Sport and Home Injuries
Although medical doctors, surgeries, and prescription medications have been traditionally utilized by injury sufferers in the past, many people now are also turning to chiropractic care to treat ailments. Chiropractors can alleviate the issues caused by chronic pains, joint and muscle injuries, and alignment/compensation problems from broken bones. It is important to exercise, but sometimes sports might bring on strains, sprains, and breaks. It is important to stretch, before and after exercise, and to know personal limitations. Still, accidents could happen. Even household chores can lead to a sports-type injury.1
For example, those who suffer from arthritis are at a decreased risk for injury when performing day-to-day activities such as chores around the house. This is because exercise is great for reducing arthritic pain. Some things can be done to minimize the effort and time spent on chores. Keeping cleaning products in the rooms where they will be used or keeping duplicate products on different floors in a multi-floor house will save time spent using the stairs, easing the strain on knees and joints. Dishwashing could be done while sitting on a chair. The setup should allow the patient to reach comfortably into the sink without straining or getting up. Tools with longer handles, such as rakes, reduce the need to repeatedly bend and reach, which affects the back and hips. Pieces of equipment that are light but have long, thick handles are ideal.2
Rest is important, but chiropractic will help with a balanced treatment approach. “Chiropractic adjustment (can) return spinal segments to their normal mobility and…help the supportive tissues (muscles, tendons, and ligaments)”. With proper alignment, athletes can maximize their performance.3
Car accidents may not seem to cause injuries at first, but over time some initially unseen conditions may worsen. For example, a person can develop any of the following: “muscle stiffness or spasm, neck pain, headaches, numbness and tingling, back pain, difficulty sleeping, irritability, memory loss, fatigue, difficulty concentrating and many other difficulties”. In addition, one may get osteoarthritis, which can cause a humped back or chronic stiffness. Pills a medical doctor might prescribe do not address the underlying tissue or musculoskeletal injuries. Of course, there are often legal and insurance entanglements from car accident injuries. Some chiropractors specialize in helping the client wade through the legal and medical referrals in order to help the patient receive the necessary care out of the process. Chiropractic adjustments can be an alternative treatment to medications and surgeries.4
Not all injury from a car accident is traditionally considered to be physical. Anxiety, problems with falling and staying asleep, and post-traumatic stress disorder can come from experiencing a car accident. Mental health issues need to be treated just as much as other physical ailments.5 PTSD and other forms of anxiety can be treated with massage. Massage, which helps to relax the patient who is always in a “fight or flight” state, opens up other options for the patient to seek help with their condition, such as talk therapy to get to the root of what triggers the PTSD response. Of course, the rest of the physical situation of the body should be assessed before seeking massage in case of injuries that might be aggravated by the masseuse. This option can be pursued after the other injuries have begun to heal.6
Heavy lifting, repetitive stress injury, carpal tunnel syndrome, and back injuries are just some of the workplace hazards. Recently, Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) started an ergonomics program to help prevent workplace injuries. OSHA predicts it “will spare 460,000 workers painful injuries and save an average of $9.1 billion a year”. “Work-related musculoskeletal disorders are the No. 1 workplace injury in America,” said Charles N. Jeffress, the U.S. Assistant Secretary of Labor. Chiropractors are trained in treating MSDs. The American Chiropractic Association supports the new OSHA standard. Employers must warn employees about the injury risks of jobs, provide ergonomic support for injured workers, reassess “problem jobs”, and “ensure medical attention”. Chiropractors are considered “hands-on practitioners”.7
Injury can occur at any workplace, from construction to even a standard office job. Proper ergonomics reduces the risk of injury with just a few precautions taken. Because so much of office work is spent at a desk, sitting, the chair should properly support the patient’s spinal curve. Feet should be planted firmly on the floor while armrests should allow the shoulders to relax. When resting on the mouse, hands should be slightly below the level of the elbows and reaching for anything on the desk should be minimized. The monitor should be positioned at about an arm’s length away from the body. The top of the monitor screen should be at or slightly below eye level.8
It can be beneficial to look at alternative approaches in injury recovery in order to avoid potentially unnecessary surgeries, or even painkiller addictions. Chiropractors seek to help the patient with the underlying causes of their pain.
1, 3 http://www.chiroweb.net/chiropractic/sport_injuries.html
Find out more about PTSD.