Sport and exercise are universally recognised as an effective way to keep in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle, however there is always the risk of injury occurring with organised sport and individual activities. With it being noted in research that individuals that suffer from a sporting injury are at a higher risk of re-injury, it is paramount that we strive to prevent injuries from occurring in the first place by training smart, training correctly and of most importance, maintaining correct functional movement.
Training smart involves a warming up and cooling down with every workout, maintaining hydration, acclimatising yourself to the environment to avoid heat/cold related stresses, limiting your workout sessions to allow adequate recovery time and most importantly starting off slow, and gradually increasing the time and intensity of your workouts to avoid overuse injuries.
When we look at training correctly this primarily revolves around addressing all aspects of fitness, most notably strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness and flexibility.
Which then all leads to correct functional movement. It is not uncommon for people to have some sort of imbalance in their body, and whilst this imbalance may not present with any direct symptoms the extra stress placed on ligaments, joints and tendons, can increase the risk of injury and limit your ability to perform at maximal potential, inadvertently negating the effort taken to train smart, and correctly.
So what can we do about this? The simple answer is to seek help! Sports chiropractic is used by many sports professionals in a multi-modal approach to deal with injury prevention, management of current injuries and the rehabilitation of these injuries to enable return to full fitness. In a recent study, 59 AFL players were split into two groups; a control which received strength training, massage, physiotherapy and medical care to the lower limb, and the second group which received the above as well as chiropractic treatment. What the study found was that for hamstring injuries the group receiving chiropractic treatment had only a 4% chance of hamstring injury compared to 17% for the control group, and only 4% chance of other muscle strains compared to 28% in the control group. Additionally, the players in the chiropractic group missed fewer matches due to injury.
Essentially sports chiropractic can benefit everyone and is an excellent tool to improve overall health. Being pre-emptive and getting a functional and structural chiropractic assessment to determine if any underlying issues exist is a great step before starting or changing your exercise regime, and will greatly reduce the likelihood of sports related injuries from occurring.
1. American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons. Sports Injuries and Prevention. http://orthoinfo.aaos.org/menus/sports.cfm (Accessed July 2016)
2. Hoskins, W, Pollard, H. (2010). The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders. 11:64, p1-11.