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Chiropractic Care for Football Injuries

Chiropractic Care for Football Injuries

Between the brutal physical collisions, all-out sprints down the field, and straining 60-yard throws, football is a physically taxing sport. For many athletes, pain may just be the name of the game, but keeping your body aligned and healthy can help prevent serious injuries and treat any existing ones. In fact, all 32 national football teams use chiropractic care for their athletes, according to the American Chiropractic Association.

Leg and Arm Injuries

Doctors of chiropractic care do more than just treat back and neck injuries. According to the National Center for Catastrophic Sports Injury Research, the most common football-related injuries are lower limb injuries, making up 50.4%. Some common lower limb injuries in football players include hamstring and quadriceps strains, pulled calf muscles, and/or a variety of knee injuries. Upper limb injuries make up another 16.9% of injuries, often including wrist tendinitis, torn rotator cuffs and sprains. These musculoskeletal injuries, and others, are caused by repetitive use or direct trauma, both of which are common concerns on the football field.

These injuries can be helped with different types of treatments that often work in conjunction with chiropractic care, such as massage therapy, physical rehabilitation and cold laser therapy. Massage therapy works on the superficial muscles to improve circulation, relieve muscle tension and pain, and improve range of motion. Physical rehabilitation involves a variety of different courses of treatment, depending on each injury, but can include ice or heat therapy, specialized exercises, ultrasound therapy, or electrical stimulation. Lastly, cold laser therapy works best for chronic or severe pain. Similarly to acupuncture, a needle-less laser penetrates the afflicted muscle to relieve pain without the need of an invasive procedure.

Back and Neck Injuries

Playing high contact sports like football often results in jarring injuries involving the spine. Chiropractic care works to align the spine, alleviating pressure and pain to promote healing in the soft tissues of the back and neck. This treatment can improve range of motion and significantly lessen pain.

Football players frequently get what they call “stingers” or “burners,” which are essentially sharp jolts of pain in the neck that sometimes travel down the arm. These injuries are usually nerve-related, and can occur in the shoulder as well. Players often describe the feeling as being similar to an electric shock. When the head is thrown backwards or sideways with force it can cause trauma to the neck or shoulder, resulting in a stinger. Chiropractic alignment can help the pain, assuaging pinches to the surrounding nerves.

As with most sports that strain the lower back, football can often cause herniated disks. When players jump to catch the ball, or slip and twist during a tackle, these injuries are all too common. Herniated disks occur when the soft disk that cushions each bone in your spine leaks into the spinal canal, putting pressure on the nerve. While often very painful, herniated disks can be treated with spinal decompression, which elongates the spine to relieve pressure. Other treatments include realignment of the spine and physical rehabilitation.

Head Injuries

It’s no secret that playing football often results in a mass of head injuries. The Center for Disease Control and Prevention claims injuries to the brain, often concussions, occur in 1 in every 5.5 high school or college football games. Head injuries usually occur during a blow to the head or face, which frequently means the neck was injured as well. By treating and adjusting the alignment of the neck, a chiropractor can help ease the residual head pain caused by a concussion.

If you play high intensity sports, like football, it’s possible you’ve suffered at least one of these injuries. Finding proper treatment can not only alleviate pain and promote healing, it can help to prevent further injury the next time you step onto the field.

If you’ve suffered a football-related injury, contact Georgia Accident Rehab Centers today to schedule an appointment.


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