this condition. Management: Includes assessing the biomechanical chain of joints, i.e. the foot, knee, hip and lumbo-sacral joints, as well as breaking adhesions within the IT band with Active Release Techniques (ART) and stretching.
Shin splints present as anterior (front) or posterior (back) lower leg pain. Anterior pain is due to dysfunction of the muscles in the front of the leg, the tibialis anterior and the toe extensors. Posterior pain is due to dysfunction of the muscles in the back of the leg, the toe flexors and tibialis posterior. Management: Changing old running shoes will often dramatically help the problem, but treatment with muscle release, and assessment of the foot, knee, hip and low back joints is often necessary.
Lateral epicondylitis, or tennis elbow, is a common overuse syndrome of the elbow noted in racquet sports. Pain is noted at the outer portion of the elbow. Elbow biomechanics play an important role in overhead and racquet sporting activities including tennis and squash. EMG studies show improper backhand biomechanics are often the causative factor in development of tennis elbow. Pathology specifically is placed at the extensors of the wrist, which originate at the elbow or the radial nerve. Management: Chiropractic care, including ART, has shown 71% efficacy rate for treatment of peripheral overuse syndromes when associated with rehabilitation protocols in numerous case reports (Howitt, 2006).
SHOULDER IMPINGEMENT SYNDROME
Impingement syndrome often presents as pain with overhead activities, such as the serve in tennis or in competitive swimmers. It can be due to numerous structures such as the biceps tendon, the shoulder labrum, supraspinatus tendon, or the subacromial bursae. Management: Shoulder mobilization/adjustment techniques in conjunction with Active Release Techniques (ART) of the muscles/ tendons on the causating structure as well as shoulder/scapulae rehabilitation.
Medial epicondylitis, or golfers elbow, has a similar presentation to tennis elbow. Golfers elbow is on the inside of the elbow, unlike tennis elbow which is on the outside. It is due to a dysfunction and inflammation of the wrist flexor tendons. Treament: Includes mobilization adjustment of the elbow, assessing the biomechanical chain of joints, and utilizing soft tissue techniques such as ART to break adhesions that are negatively affecting the proper muscle function and range of motion.
Lumbo-sacral sprain/strains are often defined as an acutely painful low back, often with associated muscular spasm, with or without known onset. The repetitive twisting motion of the golf swing without proper warm up and stretch routine can lead to the low back becoming strained. Improper follow through, in which the low back hyper extends, is also a causative factor. Management: Often an underlying muscle and joint inequality puts people at risk for lumbar spine sprain or strain. Chiropractic low back and SI adjustive techniques allow for the correct movement through the spine, and core and spine rehabilitation can retrain the muscular inequalities.