The main difference between a sports injury and a regular injury is the condition of the patient. An athlete that has injured a joint is physically stronger than a normal person. They have more muscle that can be easily damaged. Their muscles are stronger and may cause the injury to worsen if the proper musculoskeletal structure is not maintained. In most cases, an athlete will heal faster due to the increase in their circulation. Their body functions more efficiently and their body will respond much quicker to treatment methods like massage therapy and chiropractic adjustments. An athlete is also much more likely to do what is necessary to get themselves back into shape as an injury heals.
Massage therapy will hasten the healing process in a variety of ways. Deep tissue massage strengthens the muscles, eliminates toxins, increases blood flow, and helps to maintain both range of motion and flexibility. With more blood flow to the area, the injured tissues will receive more oxygen and nutrients that it will need during the healing process. Massage therapy also works the muscles, keeping them pliable and moving even when the patient cannot exercise due to the injury. Manual manipulation of the muscle tissue can provide many of the same benefits of physical exercise, restoring proper blood flow and carrying away the lactic acid that is produced through exercise.
Chiropractic adjustments can be used to heal old sports related injuries, as long as the structural damage within the area is minimal. Old sports injuries can result in chronic pain and discomfort, especially if they were not allowed to heal properly when the injury first occurred. Chiropractic adjustments can help to eliminate chronic inflammation and, when combined with massage therapy, begin to eliminate any scar tissue buildup that is present. Over time, the repeated realignment of the bones and connective tissues, along with retraining the muscles will help to restore balance within the joint. Although the old injury may be unable to completely heal, chiropractic adjustments can reduce the pain and inflammation that has become chronic.
Though there is no such thing as a "safe" sport, highly competitive sports, such as football, weightlifting, gymnastics, and wrestling, pose particularly higher risks of injuries, especially among children.
According to experts, as much as 20 percent of all sports-related injuries involve the lower back or neck. Running and weightlifting, and other sports that involve repetitive impact expose children to a high risk for lumbar (lower back) injuries. Contact sports, such as soccer and football, expose the cervical spine, or neck, to injury. More than one-third of all high school football players sustain some type of injury. Soccer participants are easy candidates for mild to severe head traumas, neck injuries, cervical spine damage, headache, neck pain, dizziness, irritability, and insomnia. Heading the ball, the act of using the head to re-direct the soccer ball has been linked with cervical injuries in children and adults. The trampoline and gymnastics also present significant risks for spinal cord injuries from unexpected and brute falls or contact with hard surfaces.
Here's a look at some of the other common injuries by sport:
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