Sports injuries have been getting a lot of press lately with a seemingly higher than normal rate of injury in the NFL this season. While concussions are the subject of many ongoing discussions happening across the media, there are many other sports injuries that should also be examined. Just as the frequency and severity of sports injury is changing, so are treatment options that are readily available today and one of the most promising is through Chiropractic Neurology. Shoulder problems are the most common upper extremity problem for adults in both sports and in the general population today. Once mainly seen in adult males over the age of 40, today gender is not as much of a factor with this type of injury. Injuries causing damage to the delicate rotator cuff muscles are common, especially for those who participate in contact sports or where the use of overhead motion is prevalent. Damage to this small muscle is common, can be debilitating and can easily become chronic and lead to weakening in the shoulder. Once weakened, even simple daily exercises like combing your hair or getting dressed can become difficult.
There are four muscles that make up the group of muscles called the rotator cuff complex. This group of muscles enables the shoulder joint to make numerous movements while keeping the body in balance, and ultimately the job of the shoulder joint complex is to place the upper extremities in positions that allow the hand and arm to freely function.
The most common injuries to the rotator cuff are:
- Primary Impingement
- Secondary Impingement
- Degenerative Anatomical Changes
- Rotator Cuff Tears
Rotator cuff tears are classified as either a partial tear or a full-thickness tear by the extent and depth of the fiber damage. There are many different factors that can lead to injuries of the rotator cuff including:
- Acute sudden trauma
- Repetitive or cumulative trauma
- Excessive tension or tightness of posterior and inferior joint capsule
- Impaired sensorimotor function
- Improper exercise technique
As with most sports injuries, prevention is the key to avoiding injury. However, once the injury has occurred, there are many ways to treat the injury. Today, Chiropractic Neurology provides treatment that is non-invasive and drug-free, making it a highly desirable choice for many athletes. Although it may seem counter-intuitive, exercise is an important factor in the rehabilitation of rotator cuff injuries. These exercises should isolate and strengthen the rotator cuff muscles, leading to stability in the shoulder. Chiropractic Neurology uses techniques that are designed to manipulate the affected area, restoring strength and stability, and therefore treating the root of the problem. Specially trained and highly skilled in the way in which the nerves, muscles and skeletal system works together, your Chiropractic Neurologist will develop a treatment plan that starts by revealing the source of the pain, rather than treating the symptom of pain. Once the biometrics have been restored, muscular tears will heal without the need for more invasive procedures such as surgery. Individual treatments depend on the severity of the injury as well as the length of time that a patient has been experiencing symptoms but in many cases, relief from the pain can be felt right away. As with most conditions that cause extreme pain, the sooner the injury is evaluated and treated, the less likely it is that a patient will worsen.
If you are experiencing pain associated with the shoulder, rotator cuff or any other sports injury and would like to learn how Chiropractic Neurology can help you, please contact Dr. Marc Ellis at the Georgia Chiropractic Neurology Center today.