Avoiding Sports Injuries
May 27, 2014 01:15PM
● By Dr. Binh Nguyen
The benefits of playing sports are many, including enjoyment and the opportunity to strengthen the heart, joints and bones. Unfortunately, the potential for injury also comes with the territory and, whether sports injuries are severe or mild, they need treatment. Many athletes visit sports chiropractors, not just following an injury, but also as a preventative method. The following tips can help to prevent sports injuries and determine a course of treatment, when necessary.
• Protect – Wear the right type of protective gear from head to toe, even if you are playing a low-impact sport, as the risk of injury is always present. It is always better to be overprotected than under-protected. Depending on the type of sport being played, you might need a helmet, special shoes, elbow and kneepads, wrist braces, goggles, a protective cup and a mouth guard.
• Prepare – Warming up is essential, no matter what kind of shape you are in. Because many types of sports injuries are soft tissue injuries, or those that affect muscles, tendons and ligaments, spend between 10 and 15 minutes warming up the entire body before each game or practice session. The cool-down is just as important, as it helps to further protect your body and reduce the risk for injury.
• Pace Yourself – If you’re new to the game, pace yourself and start slowly. Be aware of your surroundings and know how to play the game. Take breaks when needed in order to give the body some time to adjust to new physical activity.
• Don’t Ignore Injuries – A common mistake people make when playing sports is to ignore injuries, whether because they desire to keep going, believe that the injury isn’t serious, or think that it will go away on its own. Any type of pain or discomfort, especially a sensation never felt before, warrants a visit to the doctor. Visiting a sports chiropractor for treatment immediately after an injury can help you return to playing sooner. Avoidance of treatment might cause the condition to worsen, and can even result in permanent damage.
Binh Nguyen, DC, is a certified chiropractic sports physician at Cedar Chiropractic and Sports, 77 W. Main St., Hopkinton. For more information, call 508-435- 8182 or visit CedarChiroSports.com.
10 Things to Know about Certified Sports Chiropractors*
1. They possess special knowledge of sports injuries and physical fitness.
2. They’re experts in the function of the body during movement, from everyday activities to high-level athletics.
3. They can help to optimize athletic performance by applying an advanced understanding of musculoskeletal function and athletic training.
4. They offer individualized care that extends beyond spinal adjusting to include treatment of muscles, joints and connective tissues.
5. They focus on total body wellness and reaching optimal functioning in addition to pain reduction.
6. They’re immersed in the latest sports medicine research, trends and treatments.
7. Their style of care can be integrated seamlessly with that of other healthcare practitioners to optimize medical care.
8. They’re skilled sports medicine practitioners and passionate proponents of physical fitness.
9. They help clients to achieve peak performance with a breadth and depth of knowledge and specific training.
10. They comprise the top tier of the chiropractic profession.
*From the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians