This current COVID situation has bought one strong benefit which we are seeing here in our community at Reflex Spinal Health. People are getting out and exercising more! Not only this , they are trying new ways of staying active too. Exercise has so many benefits but unfortunately new forms of exercise can sometimes bring on new niggles. The niggles can then lead onto a sports injury. Our practitioners have all put together some useful information about a few of the more common sports injuries we see, and how we treat these effectively.
So often we hear people saying things to us like “oh do you do shoulders too, I thought it was only backs” – of course we do!! The shoulder is the most mobile joint in the body. This makes it particularly susceptible to injury. Quite often it can be the repetitive movements and overloading of the shoulder that can causes issues. The shoulder is a complex structure with many structures interconnected. This allows the shoulder ability to perform in multiple planes. This also means it is quite easy to cause muscular imbalances in the shoulder which brings problems of its own.
The most common injuries in the shoulder include: Dislocations , SLAP tears and Rotator cuff injuries. Although there isn’t an awful lot we can do about dislocations there’s plenty we can do to help other shoulder injuries including those mentioned above. In terms of repairing damaged structures in the shoulder and reducing inflammation we have just the ticket – the K laser. The K laser is a high-tech class 4 laser that ultimately reduces inflammation and speeds up the physiological processes involved in tissue healing. Used correctly, it’s highly effective and we have seen great results in the clinic with anything from broken collar bones, suprinatus tears and AC joint sprains.
Chiropractic is important when it comes to shoulder injuries because putting it simply your shoulder is connected to your neck and mid back! If there is dysfunction in your spine in these areas these can be that the shoulder is constantly being put under further pressure and used incorrectly. This can often be the reason why shoulder injuries crop up in the first place. So the lesson to learn there is that the best way of dealing with sports injuries is to help prevent them in the first place and chiropractic is a great way of doing this! As practitioners we are also able to offer you the correct rehabilitation exercise program to ensure correct healing and give the shoulder the strength to go back to the activity you love doing sooner rather than later!
Shin splints can cause intermittent pain and inflammation around the middle/back of your Tibia or shin bone. The most common muscles involved are tibialis posterior, flexor digitorum, and soleus. These muscles all stretch from the back of the calf to underneath the arch of the foot. When these muscles are stressed more than they are used to, they can pull on the back of the tibia causing pain and inflammation. This pain can be temporary at first. However, it can become a constant companion if the underlying cause is not addressed in good time.
The root cause of your shin splints can vary. Commonly runners who are upping their training regime at too fast a rate can be prone to shin splints. Always train at a level that your body can cope with, gradually increasing your pace and distance sol your muscles have time to strengthen and adapt to what you want them to do.
Another cause that we see a lot at Reflex is over pronation or flat feet. Pronation is not necessarily a bad thing. in fact pronation is an essential part of the gait cycle in both walking and running! However, if you are pronating too much or in an uncontrolled manner then this can be a big contributing factor to the development of shin splints.
If shin splints are not rested and resolved within good time then they can potentially lead to more severe pathologies. Compartment syndrome can occur of there is too much inflammation in the leg and compress blood vessels and nerves. Stress fractures are also a possibility.
Treatment can come in a variety of forms, the k-laser is the first port of call as it can help reduce inflammation and speed u the tissue healing. Once the pain is reduced we want to get to the underlying cause of the problem to ensure your shin splints do not return when you get back to your chosen activity. Depending on what your practitioner thinks is the underlying cause they may also recommend a Gait scan, a Rehab assessment, or both.
A Gait scan is a detailed assessment of your foot biomechanics. The outcome of this assessment can vary from advice on footwear, a custom exercise program or custom fitted orthotics that improve the biomechanics efficiency of your running and walking.
A Rehab Assessment will test the strength and balance of your muscles. We prescribe a custom training program, based on your results. This enables you to train in a constructive way that is specific to your needs.
Patellofemoral pain syndrome is an umbrella term for pain and stiffness felt on the front of your knee or around your knee cap. Patients may complain of pain going up and downstairs, squatting/kneeling down and other daily activities. This condition is often referred to as ‘runners knee’ or ‘jumpers knee’. It is more regularly seen in younger more active patients. However it can affect people of all ages and fitness levels. The pain results from increased pressure within the knee joint which can negatively impact some of the many structures that make up the knee, including: ligaments, tendons, bursae, fat pads and cartilage.
The cause of knee pain rarely originates from knee unless it is a direct trauma. Which means the pain often results from misalignment coming from the foot and ankle or the low back and hip. It is our job as musculoskeletal to figure out which!
Patellofemoral pain syndrome can also be caused by muscle imbalances. For example, if the muscles on the outside of your thigh overpower the muscles on the inside of your knee, it can result in patella tracking. This is when your knee cap is pulled slightly out of its anatomically correct position. This may then cause irritation within the joint.
Another cause of this condition is overuse or overtraining. When microtraumas are caused to structures within the knee when we exercise, it is very important that we give our body’s enough time to recover. If we repetitively the joint, these microtraumas can then result in added stress within the knee.
If the cause of patellofemoral pain is misalignment it is our job as chiropractors and osteopaths to get your body as anatomically correct as possible. This is done by use of specific joint adjustments. Joint adjustments are where we put you into a position and put a small quick thrust through the joint. This separates the joint surfaces and a ‘click’ or ‘popping’ sound may be heard. These sounds are caused by a release of a pocket of air within the joint. The benefits of joint adjustments include increased mobility within the joint, the relaxing of muscles around the joint and increased nerve output. All of which can contribute to the reduction of pain.
As practitioners we are also able to prescribe exercises to help with muscle imbalances once diagnosed. This is done when the pain being caused by the injury has reduced and full range of movement has returned. If our patients play a particular sport or have an active hobby, we will use our knowledge of biomechanics to give tips and advice on technique and form, to help with prevention from similar injuries in the future.
We are very lucky in our clinic to have a K-laser, which is the latest form of laser technology. Put simply, the laser enhances all of the healing processes of our bodies, which helps with the speed of recovery. The K-laser benefits any pain related condition, however it is most commonly used with sports related injuries.
Sports injuries tend to have more inflammation which the laser can effectively decrease. Patellofemoral pain syndrome can result in very limited movement in the knee. It is hard for us as practitioners to directly treat the knee in the early stages of care. This is why laser therapy is great! It is used on the affected region with no chance of discomfort for the patient.
If you have ever had elbow pain you know how annoying a debilitating it can be!
There are many causes of pain in the elbow but we are going to talk about 2 of the most common:
Despite the names they are not limited to people who play these sports!
This is clearly just as sample of some of the more common sports injuries that present at clinic. If you are unsure whether we can help you with your suspected sports injury please ask! The last thing we want is to see anyone have to reduce their exercise due to an elongated recovery from sports injuries!
17 Church Road, Caversham, Reading, Berkshire RG4 7AA
Reflex Spinal Health are a passionate, dynamic spinal health team. We are committed to help as many in our community of Reading, Berkshire and South Oxfordshire to enjoy the vitality of great health, to reach their health goals and feel truly alive! Our chiropractors and osteopaths offer the highest standards of care in a superb environment.