What Exactly Is Sports Chiropractic?
Whether you are a weekend warrior or a competitive athlete, Sports Chiropractic can be an essential component of your training and rehabilitation program. Rather than focus strictly on spinal problems, Sports Chiropractors have advanced training in evaluating and treating muscle and joint problems in the extremities including knees, hips and shoulders. We utilize a mechanical analysis of how well your joints and muscles are working (or not working) in coordination with each other.
By identifying imbalances in muscle strength and dysfunction or restriction in joint movement, we can design a custom treatment program to speed your recovery. As many athletes know, improving body mechanics improves efficiency. This results in improved speed, reduced fatigue and enhanced performance. This approach can also help reduce the likelihood of future injury.
Plantar fasciitis, a common overuse injury, describes pain in the region of the heel and sole of the foot. It is characterized by pain that is usually more severe when a person first arises. Precipitating factor includes poor foot mechanics, training errors, muscle weakness and inflexibility. It accounts for about 10% of running injuries. Treatment involves decreasing inflammation, correcting foot mechanics and training errors and rehabilitative exercise.
The plantar fascia runs from the heel bone (calcaneus) to the base of the toes. It helps to maintain the inside (medial) arch of the foot. It also acts as part of the shock-absorbing mechanism of the foot and stabilizes the foot during toe-off. During running, the force generated with each heel strike is two to four times body weight and occurs 800 to 2000 times per mile. Overuse can cause overload at the insertion of the plantar fascia at the calcaneus. This repetitive micro-trauma initially causes an acute inflammation. Over time, it can become a chronic condition in which the tissue becomes weaker and less elastic due to the formation of adhesions and scar tissue.
Iliotibial band syndrome, also called IT band syndrome, is a common cause of knee and hip pain in athletes. Knee pain is most commonly felt along the outside (lateral) knee and the lower thigh. There may be a clicking due to the band snapping across the joint while running. It can also result in a nagging or acute pain on the outside of the hip. This condition usually begins slow, starting with tightness and can progress to the point where the pain is debilitating. Another hallmark symptom of this syndrome is pain walking up and down stairs.
The rotator cuff is made up of muscles (primarily four) and ligaments that all insert in the glenohumeral (ball and socket joint where the upper arm fits into the shoulder blade) joint. They provide dynamic stability to the shoulder, helping to control the joint during rotation. Injury to this area is commonly seen in sports that put a lot of stress on these muscles such as baseball, kayaking and swimming. The result is inflammation or tears in the muscle or tendon depending on the degree of the injury. Rotator cuff injuries can also lead to faulty biomechanics in the shoulder and over a long period of time can cause the formation of bone spurs and arthritic changes if not addressed.
Impingement Syndrome is another common condition usually caused by a dysfunctional glenohumeral joint. Raising the arm will cause the supraspinatus muscle to become pinched underneath the acromian (bone at the top of the scapula).
While it is common for runners to suffer from this condition, it is common for others that are participating in activities that require a lot of knee bending such as walking, jumping or biking. It usually presents with pain around the knee cap. Runner’s knee is not a specific condition but category for several specific disorders. It is also known as Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome.
If any of the bones are slightly out of their correct position, misaligned or subluxated, physical stress won’t be evenly distributed through the body. Certain parts of your body may bear too much weight or stress leading to aches and pains. Misalignments can contribute many knee conditions.
Runner’s knee can result from flat feet, also called fallen arches or over pronation. This is a condition in which the impact of a step causes the arches of your foot to collapse, stretching the muscles and tendons. This will result in internal rotation of the tibia and misalignments at the knee joint that can lead to Patellar Tracking Disorders.
Inflammation of the tendons can also cause painful symptoms in and around the knee. When the patellar tendon is affected it is classified as Jumper’s Knee. This is usually seen in athletes that require explosive jumping ability or jump often such as in basketball, volleyball and some track events. It is classified as an overuse of the knee extension mechanism. Overactive quads and weak hamstrings are common.