Sports Injury Management and Performance Enhancement

There are a number of conditions that can result from playing sports. Overuse and strain injuries are most common. An overuse injury results from excessive wear and tear on the body, especially in areas subject to repeated activity. Ankle, knee, shoulder and elbow joints are most prone to overuse injuries. A strain injury is where fibers in a muscle or tendon tear as a result of overstretching. A variety of muscles, joints and ligaments are used when involved in active play, all of which can be affected by strain from overuse, trauma, or not being properly warmed and cooled down (1).

Sports injuries are more commonly occur in the form of soft tissue injuries, which refers to any damage to the soft tissues of the body, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves, joints and connective tissue (1,2).

There are a number of ways in which a soft tissue sports injury can occur (1):

  • Muscle strain - when the muscle or tendon is pulled too far in one direction
  • Contusions - resulting from a direct blow to the muscle/tissue
  • Tendinopathy - when the tendon becomes overstressed and inflamed, often due to inappropriate equipment, faulty technique and lack of flexibility
  • Ligament Sprains - when the ligament is stretched beyond its normal range
The Chiropractors and Osteopaths at Tweed Coast Chiropractic have a special interest in the non-drug treatment of musculoskeletal problems, including joint sprains and disk injuries. Our aim is to provide care in the conservative management, rehabilitation and performance optimisation of the neuromusculoskeletal system for athletes.

Often, when a muscle or joint is injured, the body naturally compensates, attempting to maintain balance and protect itself by tightening other muscles and joints (2). For example, the persistent pain in your shoulder could be the result of a direct injury to the shoulder; it could also reflect your body's compensation for spinal-joint movement restrictions in your neck.

During many sports, body contact, fast stops and starts, and positioning place an unusual amount of strain on the spine and structural system.

Treatment of sports injuries at Tweed Coast Chiropractic focus on the application of a multimodal treatment approach that may include Active Release Technique, Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilisation, rehabilitation excercises, soft tissue therapies, strapping, bracing and acupuncture. These approaches are applied to injury management in the form of acute, subacute and chronic injury as well as in the prevention of injury with the aim of attempting to optimise athletic performance (3,4,5,6,7).

Source: Chiropractors association of Australia

1. Brukner P, Karim K (2012). Clinical Sports Medicine 4th Ed. McGrath-Hill Education. ISBN:9780070998131.
2. Page P, Frank C, Lardner R (2010) Assessment and treatment of Muscle Imbalance. The Janda Approach. Human Kinetics. ISBN10:0-7362-7400-7

3.Schwartzbauer J and Zang J et al, Athletic performance and physiological measures in baseball players following upper cervical chiropractic care: a pilot study. JOURNAL OF VERTEBRAL SUBLUXATION RESEARCH, VOL. 1, NO. 4, 1997 1
4. The effect of a sports chiropractic manual therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballers: a randomized controlled trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 2010, 11, 64
5. Pellow JE and Brantingham JW , The efficacy of adjusting the ankle in the treatment of subacute and chronic grade I and grade II ankle inversion sprains.  Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 2001, 24(1), 17
7. Frank C, Kobesova A, Kolar P. Dynamic Neuromuscular Stabilization & Sports Rehabilitation, Int J Sports Phys Ther. , 2013 Feb;8(1):62-7