Sports injuries can be scary and even more terrifying if you don’t know what to do next.
Those of us that have been avid competitors in any sport that requires a lot of physical movement and stamina know that when we constantly run, get knocked down, hurt our knees, slam that elbow… we’re going to feel it. And if the pain doesn’t come right at that moment, it will come eventually.
When we’re young, our bodies bounce back pretty quickly (unless it’s massive trauma, in that case, age doesn’t matter!), but what we don’t take into account is that the final blow to the knee some time ago could have thrown it out of alignment and we didn’t even realize it. Then we’re working out ten years later, and BAM! It knocks us on our butt, and we’re left scratching our heads thinking, what just happened?!
Finding a chiropractor for sports injuries should be number one on the to-do list (if the injury is not incredibly traumatic with an acute injury, wounds, or broken bones caused by blunt force, an accident, or otherwise). What we’re speaking to here is when you feel something go ‘pop’ after or during a workout in a knee or elbow, or doing simple tasks like kneeling, for example. When we get horrible pain in a joint, we often get panicked and run to the hospital.
This is how many people get caught up in the stagnant health care system focused on symptoms only spending excessive amounts of money on unnecessary diagnostics and delayed results for conflict resolution. This can leave us defeated, feeling like we have no options except to spend tens of thousands of dollars (or more!), get surgery, and potentially never address the root issue only to have the same thing happen again (or something worse).
Running to your local chiropractor who knows how to handle joint and sports injuries could alleviate a lot of pain (both in your body and in your bank account). It’s imperative to get to the ROOT of the issue.
Getting people out of pain and back into the game of life is energy neutral at best. Returning them with an enhanced skill set and upgraded performance is invaluable, and that’s what I am to do here at Advanced Alignment.
Finding the Right Practitioner
The first thing to do is get the right practitioner. Here’s what to look for when seeking help:
- Someone that will take the time to listen to your problem and try to understand all the dynamics of how it is affecting your life.
- Does your knee hurt because your knee hurts or is your body compensating for a structural misalignment somewhere else?
- A thorough examination that goes well beyond just the symptoms can detect the root cause of the problem.
- A comprehensive plan of action that has a beginning, middle, and end with objective measures of progress and resolution.
- Cost-effectiveness. Unnecessary diagnostic tests can be costly and delay the healing process
- An experienced practitioner that has specialized training with a proven track record with outstanding clinical outcomes. Not only concerned to get you to feel better by covering up the symptoms but getting you to function better with a minimally invasive approach.
- Now, let’s talk about a couple of injuries that are pretty common; knee injuries and tennis elbow.
Knee pain can be excruciating. Knees can get out of alignment and shift causing a ligament or the meniscus to get “caught,” or there can be a tear in a ligament or in the meniscus. There can also be a structural misalignment somewhere else that is pulling the knee out of alignment (this is why it’s essential to know what’s going on in the spine).
No matter what, any of these things can cause so much pain that it can be discombobulating, but having a plan of where to go with a trusted chiropractor can alleviate a lot of pressure (not to mention, keep a little more cash in your pocket so you can get a thorough strategy to address root problems versus superficial fixes).
It’s important to note that excruciating pain doesn’t mean that something is torn/ripped. If you’ve had trauma to the leg somehow, this is called an acute trauma, and that would mean that there could have been something torn or broken. However, sometimes the meniscus or a ligament can just get caught in a misalignment of the knee, which will need to be aligned to be able to release the pressure and get rid of the pain. This is important to understand because running to the ER doesn’t need to be the only answer. It can cost tens of thousands of dollars to go get all the super high-cost scans at the hospital, and this is often not necessary.
What is a meniscus tear vs a knee misalignment?
First, let’s look at what the meniscus is and how this all relates to the ligaments of the knee.
“A healthy knee joint contains two C-shaped cartilage-like structures, each one called a meniscus. The one on the inside of the knee is the medial meniscus and the one on the outside is the lateral meniscus. Each meniscus is smooth, flexible, and rubbery, and acts to provide both stability and shock absorbing protection to the precious knee cartilage lining the joint, also known as the hyaline cartilage.” - UC San Francisco
Here’s a look at how the knee is constructed:
A tear in a ligament or in the cartilage is very different than when your knee “catches” due to a misalignment or when there is degeneration due to age. With a misalignment, people often describe their knee as catching or locking while straightening their leg. This is often felt when they are walking, standing up, or going up or down stairs. There can also be a “pop” sound at the time of injury.
The knee can often get misaligned. The knee is a hinge-joint by nature but is capable of certain degrees of gliding, rotation, and rolling between the femur and tibia.
The most common misalignments are, by most to the least common occurrence (according to mskneurology.com):
- Tibia pulled too far back (posterior glide)
- Functional varus knee position (bent outward)
- Tibia too inwardly rotated
- Tibia pulled too far forward (anterior glide)
- Tibia too outwardly rotated
The main symptoms that can be related to this include:
- Catching or locking sensation felt in the knee while walking
- Swelling around the knee
- Pain when straightening or twisting the knee
- Difficulty straightening the knee
- You may have heard a “popping” sound when the injury occurred
- Tears in a Ligament or Meniscus
According to UCSF, “Meniscus tears are one of the most common knee injuries, affecting approximately 1 million people in the US each year. The meniscus can tear from acute injury or trauma to the knee. Also, knees degenerate over time with age can see changes to both the hyaline cartilage and meniscus, and though changes here are often termed meniscus tears, more accurately they fall more into the category of degeneration, and therefore should be treated differently to acute tears. An acute tear may happen during sports activities or other knee trauma such as twisting injuries.”
Tears or more acute traumas to the knee can mean that there is further care needed, but a chiropractor will be able to help you determine if there is a misalignment or if there is a more acute issue happening. So, if there is a tear, for example, can then offer you the best next step on the pathway to healing.
Sometimes, it’s hard to tell what has happened, so here are a few things that you can do upon injury:
- Rest the knee. I advise people to avoid putting much pressure on the leg to get the swelling goes down. Avoid running, jumping, squatting, twisting, or any movements that cause pain.
- Ice. Elevate the knee and use Ice to get the inflammation and swelling under control. Ice every few hours for 15-20 minutes at a time.
- Knee brace. If you still need to move around you can wear a knee brace to help support the leg and prevent any more damage being done to the knee.
- Make an appointment with the chiropractor who can help you determine next steps. See the above tips on what you should look for in a practitioner.
How do you prevent another injury?
It is very important to understand proper body mechanics to prevent re-injury or a new injury from occurring. The knee is very susceptible to injury due to the biomechanics of the knee joint as it doesn’t like to turn, twist, or laterally bend. Be cautious of the amount of twist and torque you are placing on the knee while ensuring that you exercise, and eat healthy foods to reduce the risk of injury and to keep your body functioning as well as it can.
If you are experiencing persistent elbow pain and/or forearm pain and you live in Asheville, NC, you may want to stop by Advanced Alignment and get a chiropractic assessment plan for tennis elbow… even if you don’t play tennis!
What is Tennis Elbow?
Tennis elbow is known by a few different names. It may also be called golfer/golfer’s elbow, and the medical term is lateral epicondylitis. The condition occurs when the tendons that facilitate the wrist bending back (away from the palm or inside of the arm) become inflamed from repetitive movement. (Technically, golfer’s elbow is medial epicondylitis because it affects different tendons, but the treatment for both conditions is basically the same, so we’ll just stick with referring to this type of repetitive motion-induced pain and inflammation as tennis elbow).
As it turns out, most cases of tennis elbow are not a result of playing tennis. The reason the condition got the name is that many tennis players will have to contend with it at some point since the motion of hitting a tennis ball is one of the primary movements that can cause the affected tendons to become inflamed.
What are the causes of Tennis Elbow?
In actuality, tennis elbow can be caused by any repetitive movement that uses the tendons of the elbow. This includes:
- Prolonged computer/keyboard use
- Certain home improvement activities like painting or yard work.
- Activities that require the use of hand tools
- Tasks related to certain jobs like plumbing, carpentry, and dentistry.
- Any repetitive movement over a long enough period of time will eventually lead to pain and inflammation.
How do I know if I have Tennis Elbow?
If you do indeed have a case of tennis elbow, you will experience one or more of the following:
- Burning or aching pain on the outside of your forearm and elbow.
- Intensification of these sensations when you engage in motions that involve the affected tendons.
- Persistent pain when you place your arm and hand (palm-down) on a table and attempt to raise your hand against resistance.
- Weak wrist strength.
- Pain or weakness when lifting and gripping small objects.
- Pain when straightening the arm.
- Worsening of symptoms with continued engagement in repetitive motion activities.
- Shooting pains in the hand and neck (more severe cases).
What can I do about my tennis elbow?
The first thing to do is give the affected tendons a break by refraining from repetitive motion and other activities that cause pain. Applying an ice pack will help reduce inflammation as well.
How can chiropractic treatment help?
If the symptoms persist, or you know you’re going to be continuing to engage in the movements that caused them in the first place, I can take some further actions to treat the root of the issue.
Initially, I will do a thorough examination that goes well beyond the symptoms, taking the time to listen and ask pertinent questions to determine why this has happened. This will assist me in determining the root cause of the problem.
After our initial exam and assessment, we may opt for myofascial release or trigger point therapy, and/or spinal manipulation if necessary to get you some immediate relief.
I can also help you determine more ergonomically sound ways of doing the activities that involve the affected tendons in an effort to prevent a recurrence. I’ll help you discern why the problem has occurred and then we can troubleshoot ways to keep it from happening again.
Together we will compose a comprehensive plan of action that has a beginning, middle, and end with objective measures of progress and resolution.
Getting you out of pain and back into the game of life is neutral at best. My aim is to provide you with an upgraded performance!
Tennis elbow and knee pain are common problems. At Advanced Alignment, we’ll get to the root cause of your knee pain or tennis elbow (or back pain, etc.) quickly and efficiently.
No need to spend excessive amounts of money on unnecessary diagnostics that simply prolong the amount of time it takes to get down to the business of resolving your issue. With over 25 years of experience, I have come to realize the immense importance of targeting the root cause of issues and dealing with them as quickly and efficiently as possible, and then discerning the ways in which my clients can make adjustments around how they are moving in order to minimize or eliminate the possibility of the same issues recurring.
If you feel excruciating pain, get to a chiropractor immediately! If it hurts but is not excruciating, at-home treatment for the problem involves resting the affected arm and applying an ice pack to reduce inflammation.
If you find the problem persists, we can offer relief as well as a plan for moving forward that will help reduce if not eliminate the likelihood of a recurrence.
Regardless of whether it’s a knee or an elbow, the Advanced Alignment path forward will be cost-effective since we do not run unnecessary diagnostic tests. It will be expedient for the same reason because we get right down to treating the issue.
As an experienced practitioner that has specialized training with a proven track record and outstanding clinical outcomes in injuries, I will make a commitment to get you to function better (maybe even better than before the injury!) and do it with a cost-effective, minimally invasive approach.
Once you understand what is wrong, you can start rebuilding brick by brick with precision through both the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. The quick fix works in an emergency but is a poor strategy for long-term success.
Contact now for a consultation!
- Knee information:
- Tennis elbow:
- Below are a few links to case studies where people found relief from tennis elbow with chiropractic care: