What is an athletic injury?
Any injury related to a sport or exercise can be considered an athletic injury. While the sport or exercise is usually fun, the injury that results from an accident or overuse usually is not. The types of accidents that can result from athletic activity include: contusions, sprains, strains, muscle soreness, joint injury, tendon injury, fractures, and dislocations. Overuse injuries can include virtually any type of repetitive strain injury (RSI) such as carpal tunnel syndrome, medial epicondylitis (golfer's elbow) and lateral epicondylitis (tennis elbow). The classifications vary, but the result is often the same: pain and inflammation. Prevention of an athletic injury should involve:
- proper warm-up
- rest between activities
- proper muscle stretching and strengthening
- ceasing activity when there is pain present
Many still recommend immediate treatment of most athletic injuries with the RICE method (a generally agreed upon set of protocols): Rest (to prevent further injury) Ice (within the first 12 hours of injury, and applied in 20 minute intervals) Compress (with an ACE bandage, to limit and reduce swelling) and Elevate (to control swelling). The physician that determined this course of treatment, however, refuted his own theory in 2014, so this approach is (albeit slowly) being reconsidered. See this blog post.
Most of the time you should seek medical attention to determine the severity of your injury as an undiagnosed fracture could have serious consequences. Once a proper diagnosis has been achieved, your doctor may recommend a variety of treatment options (see below for examples).
How can natural medicine treat an athletic injury?
Natural medicine is excellent for preventing and managing an athletic injury. Acupuncture and TCM can help reduce pain, as well as improve blood flow, nerve conduction and lymphatic drainage. All of these factors are important aspects of not only injury healing, but also regular muscle conditioning. Physiotherapy may give you the right exercises to help you recover, while chiropractic can help re-align you for optimal health and balance. A registered massage therapist can help bring balance to your muscles, conditioning them for activity and assisting in the recovery process as well.
Contact us for a FREE consultation on how natural therapy can help you prevent and/or manage an athletic injury.
These links may also be helpful:
Active Isolated Stretching (AIS)
Quadratus Lumborum (QL) Stretch
Pectoralis Major and Minor Stretches
Warming Up Your Body's 'Spheres'