Sports and Work Injuries
Many amateur and professional athletes are sidelined with injuries that could be avoided. Others sit it out on the bench because their injury does not respond to ordinary treatment. Still others are playing, but at less than peak efficiency, simply because their structural system is not balance.
Progressive coaches, athletes, and doctors are realizing that pain killing drugs are not the answer. They merely cover up the symptoms, deceiving the athlete into actions which could make the injury more serious. Probably more than any other health profession, Chiropractic’s approach to health closely relates to the needs of the sports participant. Most sports involve body contact, fast starts and stops, and positioning that places an unusual amount of strain on the back and structural system.
Doctors of Chiropractic consider a person as an integrated being, giving special attention to the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Chiropractic is a natural health care method that stresses the importance of keeping all the systems of the body functioning efficiently so the player enjoys peak performance, a minimum injury risk, and fast recuperative powers.
Many world class and Olympic athletes, as well as professional stars and teams, have retained sports chiropractors to provide care. Joe Montana, Nolan Ryan, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jubbar, and Carl Lewis all utilize chiropractic care. The Players Association of the NFL has officially incorporated sports chiropractors as a regular part of care. Chiropractors have been selected as attending doctors at the Olympic Games and at national and world championships in track and field, cycling, volleyball, powerlifting, aerobics, and triathlons.
Is a work related injury preventing you from getting back to work? The California chiropractic Study – for patients with work injuries found in a study conducted by Richard Wolf, MD who followed 500 individuals suffering work related injuries sent for chiropractic treatments and 500 individuals sent to medical doctors for treatment. Those who received chiropractic treatments returned to work in an average of 15.6 days vs. 32 days in those who received treatments from medical doctors.
If you are injured while working, you must first appropriately report to your employer. This action must be taken as soon as possible after the injury. It then becomes your employer’s responsibility to report the injury to State Labor Department or Other Self-Insured Insurance.
One of the most common disabling injuries on the job is strain and sprain of the back/spine or repetitive motion injury. Most frequently the strain or sprain occurs in the lower back. Bending and lifting improperly are responsible for most of these cases, although neck and mid-back injuries can also occur in similar situations.
Lane Chiropractic’s Occupational Medicine program of treatment provides effective relief for many work related injuries and requires no hospitalization, surgery, or medication. Chiropractic care, which is the first step in treatment, utilizes the body’s inherent recuperative powers and the relationship between the spinal column, nervous system and the rest of the body to restore and maintain good health. In our experience with industrial and occupational injuries, we know how important it is for you to return to work quickly and yet at the same time with as complete of a recovery as possible.
The Tucson Chiropractic clinic of Dr. Eric Lane treats many of the ailments of sports and work injuries using Physical Therapy, Occupational Medicine, and other treatment methods for injuries including (Click on a topic below for more information):
Sprains and Strains
The body is meant to move. Muscles allow that movement to happen by contracting and making joints flex, extend and rotate. Muscles attach on each side of the joint to bone by thick bands of fibrous tissue called tendons. When a muscle contracts, it shortens and pulls on the tendon, which allows the joint to go through a range of motion.
A strain occurs when the muscle tendon unit is stretched or torn. The most common reason is the overuse and stretching of the muscle in a repetitive motion. The damage may occur in three areas:
- The muscle itself may tear.
- The area where the muscle and tendon blend can tear.
- The tendon may tear partially or completely (rupture).
Joints are stabilized by thick bands of tissue called ligaments which surround them. These ligaments allow the joint to move only in specific directions. Some joints move in multiple planes; therefore, they need more than one group of ligaments to hold the joint in proper alignment. The ligaments are anchored to bone on each side of the joint. If a ligament is stretched or torn, the injury is called a sprain.
Shoulder and Neck Pain
Your neck and shoulders contain muscles, bones, nerves, arteries, and veins, as well as many ligaments and other supporting structures. Many conditions can cause pain in the neck and shoulder area. Some are life threatening (such as heart attack and major trauma), and others are not so dangerous (such as simple strains or contusions).
Shoulder and Neck Pain Causes
Most shoulder and neck pain results from injury to muscles and ligaments. The spinal cord, heart, lungs, and some abdominal organs also can cause neck and shoulder pain. Here are some examples:
- Broken collarbone: Falling on your outstretched arm can cause your collarbone to break.
- Bursitis: A bursa is a sac over the joints to provide a cushion to the joints and muscles. These bursa can become swollen and painful after injuries.
- Heart attacks: Although the problem is the heart, heart attacks can cause shoulder or neck pain, known as “referred” pain.
- Broken shoulder blade: An injury to the shoulder blade usually is associated with relatively forceful trauma.
- Rotator cuff injuries: The rotator cuff is a group of muscles at the shoulder. These muscles can be injured playing sports with a lot of throwing or after repetitive use over a long time.
- Shoulder or A-C separation: The collarbone and shoulder blade are connected by a ligament. With trauma to the shoulder, this ligament can be stretched or torn.
- Whiplash injury: Injury to the ligamentous and muscular structures of the neck and shoulder can be caused by sudden acceleration or deceleration, as in a car accident.
- Tendonitis: The tendons connect the muscles to the bones. With strain, the tendons can become swollen and cause pain.
- Gallbladder disease: This can cause a pain referred to the right shoulder.
Lower Back Pain
Sports or Work injury lower back pain is a common type of symptom of these injuries. Low back pain is usually caused when a ligament or muscle holding a vertebra in its proper position is strained. Vertebrae are bones that make up the spinal column through which the spinal cord passes. When these muscles or ligaments become weak, the spine loses its stability, resulting in pain. Because nerves reach all parts of the body from the spinal cord, back problems can lead to pain or weakness in almost any part of the body.
Low back pain can occur if your job involves lifting and carrying heavy objects, or if you spend a lot of time sitting or standing in one position or bending over. It can be caused by a fall or by unusually strenuous exercise. It can be brought on by the tension and stress that cause headaches in some people. It can even be brought on by violent sneezing or coughing.
People who are overweight may have low back pain because of the added stress on their back.
Back pain may occur when the muscles, joints, bones, and connective tissues of the back become inflamed as a result of an infection or an immune system problem. Arthritic disorders as well as some congenital and degenerative conditions may cause back pain.
Lane Chiropractic care center provides sport injury and work related injury physical therapy and occupational medicine to help you recover and relieve this type of pain.
Pain in Legs or Arms
The cause of many instances of shoulder or arm pain is obvious. You do something to injure the arm or shoulder and immediately feel pain, such as in a sports injury or on the job injury. You may have broken a bone or dislocated your shoulder. Perhaps you strained tendons or ligaments by carrying too much weight for too long, by lifting something that was too heavy, overreaching or overexerting your arm-as when playing sports when you’re out of shape-or by keeping your arm in an awkward position or even by sleeping on the shoulder. The resulting pain may range from an annoying ache to an acute pain that makes it hard for you to use the injured arm.
There are other, less-obvious causes of shoulder or arm pain. Each is distinguished by where it is felt, whether it comes on suddenly or over time, when it is at its worst, if the pain extends to other joints in your body, and if other symptoms—such as swelling, numbness, tingling, fever, fatigue, and insomnia—accompany the pain. The causes of shoulder and arm pain include tendonitis, bursitis, arthritis, and gout. Such pain may also result from a reaction to medications such as penicillin, anti-anxiety drugs, and oral contraceptives. Whiplash injuries, common in auto accidents, can also cause shoulder and arm pain.
Shoulder and arm pain may be referred from some other region of the body, as when someone suffering a heart attack feels pain in the left shoulder and down the left arm. The pain may also be referred from nerves associated with the joints in the upper spine or “trigger points” in the back, which are particularly responsive to chiropractic spinal adjustments designed to treat such problems.
Legs are generally abused from standing or sitting for long periods of time. It is important to stretch, massage, and incorporate joint movement to get pain relief. The knee is a complex joint influenced by muscles from above and below the joint. Knee instability is often compensated for by increased muscle tension in the leg muscles and shortening of the iliotibial tract (large connective tissue structure on the outside of the leg). Car accident injuries that damage these parts of the leg require special attention.
Doctors of Chiropractic medicine regularly treat sciatica as a result of a sports or work injury. Sciatica is characterized by pain that originates in the low back or buttock that travels into one or both legs. Sciatic nerve pain varies in intensity and frequency; minimal, moderate, severe and occasional, intermittent, frequent or constant.
Pain is described as dull, achy, sharp, toothache-like, pins and needles or similar to electric shocks. Other symptoms associated with sciatica include burning, numbness and tingling sensations. Sciatica is also called radiating or referred pain, neuropathy, or neuralgia. A misconception is that sciatica is a disorder – however, sciatica is really a symptom of a disorder.
Sciatica is generally caused by sciatic nerve compression. Disorders known to cause sciatic nerve pain include lumbar spine subluxations (misaligned vertebral body/ies), herniated or bulging discs (slipped discs), pregnancy and childbirth, tumors, and non-spinal disorders such as diabetes, constipation, injury, or sitting on one’s back pocket wallet.
One common cause of sciatica is Piriformis Syndrome. Piriformis syndrome is named after the piriformis muscle. The piriformis muscle is located in the lower part of the spine, connects to the thighbone, and assists in hip rotation. The sciatic nerve runs beneath the piriformis muscle. This muscle is susceptible to injury from a slip and fall, sports injury, work injury, hip arthritis, or a difference in leg length. Such situations can cause cramping and spasm to develop in the piriformis muscle, thereby pinching the sciatic nerve and causing inflammation and pain.
Sciatic nerve compression may result in the loss of feeling (sensory loss), paralysis of a single limb or group of muscles (monoplegia), and insomnia.
Dr. Eric A. Lane
Hello! I have been serving Tucson, Arizona residents as a Chiropractor since 1994. I am mostly experienced in auto injury, back, neck and pretty much every type of injury you may be having. You can reach my office by calling 520 742-7785.
Updated on May 05, 2018