everything athletes need to know about sports injuries

Everything Athletes Need to Know About ACL Injuries

ACL injuries, or anterior cruciate ligament injuries, are among the most common sports injuries. The anterior curate ligament is one of the four main ligaments in the knee. When we damage this ligament, it’s usually due to a sudden twist of the knee or a hard impact.

ACL injuries are most common in contact sports such as football and rugby, so players of these sports should be taking extra precautions to prevent injury.

Symptoms of an ACL Injury

An ACL injury typically starts with severe and immediate pain. You may even hear a popping sound if the ligament ruptures. The knee will swell and no longer be able to hold your weight. There’s a good chance that you’ll need help off of the field if you’re in the middle or a game or training.

The “RICE” (rest, ice, compression, elevate) procedure should be followed right away if an ACL injury is suspected. This both stimulates healing and is prevention against further injury. The knee needs to be rested and an ice pack should be applied to it to control the swelling. It should then be compressed, which should control swelling, and then elevated, ideally above the heart. Once you have tended to the injury, seek out professional medical help.

Treatment for ACL Injuries

If the ACL injury is minor, it can be healed with rest and proper rehabilitation. You may need to use crutches until the swelling and pain in the knee are gone and you can walk without a limp. However, if the ligament is torn all the way through, surgery may be necessary along with such modalities as Kinesio taping and functional rehabilitation exercises to strengthen your knee and restore its range of motion. Kinesio taping not only helps reduce the swelling and knee pain, but protects the knee as it heals, supports the circulation of blood in the knee and allows for faster healing without restricting the knee’s range of motion.

Kinesio tape is applied according to your specific needs. The tape may be placed in different configurations. Your knee may be wrapped in straight bands or the bands may be wrapped as an X, Y or other shape. It may also have different amounts of stretch depending on how severe your injury is.

Getting an ACL injury in the middle or training or a game may be scary, but with the proper care you should make a complete recovery. For more information on ACL injury prevention or ACL recovery, please call us at (509) 922-1909.

ice therapy cold therapy heat cold therapy pain relief

Should I Ice or Heat my Injury for Relief?

If there’s one thing that we’re familiar with, it’s knowing how to handle and manage injuries and pain. We know that sometimes, you just need quick and immediate relief – whether it’s from a fresh injury or a long-term issue. Traditional approaches to treating injuries include icing and heating, which are still both very useful. But cold and heat therapy play two different roles in treatment. Continue reading to find out more about when to heat or ice your injury.

When should I ice my injury?

Cold therapy or icing is ideal for “new” injuries. By “new,” we are referring to an injury that’s less than 6 weeks old. It can also work wonders on injuries that occurred within the last 48 hours. So if you’re suffering from an acute injury, like a pulled muscle, bursitis, a sprain or tendinitis, consider putting ice on it. Ice can also help alleviate the “throbbing” types of headaches.

What does ice do to the body?

Cold packs reduce blood flow and restrict chemical reactions in the area by constricting blood vessels. The goal is to reduce swelling, inflammation and pain.

The other benefit of icing an injury is that it can numb the area, bringing on much-needed relief.

How do I ice an injury properly? 

Begin by taking an ice pack (or even a bag of frozen peas if you need to be crafty) and wrap it in a thin or light towel. We don’t recommend putting the pack directly on the injury, as a precaution to protect your skin.

Apply the ice pack on the injured or affected area on and off throughout the day for about 20 minutes each time. Move the ice pack around the area during the 20-minutes. Wait a few or a couple hours being reapplying.

When should I heat my injury?

Heat therapy generally works best for chronic injuries, including arthritis pain and chronic back pain, and pain that lingers after sprains and other injuries. The important point to note is to not use it during the inflammation stage, as it can cause added inflammation and hinder the recovery process. And, if you have a headache that is triggered by muscle spasms, heat therapy may bring you relief as well.

What does heat do to the body?

Heat essentially works in the opposite manner as cold therapy. It relaxes the joints and muscles and provides relief for both stiffness and spasms by expanding the blood vessels. This allows for greater blood flow and improved nutrient and oxygen delivery to the injured area.

How do I heat an injury properly?

As with cold therapy, protect your skin by using a light towel between yourself and the heating pad or heating bottle. You can also dampen a towel with warm water and use that instead. Some have also found relief with warm steamy baths.

Once again, don’t exceed the 20-minute mark and don’t reapply the heat until the spot has had a chance to completely cool.

For more help in relieving your acute or chronic pain, you can visit our chiropractic clinic in Spokane Valley. In the meantime, using cold and heat therapy is an effective way to find relief for your symptoms. Remember, cold is best for new or acute injuries, and heat is best for chronic ones!

Call Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute at (509) 922-1909 for more information!

massage therapy woman

5 Health Benefits of Massage Therapy

More people are undergoing massage therapy to improve their well-being and health. Massage therapy is a popular natural health practice that can make it easier to feel rejuvenated. Those who are considering undergoing massage therapy can take advantage of the different benefits that it offers.

  1. Relax the Body

One of the most efficient ways of reducing stress and tension in the body is to get a massage. Massages work the tension out of muscles and can promote relaxation. You can feel more at peace returning to work or dealing with challenges by alleviating stress.

  1. Alleviate Headaches

Tension can develop in the neck and shoulders throughout the day when spending time on the computer or lifting heavy items. Headaches often develop due to the tension that is present in the neck and shoulders, making it necessary to find relief. Massages are known for soothing tension headaches and can help you to avoid relying on medication.

  1. Improve Your Sleep

Stress can interfere with your sleep, which can deplete your energy levels and reduce your cognitive function. Improve your sleep by getting a massage by a professional, which will allow you to go into a deep state of relaxation. The practice can balance out the hormone levels in the body and is known to increase serotonin, which influences melatonin and can cause it to reset circadian rhythms. You’ll enjoy a higher quality of life by combatting sleep apnea and insomnia with extra rest that can improve your mood each day.

  1. Recover from Sports Injuries

Massage makes it possible to recover from sports injuries by increasing balance and flexibility in the body. It can improve tissue elasticity and is known to break down scar tissue, which can make it easier to recover. You can also consider coupling the massages with chiropractic care for proper spinal care. The natural practices can make it possible to adopt healthy habits for your back while alleviating pain that is present.

  1. Fight Depression

Massages are proven to fight depression by lowering cortisol levels and boosting mood, which can be essential for those who are also suffering from an injury – especially if it takes the individual off the field of one of their favorite sports.

Massage therapy in continues to remain a popular method of improving the body’s health and overall well-being. By receiving the care that you deserve, you can enjoy having more mobility and alleviating pain or discomfort that is present in the body.

Contact Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute today at (509) 922-1909 to book a massage therapy session!

woman exercising outdoors

How Often Should I Be Exercising?

Living a healthy lifestyle should be a goal for everyone. This means participating in regular exercise that includes both strength training and cardio. You don’t have to hire a fitness trainer to reap the healthy benefits of exercise. However, you do need to commit to a regular exercise program. In the following, we will answer basic exercise questions such as what exercise you should be doing and for how long?

What Exercise Should You Do?

If you have no particular goal in mind – such as weight loss or training for a particular competition or sport, then the answer to this questions is simple – do what you enjoy. If you’re looking to exercise in order to maintain good health, pick an exercise that you enjoy doing and will continue to do on a regular basis, be it swimming, running, aerobics class, yoga, walking, cycling, or whichever.

The 2 things that stop most people from continuing their exercise routine are boredom and injury. When choosing which exercises you want to do, keep in mind:

  1. Cardio (aerobic) burns more calories than strength or resistance, and
  2. A range of different activities will use difference muscle groups and you will be less likely to develop an injury (and get bored).

If you don’t know what exercise you like doing, allow yourself to explore and participate in various trials. Experiment and do one activity one week, and a different activity another week. Give yourself the opportunity to also try activities that you haven’t done in a while – perhaps you might find something you like that you didn’t enjoy before.

How Often and for How Long Should I Be Exercising?

For the biggest benefit, you should start at 3-4 times per week and work up to the government’s recommendation of 5-6 times per week for 30-45 minutes each time.

How do you ensure that you remain consistent with your exercise routine?

  • Schedule your workouts and make them a priority.
  • Don’t do too much too fast, or you risk an injury and giving up.
  • Keep a daily log of both your diet and exercise. Little steps can add up to big progress.
  • Don’t compensate for your workouts by eating more or doing less for the rest of the day.

Total body-wellness is a lifestyle choice. Portion control, healthy food choices, and staying active will contribute to a long and healthy life. Take advantage of the benefits of a regular exercise program and do something that you will enjoy. It doesn’t have to be a chore if you don’t treat it like one!

For more information on fitness training or exercise, please contact us at (509) 922-1909.

older woman looking happy

Find Stress Relief with Chiropractic Care

In today’s demanding, fast-paced society, it’s no wonder that so many people are desperate for stress relief. Unfortunately, many stressed out Americans turn to pharmaceutical treatments for anxiety, depression, and the inability to deal with stress. However, prescription medications can have dangerous side effects and addictive ingredients.

The good news is that chiropractic care has been proven to effectively treat stress and mood disorders in a completely safe and natural way. By treating your stress with chiropractic care, you don’t have to worry about side effects or dependency issues. 

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

A chiropractor is a trained specialist who has vast knowledge of the nervous system and uses this knowledge to adjust a wide array of ailments by manipulating the spine and musculoskeletal structure. Many people suffer from subluxation, or misalignment of the spine. Because the spine controls the entire nervous system, this subluxation can wreak havoc on various parts of your body, including your brain. This can result in stress and mood disorders that are exacerbated by the existing stress of daily life. 

How Can a Chiropractor Eliminate Stress?

When the mind is stressed, numerous serious ailments can develop, ranging from sleep disorders to heart disease. When a chiropractor adjusts your spine, he or she is healing you by allowing your body to have full, undisrupted communication within itself. This means nerve communication and blood and nutrient flow have zero problem getting from point A to point B. This results in a body that is in a much more relaxed state. When the body is in a relaxed state, it can process and manage stress much more easily.

Many people have a misaligned cervical spine. The cervical spine is the top portion of your spine that connects to your skull. When the cervical spine is out of alignment, the nervous system has trouble communicating with the brain, which can result in mood disorders and feelings of overwhelming stress.

By adjusting the cervical spine back into alignment, your brain will be able to communicate with the nervous system efficiently, resulting in a balanced state between the mind and body.

What Can I Expect from Chiropractic Care?

When you make your first appointment with a chiropractor, he or she will assess the severity of your spinal misalignment. From there, he or she will suggest how often you need to receive an adjustment per week.

A spinal adjustment is painless, quick and completely safe. Gradually, your chiropractor will manipulate your spine back into alignment through various gentle adjustment techniques.

If you are desperate for stress relief and are looking to enhance your overall health and wellness, you can contact Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute today at (509) 922-1909. Stress doesn’t have to control your life, and with the power of chiropractic care, you will be able to manage your daily stress better than ever before.

man with bad and good posture

The Importance of Good Posture

Good posture is one of the most important things you can do for your body. When you have good posture your muscles, bones and joints are aligned perfectly and can function as they should. If you fail to maintain good posture, you may find yourself dealing with chronic back pain, neck pain and overall fatigue. Below is an overview of the importance of good posture and how it can help you feel your best.

Causes of Bad Posture

Most people are unaware of how poor their posture actually is. While many different factors can lead to poor posture, some of the most common causes are:

  • Accidents
  • Falls
  • Injuries
  • Being overweight
  • Weak muscles
  • Work-related stress
  • Muscular Imbalance
  • Improper sleeping habits
  • Wearing ill-fitting shoes
  • Poor self-image

The society we live in today has made a significant impact on our postural habits. We have become a more sedentary society due to electronic devices, video games and computers. Spending the majority of our day doing these activities has led to poor posture in the vast majority of people both young and old – we are sitting at our desks more often, hunching over laptop screens, and straining our necks by looking at our mobile devices for long periods of time.

How Poor Posture Affects Your Body

As the years go by, poor posture can lead to problems such as back pain and neck pain. Below are some other problems caused by poor posture:

  • Fatigue
  • Tight neck muscles
  • Aching back muscles
  • Joint pain
  • Stiffness of joints

How to Check for Good Posture

You can check your posture by doing the mirror test. To perform this test, you must stand in front of a full length mirror and look to see if:

  • Your head is straight
  • Your shoulders are level and in line
  • Your hips are level and even
  • Your ankles appear straight

How to Improve Your Posture

You can improve your posture in a variety of ways such as:

  • Exercising regularly
  • Keeping your weight within normal limits
  • Invest in a good mattress
  • Adjust your work chair and desk to a comfortable height

If you are having chronic back and neck pain because your posture is poor, it may benefit you to see a chiropractor for advice. During a consultation, a chiropractor may be able to identify the causes of your poor posture and provide a treatment plan to improve it. In many cases, people who see a chiropractor for treatment experience a reduction in pain almost immediately. Call Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute at (509) 922-1909 to learn more about how chiropractic can help improve posture and relieve neck or back pain.

man with back pain problems

How to Relieve Back Pain at Home

Sometimes you’re unable to make a visit to the chiropractor when your back is hurting or there are just a few days left until your appointment. At Summit Chiropractic, Spokane Valley’s leading chiropractic clinic, we don’t want you to suffer from the pain. We have compiled a list of five things you can easily do from home to relieve back pain. We highly recommend implementing these tips even if you’re receiving chiropractic care in order to promote a healthy back.

  1. Improve Your Posture

Poor posture is one of the main contributors to back pain. We unknowingly hunch over when using computers and smartphones. Poor posture isn’t always the cause behind a back ache, but it can make it worse. Either way, improving your posture is an easy way to relieve back pain over the long-term.

Seeing one of our chiropractors regularly for spinal adjustments can assist you in correcting and maintaining your posture. Even if you’re receiving chiropractic adjustments, it’s still important to do postural exercises at home to remind your body of correct posture and strengthen your back muscles for a healthy spine. Be aware of how you sleep, sit, stand or walk to improve your daily posture.

  1. Use Ice the First Two Days, Then Heat

If you’ve injured your back or are suddenly experiencing back pain, apply an ice pack to the area for up to 20 minutes several times throughout the day for two days. You can then, start using moist heat by wetting a towel with warm water. Moist heat will reduce back spasms and improve blood flow. Similar to ice, only leave it on your back up to 20 minutes. You can do this numerous times per day over the course of several days.

  1. Perform Stretches That Are Intended to Relieve Back Pain

There are many stretches that help alleviate back pain that you can do from the comfort of your home. One stretch you can do at home to relieve back pain is to lie on your back and pull one knee to your chest. Hold the position for about 30 seconds before repeating with the other leg. Another stretch you can do is actually called child’s pose in yoga; it can be very relaxing. Sit on your knees and slowly lean forward with your arms straight in front of you. Relax in the pose for around 30 seconds.

  1. Engage in Stress-Relieving Activities

Stress is one of the potential causes of upper back pain. People have a tendency to tense their shoulders and upper back muscles when they’re feeling stressed. If you know that you hold tension in your back, incorporate back stretches in your weekly routine to help relieve the tension and stretch your muscles so that they don’t cause back pain. Also engage in stress-relieving activities, such as hanging out with close friends, meditating, or reading a good book with a warm cup of tea.

Implement these tips into your daily routine and continue to exercise them to relieve back pain. If you continue to have back pain, especially if it’s a chronic condition (lasting more than 3 months) contact us today to book an evaluation or appointment. Call all Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute at (509) 922-1909.

woman with hurt knee - improve athletic performance

How Chiropractic Care Helps Athletic Performance

For the professional athlete – or even a weekend warrior who plays a particular sport – the ability to move freely is key to performance on the field. Top-notch athletic performance requires muscle strength, flexibility, proper body mechanics and technique to prevent injury and allow maximum effort. At the Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute, we’re experts in helping athletes with chiropractic care, joint manipulation and massage therapy to enhance athletic performance.

Pain and Injury

Athletes and those who regularly participate in physical activities are more prone to stiffness and soreness following a game or practice. This is especially true for those who enjoy rough and tumble contact sports like football, hockey or soccer. Joint manipulation, which includes both spinal manipulation and treatment of other joints, helps promote flexibility and decrease pain on movement. Chiropractic treatment can help decrease the risk of injury precisely because it promotes flexibility and allows the athlete full range of motion to throw, catch, run or swing a bat.

Repetitive Motion

Many sports require repetitive motion that can lead to overuse injuries. Baseball, hockey, and tennis players, along with football quarterbacks and golfers constantly need practice to achieve accuracy and distance. This means muscles in the arm and shoulder are subject to overuse injuries. The muscles and joints can become painful and inflamed as well, and the player will start to limit their motions to guard the sore joint. While rest is helpful for repetitive motion injury, other techniques like massage therapy and joint manipulation can restore normal function and relieve muscle spasm and pain quicker.

Performance Enhancement

Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system and body movement. In particular, we know what optimum body function looks like. A chiropractor can perform gait and movement analysis to identify ways in which an athlete may be limiting his or her performance. We can also look for ways in which changing a particular movement can improve performance by increasing accuracy or allowing greater extension of a joint to provide a longer throw. In some cases, we might develop a specialized and unique exercise program to strengthen a pitcher’s fastball or use video to pinpoint movements that are less efficient and hamper performance.

Optimizing the Nervous System

One of the more nuanced benefits of chiropractic care is how it affects an athlete’s nervous system. The spine houses the nervous system, which connects and transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body. If the spine and musculoskeletal structure are soundly in place for optimal nerve function, the athlete may experience a faster healing and better reaction time.

No matter what the sport, optimum performance hinges on the player’s ability to use his or her body to maximum effect. Whether optimum performance means better and faster running, a stronger backhand or the ability to precisely place a thrown ball, chiropractic care and adjunctive treatments like joint manipulation and massage therapy can enhance athletic performance. Contact us at the Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute to see what we can do to help you feel better, prevent injury and achieve peak performance. Call (509) 922-1909 to book an evaluation or appointment.

 

woman sprinting running

6 Tips to Avoiding Overuse Injuries

Spokane Valley is a wonderful place to work out and stay in shape. If exercise is your forte, you want to be careful to avoid overuse injuries. Overuse injuries occur gradually as physical stress remodels structures such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Remodeling involves both the breaking down and the building up of tissue. When breaking down occurs faster than building up, overuse injuries take place. At that point, you will probably need to seek Chiropractic care. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these injuries.

  1. Don’t push through the pain

We’ve all heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain.” When it comes to discomforts like back and leg pain, it simply doesn’t apply. The more you push yourself, the more likely you are to put negative stress on your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. This could lead to a debilitating overuse injury. Use pain as an indicator for when to stop or slow down.

  1. Follow the 10 percent rule

Every athlete wants to improve her or his speed and strength. It can be tempting to take yourself to the next level and cause an injury. That is why experts suggest increasing your training no more than 10 percent per week. Don’t forget about the first rule. If increasing by 10 percent causes you pain, ease off on the training or activity a little more.

  1. Alternate training days

If you train extra hard every day, the stress you put on your body may very well lead to discomfort such as back and leg pain. Instead, work hard one day and take it a little easier the next. You can also alternate which parts of your body you train. If you develop pain that does not go away when you cut back on your routine, seek Chiropractic assessment and treatment.

  1. Replace your running shoes regularly

It’s a good idea to replace your running shoes every 500 miles. Beyond that, shoes lose their ability to absorb shock which can lead to an overuse injury of the legs and feet. Also, avoid running more than 45 miles per week. Running farther will not increase your stamina, and may only increase the chances of hurting yourself.

  1. Warm up and cool down

Start your workout with a light jog. Then proceed to gentle stretching to prepare yourself for more vigorous activity. After you have finished your workout, cool down by walking, stretching or doing yoga.

  1. Talk to your doctor or chiropractor regularly

If you’re starting a new exercise routine, tell your doctor or chiropractor about it. He or she can examine you for risk factors and tell you how to work out safely. For women, your physician might also suggest adding a calcium supplement to reduce the risk of stress fractures.

Working out is good for your health, but you don’t want to suffer a painful overuse injury. These tips can help you avoid being hurt.

Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute offers a wide range of services for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to improve their performance. Call us at (509) 922-1909 to find out more.

woman and man with neck and back pain

5 Major Causes of Neck and Back Pain

Neck and back pain is most common among people between the ages of 18 and 64. Research indicates both conditions are common complaints at doctors’ offices. Although often soft-tissue related, they temporarily diminish mobility which inhibits the sufferer’s daily activities. Fortunately, patients can receive natural and full body wellness care from chiropractors. Chiropractic specialists offer spinal manipulation, adjustments and other noninvasive treatments that don’t involve addictive drugs or invasive procedure for pain. But before any treatment, there must be a diagnosis.

Below are five major causes of neck and back pain. If your condition is related to one of the following causes, inform your physician or chiropractor so that they can determine the best path of care.

Trauma

Medical professionals, especially chiropractors, see many patients following neck and back trauma. Trauma involves an impact or jolt that shifts the spine or surrounding musculoskeletal structures. The source is typically a car accident or physical sport. Most injuries are soft tissue related. They typically resolve over a few weeks with rest and spinal manipulation (adjustments).

Poor Posture

Men and women who work in an office or retail facility often develop neck and back pain. Why? Sitting and standing for long hours hunched over tightens back and neck muscles. The best practice is to adopt better postural habits. Regardless of a person’s height, weight and stature, a person’s posture should follow the natural curve of the spine and maintain upright and squared shoulders. If you find yourself sitting for longer periods during the day, it’s important to ensure that laptop and computer screens are at eye-level, chairs are positioned at the right height and you are sitting up straight and not hunched over a desk.

Musculoskeletal Abnormalities

Abnormalities in bones and muscles can also cause neck and back pain. The usual culprits are bone spurs, herniated discs or scoliosis. Bone spurs are skeletal projections stemming from bones that irritate joints or other bones, herniated discs occur when soft centers in spinal discs extend out of their exterior cases, and scoliosis is a lateral curvature of the spine. Medical care for all three vary, but almost always involves a form of physical therapy or chiropractic care.

Degenerative Diseases

Diabetes mellitus, osteoarthritis and other debilitating diseases distort human tissue and can erode this substance. The repercussion: bones in the neck and back rub against each other. For most people, it’s very painful. Consequently, age plays a factor in degenerative diseases. Middle-agers and seniors develop these ailments more so than younger individuals. Since no cure exists for degenerative diseases, sufferers must adapt their lifestyles. They may need to lose weight, exercise, and avoid specific foods.

Muscle Strain

A strain occurs after neck and back muscles stretch or tear. Strenuous exercise or heavy lifting cause muscle strains. Affected regions throb and ache. Application of a cold or warm cloth helps. If inflammation or spasm occurs, more medical care is necessary. Services from a chiropractor or massage therapist can alleviate these symptoms.

In conclusion, the five major causes of neck and back pain – trauma, poor posture, musculoskeletal abnormalities, degenerative disease and muscle strain – effect millions. Yet in most cases, there is a solution. Seeking medical care early is a key way to reducing the chances of complication and pain.

Call Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute at (509) 922-1909 to book an evaluation or appointment your neck or back pain.