The importance of post-injury rehabilitation

Health is not a gift but a responsibility.”
Ryuseki Nakayama

Depending on the type and severity of the injury, there are ways to avoid recidivism and to fully enjoy our sports or to simply enjoy our daily lives.

What causes injuries?
  • Poor coordination
  • Lack of balance
  • Contacts in sports
  • Falling
  • Repetitive movements
  • Excessive force or load
  • Inadequate preparation and warm-up

What types of injuries are most common?

  • Cramps: A cramp is a painful, involuntary and temporary contraction of one or several muscles. It can happen at rest or when you move. It is often a sign of fatigue.
  • Sprain: When you overstretch or tear one or many ligaments, you cause a sprain. It occurs more frequently to the ankle.
  • Tendonitis: Tendonitis is an injury affecting the tendon of a muscle. It occurs most often in the shoulder, on the rotator cuff, because of the repeated use of the muscle.
  • Epicondylitis: Also known as tennis elbow, it is caused by repetitive movements. 

Muscle tension or a lack of mobility can prevent joint motion, reduce strength, slow reflexes, reduce endurance, cause imbalances and change coordination.

When pain occurs, some basic recommendations apply:

  • Consult a health care professional;
  • Apply ice to the painful area to reduce inflammation;
  • Depending on the area, light stretching can relax muscles and relieve pain.

At any time, it is important to assess the painful area to check whether muscle tension is present and if a decrease in the motion range is noted. If left untreated, muscular compensation could occur and promote relapses. When a muscle is contracted or in spasm, it is less efficient and can reduce the mobility of the joint. When an articular restriction persists, the muscular spasm cannot completely heal. The pain can go but the damage is still there. Rehabilitation is an important step for healing and requires easing muscles and a normal joint movement. Subsequently, stretching and reinforcement exercises should be made to ensure a better stability of the affected region.

The rehabilitation step is the most overlooked by patients. When the pain is gone, the need for care is less obvious. Yet, it is the most important step because it will allow the body to regain its strength, stability and balance. By following rehabilitation recommendations, relapses are less likely to happen.

It is very important to prevent sports injury with a proper warm-up before training and proper stretching after the activity. To improve athletic performances, all parts of the body must be in perfect condition and work together.

After exercising, it is normal to feel muscle pain for a period ranging from 24 to 48 hours but if pain persists, it may be important to check the region that hurts.

The chiropractor’s role is to detect, correct and prevent joint restrictions and muscle tension. Treatments aim to restore joint mobility, muscle flexibility and to reduce swelling. This way, the pain subsides. Care also includes recommendations for general lifestyle, strengthening muscles, and changing posture. Your chiropractor can help prevent injuries, treat them and rehabilitate your body to help you reach your fitness goals. He will advise you on how to avoid injuries when practicing your sport.

References: Kino-Québec

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