Chiropractic advice on how to Prevent Sports Injuries
Preventing Sports Related Injuries - The Chiropractic Approach. General prevention guidelines
Before beginning an exercise program or training for an athletic event, follow a few simple guidelines to help prevent injuries.
Prevent injuries with a complete chiropractic examination
- Have your doctor review your medical history.
- Make sure you receive a heart and lung examination.
- Schedule a functional / biomechanical screening.
Prevent injuries with proper attire and equipment
- Make sure your equipment fits properly (ie, helmet, tennis racquet grip, etc).
- Make sure you wear quality shoes designed for your sport or foot type (ie, good arch support, durable heel, proper sole contour, and flexibility).
- Obtain necessary mouth guards or face masks for collision sports.
Prevent injuries by training and playing "smart"
- Avoid overuse injuries like tendinitis and stress fractures by beginning slowly and gradually increasing the time and intensity of your workouts.
- Acclimate yourself to the environment. Avoid heat or cold-related stresses.
- Limit your workout session to two hours. Allow adequate time to recover from a training session.
- Maintain hydration or fluid levels. Drink plenty of water before, during, and after practice or competition.
Prevent injuries by training correctly
- Address all aspects of fitness, muscle strength, endurance, cardiovascular fitness, and flexibility.
- The minimum training requirement is two times per week to see improvement in aerobic or anaerobic activity.
- Noticeable improvements in strength and endurance take three to four weeks.
- Your pre-season conditioning program should begin six weeks prior to the start of your sports season.
Warm-up and stretching Prevent injuries by proper warm-up and stretching
- Warm-up prepares the body for performance, decreases the potential for soft tissue injury, and helps reduce delayed onset muscle soreness that can follow exercise.
- Warm-up should consist of 15 minutes of sub-maximal sports-specific exercise. This activity increases the bodies heart rate, body and muscle temperature, and muscle elasticity.
Prevent injuries by stretching
- Stretching prepares your muscles for activity and prevents injuries from tight soft tissue structures such as muscles and tendons.
- Static stretches should be slow and sustained; no bouncing or jerking. You should not feel pain while stretching. Stretch the entire body. No sport requires just part of the body's involvement. Stretch each body part two to three times for 20 to 30 seconds.
First aid treatment for injuries (RICE)
- R-est — Relative rest to reduce the stress to the injured area.
- I-ce — Apply ice to the injured area for 20 minutes at a time four times per day.
- C-ompression — Apply an elastic bandage to the injured area. Do not sleep with elastic bandage on.
- E-levation — Raise the injured body part above the level of the heart to decrease blood flow.
*Seek chiropractic attention if necessary*
Prevention of re-injury
- Rehabilitate your injury completely, follow your chiropractors advise before returning to competition or activity.
- Protect the injured area with special equipment or brace.
- Gradually return to practice or competition.
Remember acute injuries are easier to treat than chronic (long standing) ones.
If you have pain that returns or gets worse stop training, tell your coach and seek advise!
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