Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Football Injuries - Prevention and Recovery

Football is truly the quintessential all-American sport. And it is more popular than ever these days. 33 percent of all Americans rank football as their favorite sport, far ahead of second place baseball. Watching football may be a popular pastime, but Americans enjoy playing it, too. Millions of kids across the country play the sport in steady but slightly increasing numbers, and millions more play some modified version of the game, like flag football. However, while Americans continue to enjoy football on the field as much as they do in their living rooms, there is one downside to playing the game: injuries.

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The sport of football is practically synonymous with injuries these days. In fact, injuries are so ubiquitous in the sport, many people wonder aloud whether or not they should even let their kids play. While debilitating traumatic brain injuries have dominated much of the coverage about the sport's challenges, football players of all ages are susceptible to a wide variety of injuries every time they step on the field. Soft tissue issues, like patellar tendonitis (pain in the knee) shin splints, and sprains and other overuse injuries are extremely common in the sport. In a recent study, the NCAA determined that the injury rate for college football players was approximately 8.1 injuries for every thousand athlete exposures (during practice as well as games). One can expect that teenagers and younger kids who are playing, and whose bodies are growing, will experience even higher rates of injury. Fortunately, shin splints or a sore knee don't have to keep you out of the game for too long. There are new and innovative techniques to treat soft tissue football injuries and get players back on the field sooner rather than later.

The Graston Technique for Football Players

One of the newer treatments to help football players recover from a painful soft tissue injury is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization, and involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

GT therapy is great news for football players suffering from shin splints, leg sprains and neck pain. Typical soft tissue injuries like this, often called adhesions, can keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. GT is particularly effective at addressing these conditions. Additionally, GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing for other football injuries as well. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.

Video: Scar Tissue Treatment with Graston Technique for Muscle Pain

Active Release Therapy (ART) for Football Players

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat injuries commonly seen in football. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for sidelined football players everywhere.

Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether. ART can be great for dedicated football athletes, especially those who are experiencing routine or growing soft tissue pain. So if injuries are holding you back from giving it all you've got on the field, ART may be the right choice for you.

Get Back on the Field

Football is the all-American sport, and continues to grow in popularity. The fast paced, violent game, with its lightning runs up the field and brutal collisions and tackles, leaves athletes exceptionally prone to a variety of injuries. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer innovative ways to keep football players' muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting you back in action. So don't wait until it's too late. Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and get back on the line before anyone notices you were missing.

Our Chandler Chiropractic and Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.