The Three Most Common Sports Injuries

How Chiropractic Can Help Relieve Them

By Dr. Tim Fargo, Chiropractor

The three most common sports injuries are sprains, strains, and fractures. A sprain occurs when the ligaments, which are the supporting structures around joints, are stretched to the point that there is microscopic tearing of the fibers. Sprains have various grades of severity, ranging from mild to the point where you have complete rupture of ligaments. The most severe forms of sprain injuries can sometimes require surgical repair. In most cases, however, sprains can be treated by conservative measures and chiropractic care can be of great benefit. When treating a sprain, the first order of business is to rest the body part, ice it, compress the affected body part, and elevate it. A way to remember this is to think of “RICE”. These are all measures that can be taken at home and are designed to alleviate the swelling that is an immediate result of sprain injuries. Once these initial measures are taken, then it is time to be evaluated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors can assess the alignment of the joint and gently realigned joints that have, due to trauma, become misaligned. Realigning a sprained joint then allows the ligaments surrounding and supporting that joint to heal more normally. One often hears of people who sprain a joint, like an ankle, and then reinjure it repeatedly. Part of the reason for this is that after the initial injury, the joint was never realigned and therefore is susceptible to reinjury.


Strains occur when, due to trauma or overuse, muscle fibers are microscopically torn. Like the sprain described above, these types of sports injuries can range in severity from very mild causing only minor pain to severe and verging on rupture of the muscle and tendon. All of us have experienced strains when, for example, we might be working in the garden, playing softball for the first time when the weather gets warm, or any physical activity that causes you to use muscles in ways and at a level of intensity to which you are not accustomed. Strains can be very uncomfortable and can significantly influence your functionality. Some of the same measures as described above (remember RICE) can be very beneficial. When muscles are strained the body naturally attempts to compensate. The person now, for example, might walk with a limp. Doing so then causes other problems with associated joints. Also, it is important to point out that often people strain muscles because the joints are out of alignment in the first place and create imbalances. For example, a misaligned hip will predispose a person to strain their thigh muscle in front. Similarly, a misaligned knee and ankle will cause strain on the calf muscle. Another example is that misalignments in the pelvis and lower back will cause significant muscle imbalances and tightness that will also predispose the person to back strain. Chiropractors help people with strains by doing palliative measures with the muscles themselves such as massage, electrical muscle stimulation, and other modalities designed to reduce inflammation and relax the muscles. Chiropractors also adjust joints that are adjacent to the area that has been strained. Doing so facilitates the healing process dramatically.

The third sports injury that is very common is various forms of fractures. Fractures are where the bones are cracked or broken, usually by some type of trauma. Generally, fractures are best treated with immobilization. That is why people will often wear plaster casts or other such devices to prevent the fracture site from being disturbed while it is healing. Chiropractors do not do manipulation or do adjustments to bones and joints that have been fractured. Rather, we facilitate the healing process by addressing the nerve supply to the area where the person has sustained a fracture. For example, if they fracture something in the lower extremity, then adjusting the pelvis and lower back can improve nerve supply and speed healing of that lower extremity. In addition, there are instances where fractures are not healing properly. In such cases, devices such as SoftWave TRT can speed healing by improving circulation and activating stem cells in and around the fracture site.  SoftWave TRT is a cutting-edge tissue regeneration technology that the doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness have at their disposal.

The role of proper nutrition in the healing of strains, sprains, and fractures cannot be overestimated. Healing nutrients such as vitamin C, minerals such as calcium and magnesium, and anti-inflammatory agents such as turmeric and fish oils can be very helpful with all of the above conditions. If you or a member of your family participate in sports or recreational activities and you get hurt, then consider chiropractic as a critical first line of defense. Call or talk to any of the doctors at Chiropractic Health and Wellness and we would be happy to help.

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