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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.

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.