Find Your Game

Find Your Game means achieving optimal function at any level of fitness. That includes everyone from athletes to office workers, young and old. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) encourages everyone to use the month of October to resolve to beyour best, feel your best, and perform your best. Chiropractic: Athletes Not-So-Secret Weapon Athletes know that chiropractic gets them back on their feet after injury. Doctors of chiropractic (DCs) support athletes in high school, college and in professional sports. DCs work at events such as the Olympic Games, the World Games, the Pan-American Gameswherever they are needed.

Play Through Pain?
Athletes and weekend warriors may try to play through pain, hoping a painful elbow or low back will get better by itself. As a rule of thumb, the earlier a musculoskeletal injury is treated, the sooner healing can begin. An untreated injury can easily slide from acute into sub-acute, and even into chronic. Each phase has its own characteristics and challenges.

Injury Timeline
The acute phase lasts from 48 to 72 hours after injury. This phase is characterized by pain, inflammation, loss of range of motion, increased temperature around the injury and swelling.An injury can become sub-acute at any point after that period. In this phase, the swelling decreases or disappears altogether and range of motion improves. The sub-acute phase can stretch out for weeks and even months, depending on the severity of the injury and the rehabilitation required. During this phase, the doctor of chiropractic works on flexibility, postural retraining,
non-weight-bearing strength/coordination training and pain management. Many elite athletes spend the better part of their careers in the subacute injury phase due to grueling competition schedules and high demands placed on their bodies. Knowing the phases and what therapies to incorporate during which phase is crucial to recovery. Recuperation takes longer as we age whether you run marathons, spin three times a week or play golf on the weekend, says Steve Hanson, DC, DACBSP, who specializes in treating sports injuries.

Doctors of chiropractic are trained to work with musculoskeletal injuries in any phase. Injuries are considered chronic from about two weeks after trauma until recovery. The longer an injury goes untreated, the more likely it is that the brain will accept it as the new normal. Therefore, if optimum function for life is the goal, treatment should
be sought out sooner, rather than later.

October 2012
Healthy Living
Patient Information from the American Chiropractic Association

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