February 2017

 
Repetitive Use Injuries in Athletes
 
Repetitive movements from athletic performance can be the catalyst for soft tissue injuries.  Repetitive muscular contractions lead to localized micro-trauma to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joint capsules.  Fibrotic scar tissue forms after damaged tissue heals and is a natural response during the healing process.  Scar tissue is tough, dense, fibrous tissue that is comparatively less functional than normal, healthy tissue.
 
 
Ways in which scar adhesions can form:
  • Acute: traumatic sprain/strain injuries
  • Repetitive: low-force repetitive use injuries
  • Constant pressure/tension: sustained contractions (posture)
Scar tissue adhesions has the following biomechanical effects of the soft tissues:
  • Decreases ability to fully lengthen
  • Decreases speed of contraction
  • Decreases force production
  • Alters or restricts joint motion
    • Over time this leads to chronically tight, stiff, weak ranges of motion
Common repetitive-use, soft tissue injuries include:
  • Plantar fasciitis
  • Achilles tendonitis
  • Shin splints
  • Posterior tibial tendonitis
  • IT band syndrome
  • Patellar tendonitis
  • Piriformis syndrome
  • Tennis/golfer's elbow
  • Rotator cuff syndrome
  •  
 
The following treatments can be used to break down restrictive scar tissue:
  • Active Release Techniques
  • Deep tissue sports massage
  • Foam rolling
  •  The Stick
The best time to incorporate rehabilitative stretching and strengthening exercises is after the soft-tissue dysfunctions have been addressed.  To help prevent soft tissue injuries:
  • Allow proper time to recover between repetitive activities
  • Vary types of activity - cross training
  • Focus on soft-tissue health
  • Perform regular preventative rehabilitative exercises
Active Performance Chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and rehabilitation of athletic-related injuries.  Treatment is a unique blend of Active Release Techniques, traditional chiropractic therapy, and physical rehabilitation designed to match each patient's goals and lifestyle.