There Are Only 4 Causes of Sport Injuries

One of the most common questions I get from my patients is “Why did my injury happen?” Some sports, such as running, as many as 65% of people will have an injury in any given year. Aside from obvious trauma, there are only 4 causes of sports injury. Eliminate these and you eliminate sports injury.

1. Improper footwear. Ever see someone going out for a run in their tennis shoes? Bad idea! Whatever your sport, you need to get the proper footwear. And this involves more than buying running shoes for running or soccer shoes for soccer.

There are 3 basic foot types: pronators (those who have a fallen arch and walk more on the inside of their feet), supinators (those who favour the outside aspect of their foot) and neutral. You also need to consider your running style; heavy foot striker, forefoot runner, trail runner, pavement runner, short or long distance, etc. Your best bet it to go to an independant sports shop, one who knows the sport. Avoid the big box stores where the employees may not have any knowledge of the products they are selling, plus it’s good to support local. Trust me on this, get your footwear right or you are asking for trouble.

Read here to get my opinion on othotics.

2. Improper training. All too often when someone stars a new sport they build too quickly in terms of training time or effort. They get excited by the quick improvements and want to go and go and go… Here’s the problem, your cardiovascular fitness builds very quickly. Your heart and lungs capacity comes along in leaps and bounds and you will quickly lay down extra blood vessels in the muscles you are using. But it takes a lot longer for the support structures, such as ligaments and muscles, to respond to the increased demands of the sport. Eventually the cardiovascular fitness outstrips what the support structures are able to keep up with and injury results.

Build slowly. If training for a particular event, make sure you have enough time to adaquately prepare. A very good rule of thumb with running is the 10% rule: never increase your running any more than 10% weekly. Yes, at first the time you run will grow tediously slowly, but you will lay down a good foundation to build upon and won’t be sidelined with injury.

3. Improper Recovery. With sport, recovery is just as important as training. With higher impact sports that involve running this is particularly the case. When you exercise, you will create microdamage in your muscles and connective tissue. It takes time to repair this damage. If you don’t allow for recovery this microdamage will accumulate and you will end up injured.

And recovery isn’t just about time either. Good nutrition will allow for a faster recovery time. Read here about proper nutrition for cardiovascular activity.

4. Improper mechanics. There are two aspects to this. First of all, you can exercise using poor form, such as a golfer using a bad swing. If new to a sport, consider taking lessons or joining a clinic. Secondly, joint fixations, ligamant laxity or overly tight muscles can lead to inury. A good sports chiropractor should be able to help you with this. In my clinic, we do a full functional assesment with any sports injury. It takes some time, about 45 minutes to an hour, but it’s important to correctly identify the source of the problem. I recommend that everybody have a biomechanical assessment before undertaking a new sport and keep a regular checkup they way they do with their dentist. Why wait for injury to arise before addressing any poor mechanics?

If you’d like to have a beiochanical assessment at pure Chiropractic, Nanaimo, give us a call on 250-585-8866. Leave us a comment or question below. We’d love to hear from you!

Dr. Jason Hare, Chiropractor

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