Sports Injury Assessment & Management
My goal is to get you back performing at your best as quickly as possible. This starts with gaining a further understanding of the demands of your sport and what you need to perform at your best. After a thorough examination, we design an individualized treatment plan which often includes a combination of chiropractic manipulation, medical acupuncture, soft tissue therapy and rehabilitative exercises. Nothing matters more to me than your health and performance, which is why I’ve put in so much time and effort into advancing my chiropractic practice and techniques.
During your first appointment with me, we will go through a thorough history to gain a better understanding of the injury mechanics, demands of your sport and lifestyle factors that may be contributing toward your symptoms. The next step is a physical examination that has two main purposes, to determine a "medical diagnosis" and a "movement diagnosis". These may be new terms to you so I'll try to explain them. An example of a "medical diagnosis" is a rotator cuff tear. It is important to determine the tissue that is injured, but it is also important to understand the movements that created your injury. This is where the "movement diagnosis" comes into play. You may have a rotator cuff tear from a lack of thoracic spine (upper back) rotation, tightness of your pectoral (chest) muscles or a lack of control of your glenohumeral (shoulder) joint, amongst other alternatives. From my perspective, the movement diagnosis is even more important than the medical diagnosis because it will be the guide to proper treatment and exercise prescription that will allow you to safely return to your sport.
You do not need to be injured to visit a chiropractor. As a sports specialist chiropractor I have a thorough understanding of human biomechanics (the study of how humans move) and this guides my treatment approach to allow you to get the most out of your body.
For example, an sprinter needs adequate hip and big toe extension to propel themselves toward the finish line. They may have the quickest fast twitch fibers in the world, but if they can't use their full range of motion they are leaving some of their speed on the table. My understanding of biomechanics allows me to see this connection between joint range of motion and sports performance, but it also allows me to see that a lack of range of motion in these areas may predispose that athlete to knee or low back injuries as they try to compensate for the lack of range of motion in their big toe and or hip.
As a sports specialist chiropractor, one of the tools in my toolbelt is chiropractic manipulation. It is an effective treatment strategy to decrease pain and improve range of motion. Chiropractic manipulation (also known as an adjustment) is a high-velocity, low amplitude thrust. This means it is a very quick movement, but a small movement that is designed to move a joint just beyond is physiological (typical) range of motion. Often this quick movement will create a "cracking" or "popping" sound that occurs as the joint pressure changes during the manipulation. Chiropractors are best known for manipulation of the spine, but I also perform manipulation of joints of the limbs, such as through the foot and ankle. As previously mentioned, chiropractic manipulation is one tool that I use to restore movement and decrease pain. However, it is not the only treatment option available. The proper treatment will be decided on collaboratively based on your physical examination findings and personal preferences.
Soft Tissue Therapy
A large portion of what I do as a sports chiropractor is soft tissue therapy (Active Release Technique). It is an effective way to decrease tension which will improve range of motion and decrease pain. These improvements will then allow the prescribed exercises to be more effective, leading to a lasting effect. Soft tissue therapy can be used independently, or in conjunction with other treatments such as chiropractic manipulation and acupuncture. Soft tissue therapy is an effective treatment strategy when dealing with myofascial pain syndromes (e.g. trigger points), neuropathies, and resolving muscle tears.
I was trained in Contemporary Medical Acupuncture at McMaster University. Acupuncture can be used for a variety of conditions. It helps to improve blood flow to the affected area which can assist in the healing of stubborn tissues. It also helps to regulate nervous system function which decreases both acute and chronic pain. Acupuncture also can be used as an alternative form of soft tissue therapy. As the acupuncture needle pierces through the fascia (connective tissue) it grabs onto it. Then as the needle is twisted the fascia whorls around the needle creating a "stretch" of the area. Acupuncture is generally pain-free. However, some people will experience a dull ache in the area being treated.
Exercise is the glue that makes the treatments last in between appointments. My goal is to decrease your pain and improve function through the treatment options listed above. The next step is to provide you with exercises that you can do at home that work to achieve the same goals. Your job is to do your homework between appointments. Depending on the stage you are at in your recovery and what your end goal is, these exercises may look like stretching and range of motion exercises or it may look more like strength and conditioning.