Sports Injuries

Although minor sports injuries are a common occurrence in professional sports and most teams have a staff of athletic trainers and close connections to the medical community, you might not have had access to the same level of care – until now.

If you pull a muscle or other niggling injury, it can hamper your efforts to enjoy your sport and stay fit. You may have ignored the pain and carried on with your sport for too long without treatment, and now find yourself with a chronic injury. It’s not surprising that we often see people with:

  • Hamstring strains
  • Calf strains
  • Achilles tendon injuries
  • Knee pain (Runners Knee)
  • Groin and thigh sprains
  • Lower back pain
  • Tennis elbow
  • Shoulder sprains (rotator cuff injuries)
  • Tendonitis

Our Sports therapist Carol McGregor, has worked with professional football teams, local rugby teams and marathon runners and one of our chiropractors, Dr Tom Butterfield, works with Aberdeen Football Team and previously with the Swedish under 21’s football team as their head medical advisor.

Sports injuries are injuries that occur to athletes in sporting events. In many cases, these types of injuries are due to overuse of a part of the body when participating in a certain activity. For example, runner’s knee is a painful condition generally associated with running, while tennis elbow is a form of repetitive stress injury at the elbow (although it does not often occur with tennis players). Other types of injuries can be caused by a hard contact with something. This can often cause a broken bone or torn ligament or tendon.

What are sports injuries?

Sports injuries can be broadly classified as either traumatic or overuse injuries. Traumatic injuries account for most injuries in contact sports such as football or rugby because of the dynamic and high collision nature of these sports. These injuries range from bruises and muscle strains, to fractures and head injuries.

A bruise or contusion is damage to small blood vessels which causes bleeding within the tissues. A muscle strain is a small tear of muscle fibres and a ligament sprain is a small tear of ligament tissue. The body’s response to these sports injuries is the same in the initial five day period immediately following the traumatic incident – inflammation.

Signs and symptoms of sports injuries

Inflammation is characterized by pain, localized swelling, heat, redness and a loss of function. All of these traumatic injuries cause damage to the cells that make up the soft tissues. The dead and damaged cells release chemicals, which initiate an inflammatory response. Small blood vessels are damaged and opened up, producing bleeding within the tissue. In the body’s normal reaction, a small blood clot is formed in order to stop this bleeding and from this clot, special cells (called fibroblasts) begin the healing process by laying down scar tissue.

The inflammatory stage is therefore the first phase of healing. However, too much of an inflammatory response in the early stage can mean that the healing process takes longer and a return to activity is delayed. The sports injury treatments are intended to minimize the inflammatory phase of an injury, so that the overall healing process is accelerated.

Sports injury treatment and prevention

The inflammatory stage typically lasts around 5 days and all treatment during this time is designed to address the cardinal signs of inflammation – pain, swelling, redness, heat and a loss of function. This might include RICE (Rest Ice Compression Elevation), special exercises, ultrasound therapy, or even acupuncture.

A comprehensive warm-up programme has been found to decrease injuries. Compression sportswear is becoming very popular with both professional and amateur athletes. These garments are thought to both reduce the risk of muscle injury and speed up muscle recovery. A full assessment by one of our experts may show problems which, if treated properly, will not go on to cause injury. We will also advise on the sort of exercises and stretches which will help too.

sports-injuries

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Riverside Chiropractic Group (Aberdeen)
585 Holburn Street
Aberdeen
Aberdeenshire
AB10 7LH

Aberdeenshire Chiropractic Clinic
Suite 10, Oldmeldrum Business Centre
Colpy Way Industrial Park
Oldmeldrum
Inverurie
AB51 0BZ

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Station road
Mintlaw
AB42 5EB

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