Faster return to sports and work and quicker injury recovery from latest chiropractic research
Not only do sports-related injuries cause physical damage to athletes and other active individuals, but they can create harm psychologically as well.
For instance, one review of the literature reveals that is isn’t uncommon for injury to be accompanied with “depression, tension, anger and low self-esteem.” Further, these emotions tend to be even more prevalent when these athletes are competitive and/or if they are facing an injury that is more serious in nature.
Researchers conducting the review also suggest that these negative psychological responses seem to be related to the athlete’s perceived progress in regard to their rehabilitation. The more they felt that their progress wasn’t where it should be, the less likely they were to attend their necessary treatment sessions.
Research has found that chiropractic care can sometimes promote faster recovery from injuries commonly found in the world of sports — injuries such as low-back pain.
Chiropractic for low-back pain injury recovery
The World Health Organization estimates that 60-70% of all adults living in industrialized countries will experience low-back pain at some point in their lives. That makes pain in this area of the body the leading cause of work absenteeism and limited activity around the world.
Researchers from the Oregon Health and Sciences University in Portland, Oregon further indicate that low-back pain is also a common issue for athletes. In an article published in Sports Health, some of these scientists state that, while few superior treatment modalities exist for athletes experiencing back pain, spinal manipulation therapy is one of the “most strongly supported evidence-based therapies” along with superficial heat for injury recovery.
One study finding similar positive results compared pain and disability perception of patients experiencing low-back pain, some of whom were treated via chiropractic care and others who were treated in a pain clinic. After eight weeks, the group receiving chiropractic reported a 5.5-point greater improvement in their Roland-Morris Disability Questionnaire than those seen at the clinic. They also reported less pain during injury recovery.
Chiropractic and lower extremity injuries
Some of the most common sports injuries are to the lower extremities. Individuals playing football, for instance, are more prone to experience ankle sprains, knee injuries, and strains to their quads, hamstrings, and groin according to the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center. For persons who play basketball, Achilles tendonitis, knee tendonitis and ACL (anterior cruciate ligament) tears can also be added to the list.
In a study published by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, researchers noted that conservative rehabilitation efforts often fail to fully help patients with pathologic conditions in their knee joints. Many times they aren’t able to achieve full muscle strength and function recovery, the cause of which is likely due to high levels of muscle inhibition.
Yet, after treating 18 subjects with unilateral or bilateral anterior knee pain with high-velocity, low-amplitude thrusts designed to correct sacroiliac joint dysfunction, patients experienced a decrease in muscle inhibition, thus reducing this potential treatment effectivity issue.
Chiropractic compared to other care
When a sports injury occurs, it isn’t uncommon for athletes to engage in physical therapy, exercise therapy, or seek other forms of medical care in an attempt to correct or rehabilitate the affected area. How do these treatment modalities compare to chiropractic in terms of effectiveness?
One 2016 systematic review looked at five randomized controlled trials, each comparing chiropractic care to at least one of these specific modalities when low-back pain was present. After considering all of their findings, researchers concluded that chiropractic and physical therapy are equally effective. Additionally, while it appears that the same is true in regard to both exercise therapy and medical care, researchers weren’t able to make this conclusion with any concreteness.
Another study, this one published in JAMA Network Open in 2018, noted that treating injuries often provides better results when more than one modality is part of the treatment regimen.
Specifically, it compared the effectiveness of medical care to medical care that incorporated chiropractic.
After treating 750 active duty military participants over the course of six weeks, it was noted that chiropractic provided moderate short-term improvements in both pain intensity and disability, prompting researchers to recommend a multidisciplinary approach for the best injury recovery results.