Injuries & Accidents and Chiropractic Care
Accidents and injuries, if not treated properly, can affect your health and function for the rest of your life.
When someone has an injury, whether it be work-related injuries, sports related injuries (especially with contact sports), lifting injuries, from a fall, or even a motor vehicle accident — the body is required to absorb a quick force that can have a negative effect on the joints of the body.
All the joints are held together by connective tissues, which are called ligaments, tendons, and muscles. In addition, all joints have cartilage within them, which allow the bones in the joints to slide upon each other during movements. When a joint is injured through an impact, these tissues can move beyond their normal range of motion, over-stretching them and creating micro (small) or macro (large) tears. These cause a negative effect, or injury, to the connective tissues. This is commonly referred to as a sprain/strain injury. Now with soft tissue injuries micro/macro tearing occurs, but the big thing is that it actually causes inflammation. Inflammation around these joints, or in these tissues, is going to create pain and also decrease your range of motion.
Ligaments take a long time to heal. They are a white fibrous tissue with a minimal blood supply going to them. So when you injure a ligament it takes longer for a ligament to heal than for a fracture to heal. This is why when a lot of people end up in the emergency room at the hospital and they have a major sprain/strain they are told, “if you broke the bone it would heal quicker than a sprain/strain injury.” Some of these sprain/strain injuries can take upwards of 7 months to a year to truly heal.
When joints lose their normal alignment and movement due to an injury, a lot of times you will see inflammation and nerve interference. If the joints lose their proper motion and alignment then what happens over a period of time, if this goes uncorrected, is people can end up with osteoarthritis. Any joint that loses its normal alignment, or range of motion, will go through a degenerative process that can lead to osteoarthritis.
The movement of a joint is what brings nutrition into the joint and keeps it healthy. To illustrate the degenerative process in a way people can understand, I’ll often ask people to picture what would happen if you put your knee in a cast for a year and that joint wasn’t able to move properly. The knee will then start to go through a degenerative process because the health of a joint is directly related to its ability to move.
As I mentioned before, all joints have cartilage — a hard material that allows the bones to slide on top of each other when you move. Think of cartilage functioning like Teflon. When an injury occurs to a joint the cartilage often takes a hard hit, which can damage the cartilage too. If this injury is not managed correctly the cartilage will go through a rapid degenerative process leading toward osteoarthritis. You need to correct the problem so the joint can move properly and restored to normal alignment.
Chiropractic Care and Injuries
Many of us love to play sports. We may have started in pee-wee leagues, played in high school or even on a college team. Today you might consider yourself a weekend warrior who takes advantage of every opportunity to play a favorite sport.
Sports injuries are common, especially in contact sports, and many injuries often linger on for years. Often we just shrug it off and keep on playing, but any injuries to your joints should not be ignored. As you can read in the article to the right, uncorrected joint problems can lead to many other problems, not to mention take the enjoyment away from playing your favorite sports and send you into retirement years before you want to.
Here's some good news to consider. Not only can chiropractic care help correct the problems caused by your injuries and allow you to keep playing, but it can also help improve your game.
Many top athletes around the world including Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods, Jerry Rice, and others seek regular chiropractic treatment, and they credit it with helping them stay at the top of their game. We have a great article on our website about sports and chiropractic care that I am sure you will find interesting.
Chiropractic care is very effective at treating joint and connective tissue injuries. When someone comes into our office with a problem caused by an injury, our main focus is to find exactly what is the underlying cause of the problem and how to correct the cause of the problem. In treating an injury to a joint or the connective tissues around the joint, our focus is to get that joint to function properly again by very gently, but effectively, realigning the joint and increasing the range of motion to the joint so that the joint moves and functions as it should, allowing it to heal normally.
Now unfortunately when many people are injured, they end up going to see their family physician or they go to the emergency room or clinic. Obviously they have pain from their injury(s) and these people end up getting pain medications as well as muscle relaxers and anti-inflammatories. These medications are very effective at chemically decreasing inflammation and pain, and decreasing muscle spasms. However, medications do not correct the underlying cause of the problem. So most of these people, when they have injuries, end up on long-term medication use, which once again does not correct the problem — it just hides it. In addition, many people will find the same injury keeps reoccurring since the underlying cause was never addressed.
When you don’t correct the underlying problem then you will run into a long history of problems as degenerative changes take place in your spine. Taking medications over a long period of time is never the answer to dealing with an injury.
One of the major problems in dealing with a joint injury is that many people are unaware that only 10% of your nervous system feels pain. People can have pain after an injury and maybe the pain only lasts for a few days, or for a week, or possibly two weeks, and then the pain goes away. At this point, many people think they are now fine because they’ve taken these medications and the pain went away. But once again, only 10% of the nervous system feels pain so a joint can lose proper function and movement — and they don’t experience pain.
I get people that come to my office all the time that have had an injury two years ago, five years ago, or even 20 years ago, but they never had it properly corrected. They come in with a problem and I take an x-ray on them and find that they have degenerative changes where their joints had been injured and they are now getting osteoarthritis. Often these patients come in because pain from their old injury flared back up again. Maybe they’ve had the pain for the last week, but don’t realize the problem stems back to the injury they may have had 10 years ago. Since they didn’t have pain the whole time, because only 10% of the nervous system feels pain, and because the pain had gone away they thought they were fine. Now, because the underlying problem caused by their injury was never corrected, they are dealing with osteoarthritis. This is a big problem because once you end up with osteoarthritis and degeneration of the joint you can’t bring the person 100% back to where they were before.
Failure to Correct Problems Caused by Injuries can lead to Long-Term Problems
While chiropractic care is very effective at finding the underlying cause of the problem and correcting it, when someone has an injury and it doesn’t get it corrected properly, these people will run into degeneration of these joints, but additionally it also effects the nerves that go from the joints back into the spinal cord and up into the brain. An injury to a joint can affect the function of your nervous system.
In other words, people who have not had the underlying problems caused by their injuries corrected can see all kinds of different problems. These uncorrected problems can lead to decreased energy, sleeping problems, immune system problems — where they get sick more often than they should — depression, anxiety, and more. Remember, nerves come out from the spine and go into all the different organs. We have a series of articles on our website that further explains what problems you can encounter with problems in the cervical (neck), thoracic (mid-upper back), and lumbar / sacral spine (lower back). Reading them can help you understand why you are dealing with various problems and how chiropractic care can help solve them.
Often, after many injuries, many people find themselves experiencing a lot of headaches. This is because around 95% of headaches come from problems in the neck. So, any injury to the neck, whether caused by a fall or even whiplash, can lead to headaches. The neck, being the weakest area of the spine, is more susceptible to injuries.
See a Chiropractor About Your Joint Injuries
Chiropractors are highly skilled and trained in discovering the underlying problems caused by injuries — either current or in the past. You should not rely on medications as a long-term solution to any injury. At Kempsville Chiropractic we will find the root cause of your problems and work to correct them, restoring proper function and range of motion. We can also provide physical therapy when an injury requires it. If you are one of the many who occasionally feel pain from an old injury, or have some pains that come and go — there is a reason for that pain. The reason is your problem has never been corrected. Allowing it to remain uncorrected will only allow further degeneration to occur.
Contact Kempsville Chiropractic at 757-467-5258 and schedule an appointment with one of our doctors. Let us correct your problem, prevent further problems, and free you from a life of continuously taking medications for your pain. If anyone of your friends or family has an injury that can benefit from chiropractic care, please recommend this article to them.
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The contents of this website are based upon the opinions of Dr. Lombardozzi. The information on this site is not intended as medical advice. The information contained on this website is a sharing of knowledge based on the experience and research of Dr. Lombardozzi and his staff. Dr. Lombardozzi recommends that patients make their health care decisions after doing their research and consulting with a qualified health care professional.
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