Sports medicine practitioners treat injuries such as muscle, bone, joint, tendon and ligament problems. They also give advice on ways to manage chronic problems or prevent injuries. Although sports medicine is frequently a part of professional sports, the weekend warrior may also benefit from a sports medicine consultation to improve performance or prevent such problems as over-use syndrome or other injuries. Sports medicine practitioners may be members of many different medical specialties, including orthopedics, physiatry, and chiropractic.
Sports injuries can run the gamut from a severe muscle cramp to a fractured bone. In between are such problems as muscle, tendon or ligament strains, ruptures and tears, shin splints and minor concussions. One common problem is known as overuse syndrome, which occurs when a person repeats the same motion over a period of time. Tennis elbow, for example, is a relatively common overuse condition involving the muscles of the forearm. For the professional athlete, sports medicine can make the difference between continuing to play and a career-ending injury. For the average person, sports medicine can help you continue to enjoy an activity for many years.
Since so many sports medicine issues are related to musculoskeletal problems, a chiropractor is uniquely positioned to provide sports medicine care. Practitioners of chiropractic have a thorough understanding of human anatomy and how an injury affects other areas in the body. When people are injured, they tend to guard the injury by changing the way they move, which can create other problems. An ankle injury, for example, places stress on the opposite leg and back. An alignment problem in the leg might easily affect anyone who plays a sport that involves running. Low back pain can affect a golfer, and neck pain could cause problems in many sports. Many of these problems can be helped with chiropractic treatment.
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