Two of the major differences between athletes and non-athletes when it comes to treatment are treatment time expectations and their activity level prior to being injured. The biggest question that an athlete normally has is not if we can get them better, but how fast can we do it. A couple of years ago, we had an athlete present to our office with an acute ankle sprain on Tuesday with a desire to ride the MS 150 on Saturday. Now, while this is not a normal response, through very aggressive treatment, nutrition, and a lot of compliance on the patient’s part, he was able to make that ride. Athletes have a greater activity level prior to injury than the average population. A lot of providers make the mistake of immediately asking for rest, when a reduction in training rather than rest is often the most viable option.
Dr. Heintz & Dr. Sansalone at work at the Dynamo game.
Components of Sports Chiropractic Treatment:
- Sports chiropractic relies on four main components in effective treatment. They are soft tissue, adjusting especially extremities, rehabilitation, and nutrition.
- Soft tissue – Soft tissue therapies can include myofascial release, fascial techniques and sports taping. There are many brand names and specific techniques, but the bottom line is that a sports provider must address both the muscular and fascial issues that contribute to the injury. Most commonly, our treatment involves ultrasound to the involved muscle to break up scar tissue followed by manual therapy using both instruments and hands-on techniques. We typically follow soft tissue treatments with Kinesiotaping to the involved area. KinesioTape provides support, muscle activation, and significantly decreases healing time by increasing circulation to the area that has been injured. Both of our doctors are certified in KinesioTape.
- Adjusting – Because you can’t fix the knee by adjusting the spine, extremity adjusting or moving joints outside of the spine is absolutely critical to the healing process in a sports injury. Both of our doctors have taken advanced classes in extremity adjusting, and Dr. Heintz was lead instructor for extremity adjusting at Texas Chiropractic College for six years.
- Rehabilitation – Once we have addressed the soft tissue component of your injury, it is crucial that a specific rehabilitation program is put in place to strengthen and completely heal that muscle. Rehabilitation does not need to be expensive or involve costly equipment, but absolutely must be specific. Each exercise must address a specific component of your injury to ensure complete healing. To complete the healing process, you will be given a protocol which will include stretching, strengthening exercises and often times foam rolling, specific to your injury.
- Nutrition – The final element in sports healing is that your body needs the basic building blocks in order to properly heal. While each case is different, some of the most commonly utilized sports nutrition products are L-Glutamine to promote muscle healing, essential fatty acids to reduce inflammation, and multivitamins with chelated minerals to ensure collagen formation. Please consult the nutrition portion of the website for further explanation.
Our doctors currently provide medical care for members of the Houston Dynamo, Houston Dash, and American Combative Systems. If you have a training team, cheer group, club team or running group in the League City, Webster, Friendswood, Clear Lake, Dickinson, or Nassau Bay and would like help with injury prevention give us a call @ 281-332-3428.