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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.

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.

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.

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.