After you're involved in a sporting injury it's important for you to rest the affected area. If the injury is serious, you'll also want to look into some physical therapy. Physical therapy will help you regain your range of motion and heal properly to avoid the risk of reinjury. One type of professional that can help you with physical therapy is a chiropractor—here's why.
They Perform Adjustments to Ease Muscle Guarding
In your years as an athlete, you've likely experienced a muscle cramp or spasm. These can occur from overexertion or electrolyte imbalances from dehydration. While muscle guarding may feel similar to muscle cramps, it can sometimes be more serious since the issue may not resolve itself.
After an injury, your nervous system tightens certain muscles in order to splint and stabilize the injured area. Even though your muscles are trying to guard the injured area, this phenomenon can leave your muscles partially contracted, thus causing pain from nerve compression.
In order to heal fully, you'll need to relieve the muscle guarding so that your body can get back to its proper alignment. A chiropractor can perform adjustments on your spine to signal to the body that it's okay to relax. Adjustments also help to eliminate pain since muscles will no longer be compressing nerves.
They Help You Break up Scar Tissue
An inflammatory response is your body's first way at protecting you from injury. Chemicals like prostaglandin and histamine are released to help the body remove and repair damaged tissues. Sometimes, however, this inflammation doesn't resolve itself quickly. This in turn causes swelling and irritation that can cause scar tissue to form.
Scar tissue isn't inherently bad, but if there is too much, it can restrict your range of motion, compress nerves, and lead to the increased amount of nociceptors (pain receptors).
Your chiropractor can break up scar tissue with different techniques, like active release technique (ART) and transverse friction massage (TFM). During ART, your chiropractor will massage and press down on a specific section of muscle to encourage it to lengthen. During TFM, your chiropractor will deeply massage muscles "against the grain." Muscle fibers extend in a specific direction, so by going across them at a different angle, your chiropractor will be able to break down scar tissue and encourage collagen regrowth.
They Can Teach You How to Apply Kinesio Tape
Kinesio tape is a special product that is designed to help you improve your range of motion, while at the same time supporting your injured muscles. While kinesio tape can be worn during your physical therapy sessions, it is also a great tool that can help you ease back into your sport. The tape helps soft tissue extend and provides extra support to joints
As you can see, chiropractors can ease muscle guarding, break down scar tissue, and use Kinesio tape to help. These different physical therapy techniques and tools will help you speed up your recovery so that you can safely get back to your active lifestyle. Contact a clinic, like Rehab Solutions Physical Therapy, for more help.