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Acute and Chronic Sports Injuries

At rehabilitation center. Male physiotherapist treating knee of female patient

Acute and chronic sports injuries. Individuals that participate in sports or physical activities have an increased risk of experiencing an injury. These types of damages range from minor to severe and could require medical attention. Acute sports injuries happen suddenly and are usually the result of trauma to the area. A specific, identifiable incident is what causes an acute injury. Chronic sports injuries, also known as repetitive/overuse injuries, happen with time and are not caused by a single incident.

Acute and Chronic Sports Injuries

Acute and Chronic Sports Injuries Identification

Acute injuries can be identified by their cause. This could be a falling down during a run, sharp pain that presents in the shoulder after a throw, or a sprained ankle. The ability to focus on one cause usually means it’s acute. Acute injuries are characterized by:

  • Sudden pain in an area where there was none.
  • Swelling
  • Redness
  • Tenderness
  • Limited range of motion.
  • The inability of the injured area to support its weight.
  • A broken bone.
  • Dizziness
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting

Chronic injuries are different but are usually easy to identify. The pain begins gradually, usually over weeks or months. Repetitive activities like running, throwing, swinging can exacerbate the pain. However, it is difficult to point to a specific issue that first caused the discomfort or pain. Chronic sports injuries are characterized by:

  • Pain and tenderness in the area, especially during and immediately after activity.
  • Minor swelling and limited range of motion.
  • Dull pain when resting.

These two types of injuries have different causes – trauma for acute and wear-and-tear for chronic – they can both result in similar issues. For example, shoulder rotator cuff injuries are common, especially those that repeatedly use their shoulder to swing, throw, swim, etc. The individual needs to undergo a rotator cuff injury test to diagnose the injury correctly, whether the damage is acute or chronic. Chronic injuries can cause acute injuries, and acute injuries can lead to chronic injuries if left untreated.

Examples of Acute and Chronic Sports Injuries

Chronic and acute injuries are common in every type of sport. There’s an opportunity for both types of injuries. The most common include:

Acute Injuries:

  • Sprain and Strains
  • Burners and Stingers
  • A.C.L. Tears
  • Rotator Cuff Tear
  • Dislocated Shoulder
  • Broken Bones or Fractures
  • Concussion
  • Whiplash

Chronic Injuries:

  • Runner’s Knee
  • Achilles Tendon Issues
  • Shin Splints
  • Swimmer’s Shoulder
  • Lateral epicondylitis tennis elbow
  • Stress Fractures

Other injuries from trauma, overuse, or both include:

  • Nonspecific Back Pain
  • Herniated Disc/s
  • Spondylolysis

Treatment

Minor acute injuries can be treated with rest, ice, compression, and elevation, aka R.I.C.E. Overuse injuries, are different as the injury has been gradually increasing in its severity, possibly causing scar tissue and ganglion cysts to develop. To prevent the injury from worsening, it’s recommended to see a sports injury chiropractor or physical therapist. These professionals can help heal the body and educate the individual on self-care and prevention.

Chiropractic

The musculoskeletal system takes a beating. Chronic injuries usually affect the bones, joints, muscles, or a combination. Chiropractic helps keep the musculoskeletal system limber and in proper alignment. Adjustments include:

  • Neck adjustments
  • Arm and hand adjustments
  • Shoulder adjustments
  • Knee adjustments
  • Hip adjustments
  • Foot adjustments

Physical Therapy

Physical therapy for a chronic injury can help prevent future injuries. A physical therapist helps:

  • Improve range of motion
  • Reduces pain and swelling
  • Increases strength

Whether an athlete or are just staying active and having some fun with sports, acute and chronic injuries can sneak up and worsen if they are not treated properly. Healing with the help of a professional can quicken recovery time and prevent future injuries.


Body Composition


Maintain Muscle Mass While Losing Fat

Individuals that want to lose weight should focus on losing excess fat tissue, not muscle mass. Studies have shown that diet and exercise are crucial to preserving Skeletal Muscle Mass while losing weight. Losing weight healthily includes:

  • A healthy balance of cardio and resistance training to burn calories and build muscle.
  • A caloric deficit diet to burn through extra fat stores.
  • Get enough protein to support and maintain healthy muscle mass.
References

Cava, Edda et al. “Preserving Healthy Muscle during Weight Loss.” Advances in nutrition (Bethesda, Md.) vol. 8,3 511-519. 15 May. 2017, doi:10.3945/an.116.014506

https://www.niams.nih.gov/health-topics/sports-injuries

https://link.springer.com/article/10.2165/00007256-199418030-00004

https://journals.lww.com/acsm-csmr/FullText/2010/09000/An_Overview_of_Strength_Training_Injuries__Acute.14.aspx?casa_token=8sCDJWxhcOMAAAAA:CDEFNkTlCxFkl-77MtALBQAkttW0PqWwCj4masQzEcYOJNuwFKyZgHZ9npQoHhWgMKOPSbnkLyfcQACYGpuu7gg

Wörtler, K, and C Schäffeler. “Akute Sportverletzungen und chronische Überlastungsschäden an Vor- und Mittelfuß” [Acute sports injuries and chronic overuse stress damage to the forefoot and midfoot]. Der Radiologe vol. 55,5 (2015): 417-32. doi:10.1007/s00117-015-2855-3

Yang, Jingzhen et al. “Epidemiology of overuse and acute injuries among competitive collegiate athletes.” Journal of athletic training vol. 47,2 (2012): 198-204. doi:10.4085/1062-6050-47.2.198

Low Laser Therapy Benefits for Ruptured Achilles Tendon | El Paso, TX

Female foot heel pain with red spot, plantar fasciitis

One of the most common tendons in the body that gets injured is the Achilles tendon, and this tendon tends to rupture when a person is doing recreational sports. Most people have opted for treatment for their Achilles tendon through surgery; however, low laser therapy can help the Achilles tendon recover a bit faster while providing beneficial properties during treatment. Low laser therapy has positive effects on the affected area where the pain resides and has helped progress the body’s natural healing process. 

 

Achilles Tendon and Symptoms

The Achilles tendon is a strong fibrous cord connected at the back of the calf muscles to the heel bone. When a person does recreational sports, the Achilles tendon stretches during the activity. However, when the Achilles tendon is overly stretched during the exercise, it can rupture completely or partially depending on how strenuous the body is being put through.

 

Some of the symptoms of a ruptured Achilles include:

 

  • A feeling of being kicked in the calf
  • A popping or snapping sound where the injury occurred.
  • Pain and swelling near the heel.
  • The inability to bend the foot downwards
  • The inability to stand on the toes

 

When these symptoms occur in the Achilles tendon, it is due to the lack of blood flow that the body is not providing. Studies have found that when the Achilles tendon is ruptured, it is a severe injury due to the scarce blood supply, and it could take weeks or even months before it is completely healed.

 

Low Laser Treatments and Benefits

Patients with a ruptured Achilles heel can get low laser therapy to help relieve the pain from the ruptured tendon. Studies found that when patients are being treated with low laser therapy has shown beneficial results. The results showed how the application of low laser treatment is very effective. The therapy provides a consequent relief from the motor function pain to the heel while also providing anti-inflammatory properties to the affected area. What this does is that the low-intensity laser concentrates on the inflammatory markers of the affected area, thus providing an increased blood flow (angiogenesis) in the treated area and decreasing inflammation. Low laser therapy can even help accelerate and enhance the repair of the injured Achilles tendon with frequent treatment sessions.

 

Conclusion

Overall, the Achilles tendon is one of the most frequent tendons that gets ruptured when a person is doing recreational sports. The healing process can take to about a week to a month for the tendon to properly heal. But through low laser therapy, the Achilles tendon can be repaired while providing relief from inflammation and enhancing the injured tendon recovery process. 

 

References:

Ferreira, Rafaela, et al. Achilles Tendon Vascularization of … – Medical Laser. 2015, http://medical.summuslaser.com/data/files/79/1585169982_6Niglp3dbBeG7Cm.pdf.

Jesus, Julio Fernandes de, et al. “Low-Level Laser Therapy on Tissue Repair of Partially Injured Achilles Tendon in Rats.” Photomedicine and Laser Surgery, U.S. National Library of Medicine, 15 May 2015, https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/24831690/.

Nogueira, Adelmário Cavalcanti, and Manoel de Jesus Moura Júnior. “The Effects of Laser Treatment in Tendinopathy: A Systematic Review.” Acta Ortopedica Brasileira, Sociedade Brasileira De Ortopedia e Traumatologia, 2015, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4544521/.

Staff, Mayo Clinic. “Achilles Tendon Rupture.” Mayo Clinic, Mayo Foundation for Medical Education and Research, 31 July 2020, https://www.mayoclinic.org/diseases-conditions/achilles-tendon-rupture/symptoms-causes/syc-20353234.

Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Focused mature woman exercising with rubber round grip ring for palms while working or studying on laptop, prevention of tunnel syndrome and hand warm-up. Senior people and technologies concept

Today, we are constantly tapping, scrolling, clicking, using our hands, fingers, and thumbs on smartphones, tablets, computers, etc. Constant repetitive use has increased the development of carpal tunnel syndrome. If tingling, numbness, soreness, or electrical sensations have begun to develop in the hands, especially the index finger, thumb, or palm, carpal tunnel prevention measures can help before it becomes severe.

Carpal Tunnel Prevention

Pinched Nerve

Carpal tunnel syndrome is the medical terminology for a pinched nerve. It is the median nerve that passes through the narrow carpal tunnel passageway of ligaments and bones at the base of the hand. This tunnel houses the median nerve and the tendons that allow the fingers to bend. The median nerve generates physical sensation in the index, middle, ring finger, and palm near the thumb. Compression of the nerve or inflammation can cause tingling, numbness, and pain in any and/or all of the hand areas. It can also cause the fingers to bend awkwardly; however, this symptom develops over time. There are so many different causes of carpal tunnel syndrome that it is almost impossible to avoid with the constant overuse/repetition of the hands.

  • Work – tasks, typing, mouse use, writing, scanning, etc.
  • School
  • Injury

Doctors recommended approach for carpal tunnel prevention is to take action at the first sign/symptom. The most effective preventative measures include:

Take Frequent Hand Breaks

At work, school, or when doing any repetitive hand movements like:

  • Typing
  • Using a computer mouse – moving, clicking, using the scrolling wheel, etc.
  • Writing
  • Cooking – chopping, slicing, mixing, squeezing, etc.
  • Drawing
  • Make sure to take frequent breaks from the motion.

Carpal tunnel is more likely to develop if the nerves and muscles are overused for a long time without stopping. When focused on a task, we often don’t realize how the repetitive motions cause strain until a sting or pinch makes us stop. Taking a hand break is essential to give the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves time to relax and stay loose. The break only has to be a few minutes to be effective.

Repetitive Movements and Proper Hand Form/Posture

Repetitive hand or wrist motions in everyday activities sometimes cannot be helped. It is recommended to try to switch hands when performing the task, space it out over the day, take frequent breaks, stretch, and gently shake out the hands throughout the day. Make sure any pressure on the hands or wrists is as light as possible and evenly distributed. Keep the wrists straight or slightly bent and use light tools if possible. Proper posture is crucial for carpal tunnel prevention. Many individuals don’t realize the back, neck, and wrists are intricately connected. Poor posture like hunching over the computer, shoulders rolled forward, and forward neck posture can cause the nerves and muscles of the arm to become compressed, causing tingling, numbing, pain symptoms because they’re not properly aligned. The compression can run down the arms and affect the wrists and hands as well.

Carpal Tunnel Prevention Supportive Accessories

It is also recommended to consider integrating supportive accessories, like ergonomic keyboards, mice, wrist splints, keypad cushions, etc. These tools can support the body and keep the wrists and hands healthy, comfortable, and pain-free. Wrist splints can help by keeping the wrist in a straight, neutral position without thinking about it. This reduces stress on the area and absorbs the pressure of everyday tasks on the carpal tunnel and median nerve. Individuals can also wear the splint at night to support and train the wrist to stay straight throughout the day. Taking action before the symptoms become severe is highly recommended. Talk to a chiropractor or physical therapist for exercises, stretches, and general tips to help with carpal tunnel prevention.


Body Composition


A Snack and A Meal

Without proper planning, the calories an individual consumes from snacks can add up. A recent survey found that snacking contributes 586 calories for men and 421 calories for women per day. Weight loss, weight gain, and weight maintenance come down to calories in vs. calories out.

  • Eating snacks that are too high in calories or snacking too much can disrupt and derail health goals.
  • It’s essential to know what a snack consists of, what to look for on a label, and how to plan.
  • Snacks come in a range of calories, depending on individual goals.
  • For many, 100-200 calories are recommended for snacks.
  • Individuals that need increased calories may require a higher calorie snack.
  • The number of snacks eaten per day depends on individual needs and goals.
  • It’s best to plan and factor snacks into the overall meal plan to avoid overeating.
  • Be sure to check labels and measure out snack portions.
References

LeBlanc, Kim Edward, and Wayne Cestia. “Carpal tunnel syndrome.” American family physician vol. 83,8 (2011): 952-8.

Page, Matthew J et al. “Splinting for carpal tunnel syndrome.” The Cochrane database of systematic reviews vol. 2012,7 CD010003. 11 Jul. 2012, doi:10.1002/14651858.CD010003

Shiri, Rahman, and Kobra Falah-Hassani. “Computer use and carpal tunnel syndrome: A meta-analysis.” Journal of the neurological sciences vol. 349,1-2 (2015): 15-9. doi:10.1016/j.jns.2014.12.037

Drained Energy: Boost The Central Nervous System

Portrait of a man worker in workwear on a break drink coffee and have rest, close up

The body needs consistent energy to get through the day. The central nervous system runs from the brain, down through the spine, and then towards every organ and region of the body. The central nervous system works by sending signals to the organs or the body’s moving parts. But when there is a kink, misalignment, damage, or injury in the spine or other joints, the signals don’t get sent or received correctly.

Pressure builds on the nerves causing the signals/messages sent from the brain to the body to start to slow down and the body’s responses. This includes not just physical reactions but the body’s metabolism. Slow metabolism causes the body to become sluggish and slow. Regular chiropractic adjustments can remove the kinks restoring proper energy flow. When the body’s cells and organs are sending and receiving the signals correctly, the body gets the full force of the energy that the body has stored.

Drained Energy: Boost The Central Nervous System

Energy Drain

Spinal misalignments can cause a multitude of symptoms. The most common problem is pain. Misalignments can also lead to energy-draining problems. These include:

  • Headaches
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Joint pain
  • Inflammation

The body absorbs toxins from the air, water, food, or direct contact. A buildup of toxins can make the body sluggish. Chiropractic adjustments release these toxins so that the body can rid itself of them. Being out of alignment and balance requires the body to use more energy to get anything done. Even easy to do activities, chores, tasks, etc. When the body’s natural balance is restored, the result is more available energy.

Stress Management

Stress management is vital as chronic stress increases the risk of developing health problems. Learning to manage stress can help increase energy. Therapeutic massage can help with stress relief. A chiropractor will determine the best type of massage for each individual’s situation. The physiological effects of massage to reduce stress include:

  • Increased endorphins, serotonin, dopamine.
  • Decreased cortisol.
  • Increased tissue elasticity.

Endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine are neurotransmitters that are released by the autonomic system when stimulated.

  • Endorphins are responsible for relieving anxiety.
  • Serotonin prevents depression and gives a sense of well-being.
  • Dopamine increases motivation and prevents self-doubt.

When the body lacks these positive hormones, an individual can become stressed, anxious, and overwhelmed. A therapeutic massage stimulates the autonomic system, increasing the release of positive hormones. Increasing the level of positive hormones reduces stress and anxiety and improves overall mood.

When a decrease in cortisol occurs, stress is also reduced. Cortisol is a negative hormone released from the adrenal gland when stimulated by the brain’s hypothalamus region. The adrenal gland is located on top of the kidneys. Cortisol is released into the blood and is transported around the body. Cortisol increases:

  • Stress
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Responsible for the fight or flight response.

When large amounts of cortisol are released in response to pain, stress levels increase, and the immune system is suppressed. A massage helps flush out the cortisol from the blood and replace it with the positive hormone endorphins, serotonin, and dopamine, decreasing stress and increasing relaxation.

Central Nervous System and Chiropractic

Chiropractic looks for the root cause of the problem and addresses that issue. Individuals can keep their bodies stay in balance by:

  • Getting the proper amount of sleep.
  • Staying hydrated.
  • Scheduling at least 30 minutes of exercise.
  • Making healthy diet adjustments.

Chiropractic treatment can help improve quality of life and overall health.


Body Composition


Neglecting A Healthy Diet

Individuals might begin a weight loss journey by going to the gym, which is great, but neglecting a healthy diet is just wasting energy. Fat loss happens when the body is in a caloric/energy deficit. This means an individual has to take in fewer calories than the body is using. According to the CDC, individuals need to reduce food intake by at least 500 calories a day to lose around a pound of body fat a week.

  • Individuals that start increasing exercise/workouts make the body instinctively want to increase calorie intake.
  • Eating more calories than are burned means the individual is wasting the workout.
  • For example, the body needs a 2,100 calorie diet to maintain its weight, and on average, an individual eats 2,100 calories.
  • This means the weight won’t change much, if at all.
  • If an individual burns 300 calories from a workout, the body needs 2,400 calories to maintain weight.
  • If no changes are made to the diet, the individual will be in a negative -300 caloric deficit.
  • Suppose an individual starts increasing their caloric intake because they think their metabolism is speeding up, which is not how it works, then the individual negates any energy deficit that they worked for, leading to no fat loss.
References

Carlson, Linda E et al. “Integrative Approaches to Stress Management.” Cancer journal (Sudbury, Mass.) vol. 25,5 (2019): 329-336. doi:10.1097/PPO.0000000000000395

Kültür, Turgut et al. “Evaluation of the effect of chiropractic manipulative treatment on oxidative stress in sacroiliac joint dysfunction.” Turkish Journal of physical medicine and rehabilitation vol. 66,2 176-183. 18 May. 2020, doi:10.5606/tftrd.2020.3301

Salleh, Mohd Razali. “Life event, stress, and illness.” The Malaysian Journal of medical sciences: MJMS vol. 15,4 (2008): 9-18.