Sports and outdoor activities are a big part of life for nearly every Chicagoan. Being active in sports is a great addition to a healthy, active lifestyle. Sports injuries are often the unfortunate side effect of athletics and challenging activities.
Whether you’re a professional athlete, a sports enthusiast, or simply had an accident while you were on vacation (skiing, biking, surfing, hiking, etc.), La Clínica chiropractic and sports injury centers in Chicago can help diagnose and treat your injury.
Providing Sports Injury Treatment for Chicago and the Surrounding Areas
Whether you’re a professional or a semi-professional athlete, or simply an active person that enjoys sports on the weekends, your body is equally vulnerable to sports injuries. When you injure your knee on a ski slope, or overdo it during practice, you deserve the same access to a sports injury doctor.
Our sports injury doctors in Chicago have access to the tools and technologies to diagnose and treat the source of your pain. We provide a range of services for treating and healing both hard and soft tissue injuries, including:
Our top-of-the-line treatments can include both active and passive physical therapy. Our Chicago sports therapy specialists offer a range of services for strengthening and healing, starting with diagnostic testing, pain management and physical therapy, and, if needed, orthopedic surgery and post-op physical therapy.
The professionals at La Clínica’s Chicago chiropractic and sports injury centers begin your treatment with a targeted physical evaluation. Our staff uses imaging technologies and physical testing to determine the extent of damage and whether or not surgery is necessary.
From there, our team of skilled clinicians and technicians advise you on the best protocols for strengthening and healing the areas impacted by the injury.
Sports injury is a blanket term that refers to any injury that happens during intense or challenging physical activity. There are several types of varying injuries that we include in that category. If you think you’ve experienced any of these sports injuries, that’s when it’s time to see a doctor.
When we overuse or push our muscles too far, they can suffer small lesions and tears to the tissue. When untreated, those tears can become severely painful, making it nearly impossible to use the affected area. A muscle tear must be diagnosed with imaging equipment.
Sprains and Strains
While people often use these terms interchangeably, they refer to two very different types of injuries. A sprain refers to an overworked, overstretched, or damaged ligament (the connective tissue that holds bones together at a joint). A strain is an injury or a tear to a tendon (the connective tissue that holds muscle to bone). Correcting either often requires surgery, rest, and physical therapy.
The knee is a complicated joint that is very injury-prone, especially from sports. You know you’ve injured a knee when it is stiff or swollen, especially after overuse. The types of knee injuries that require surgery include a torn meniscus (the thick layer of cartilage at the bottom of your knee joint), fractures, ACL tears (anterior cruciate ligament), and more. Some knee pain is also a sign of an underlying condition like arthritis or gout. If you have persistent swelling, discoloration, pain, or stiffness, it’s wise to get it looked into.
Fractures, or broken bones, are very serious and should be treated as quickly as possible. Stress fractures are one of the most common sports injuries and often require surgical intervention.
A dislocation is what happens when a bone is forced out of its socket. The most common dislocations happen to knees, shoulders, and elbows. Dislocations are extremely painful and can also lead to secondary sprains and strains to the connective tissue around the traumatized joint. If a dislocation is not treated immediately, the muscles around the joint can also become stiff and unresponsive, leading to weakness.
Rotator Cuff Injuries
The four muscles that surround your shoulder and allow the wide range of motion that you have with your arm is called the “rotator cuff.” An injury or a tear in any of those muscles is defined as a rotator cuff injury.
A musculoskeletal sports injury is another commonly used term for the wider category of sports injuries that impact both muscles or bones. We’ve listed several above. More examples of musculoskeletal sports injuries are:
- Fractured vertebrae
- Iliotibial band (IT) band syndrome (pain on outer knee)
- Tendinitis (pain associated with deteriorating tendons)
- Shin splints
- Severe muscle swelling
- Herniated disc (spinal injury)
An overuse injury typically occurs when you apply too much stress or repetitive motion to a single area. We often see overuse injuries in sport happen when people who are new to a particular activity push themselves too hard, too fast. The body hasn’t been conditioned enough and the individual simply doesn’t have the expertise or the technique to know either when to pull back or how to use the proper form to avoid injury in the first place.
We see instances of overuse injury from a variety of patients:
- People who just picked up a new sport and overtrain right away
- Seasoned athletes who come back to a sport after a hiatus or an injury and perform at peak levels before they’re completely healed or ready
- Older patients who don’t recognize how the ageing process has impacted their connective tissue and joints
- Athletes who “push through the pain” during training or competition
It’s important that you seek help the minute you notice or feel pain. Pay special attention to pain that is consistent (it continues after you’ve stopped your physical activity), as well as a sharp, stabbing pain that occurs when you’re active.
We find that most people recognize when they’ve hurt themselves. Many of our patients can identify the very second the injury took place. But often it’s not quite so obvious.
Maybe you’ve just picked up running and tried your first marathon, and your knees, ankles, or back haven’t been “quite right” since. Perhaps you were in the middle of a pickup basketball game and that weird “elbow tweak” hasn’t gone away. However, it is that you’ve hurt yourself while playing sports or exercising, please contact our specialists today for a free consultation before your injuries become even more serious.
Do you have further questions? Call (773) 763-2800 or use the form on this page to book your appointment with a specialist in our Chicago chiropractic and sports injury centers today.