Sport Aches and Pains
Whether you are an amateur sports enthusiast or a top-flight professional, your body is prone to the same kinds of aches and pains. Repeated stresses can lead to a slight loss of proper movement in the bones of your spine (vertebrae) and joints, which in turn, can interfere with the healthy working of your muscles and nerves. You may have ignored the pain and carried on with your sport for too long without treatment. It’s not surprising that BCA chiropractors often see patients with problems of the shoulder, neck, elbow, back, hip, knee and ankle that could turn the enthusiastic amateur into a couch potato.
Joint and muscle pain is not the only problem for sports enthusiasts and professionals. Many find that they reach a ‘threshold’ of ability, and cannot improve further, however hard they work and however much training they put in. This is why so many serious sportspeople consult BCA chiropractors.
Your BCA chiropractor will carry out a full examination and ask questions about your sporting life, posture, medical history and lifestyle, to discover the cause of your pain and make a diagnosis. Then your treatment will begin, often with gentle, specific manipulation. This effective treatment is generally painless, although you may feel some short term discomfort around the injured area. Treatment will normally be followed by a rehabilitation plan which may help to strengthen the affected area, improve your flexibility and assist in preventing future flare-ups. Chiropractic treatment aims to restore normal function to your joints and muscles and may increase your control, co-ordination and muscle strength.
Like most athletes who have benefited from chiropractic treatment, you may decide to return for regular check-ups to keep your body working at its best. Indeed, many top sports teams use a BCA chiropractor as part of their medical care package.
Can recurrence be prevented?
This, of course, will depend upon the problem itself.
It is vitally important that you warm up before you start and stretch when you have finished. If you been away from your sport for a long time, your body will be less fit and supple, making pain more likely. Your BCA chiropractor will be able to advise you in either case.
Some people think that ‘running it off’ is a good idea, but this is usually not the case. If your body is not working properly, you will continue to overload the body, prolonging the healing process and risking further problems.
Seeing a chiropractor for minor sporting pains
Chiropractors specialise in assessing, diagnosing and managing conditions of the spine. They are highly-trained in finding the cause of pain in the spine. In the UK they undergo a minimum of four years’ full-time training. Importantly, chiropractors are regulated by law and must work within strict professional and ethical boundaries. Before starting treatment, a chiropractor will do a full assessment. This will involve taking details about your condition, current health and medical history, and performing a physical examination. Sometimes it may be necessary to refer you for other tests, such as X-rays, MRI scans or blood tests. It is important for your chiropractor to gather as much information about your back pain as possible so that the most precise diagnosis can be made.
Your chiropractor will then explain what is wrong, what can be done and what you can expect from chiropractic treatment.
What is chiropractic?
Chiropractic is a regulated primary healthcare profession. Chiropractors are trained to diagnose, treat, manage and prevent disorders of the musculoskeletal system (bones, joints, and muscles), as well as the effects these disorders can have on general health.
They have a specialist interest in neck and back pain, but when they assess patients, they take their entire physical, emotional and social wellbeing into account.
Chiropractors use a range of techniques to reduce pain, improve function and increase mobility, including hands-on manipulation of the spine. As well as manual treatment, chiropractors are able to offer a package of care which includes advice on self-help, therapeutic exercises and lifestyle changes.