Injuries are a common aspect of participating in differentthrive sports. Even in sports involving no physical contact, like running, injuries can still occur due to the stress on your body. For most people who love sports, the risk of injury isn’t enough to keep them from participating in their sport of choice. Still, it’s helpful to be informed about different sports injuries and your options for treatment should they occur.

In this article, you’ll find information on how chiropractors can help with various sports injuries.

Common Sports-Related Injuries

Common sport injuries chiropractors help treat include:

  • Sprains and Strains
  • Knee Injuries
  • Shin Splints
  • Concussions

Chiropractic care for sports injuries involves treatments like:

  • Spinal manipulation
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Various stretching exercises
  • Taping

These treatments increase blood flow, bring about proper alignment in your joints and help you heal faster. Some benefits of using chiropractic care to treat sports injuries include:

The above benefits are a few of the many ways chiropractic can help you recover from sports injuries so you can get back to playing the sport you love well. Here is some information on various sports-related injuries and how chiropractors can help.

Sprains and Strains

Sprains and strains are two of the most common sports injuries chiropractors see. These injuries often occur when you awkwardly move a body part, such as twisting or rolling your ankle, or from overuse. Since many sports involve awkward and repetitive movements, athletes are at increased risk of experiencing sprains and strains.

People often confuse sprains with strains and vice versa. While these injuries have some similarities, they involve different tissues in your body. Sprains occur when you stretch or tear a ligament. In contrast, strains happen when you stretch or tear a tendon or muscle. Your ligaments hold your bones together, while tendons connect bones to muscle. Mild sprains and strains occur when these tissues are stretched too far beyond their proper position. If these tissues are partially or completely torn, the injury is more severe.

Some common places for sprains to occur include the ankle, knee and wrist. You may experience bruising, pain and swelling in these areas with a sprain. You may also experience difficulty moving the affected joint. In comparison, common places for strains to occur with sports injuries are the back and hamstrings. Common symptoms of strains are muscle spasms, stiffness and swelling in the affected area.

Chiropractors can help with these common injuries in several ways. For example, a chiropractor can perform chiropractic adjustments on your ankle if you’ve experienced a mild sprain involving ligaments that have stretched too far out of place. A chiropractor can adjust your ankle to align it properly so it heals faster.

man holding his knee in pain

Knee Injuries

Various knee injuries commonly affect athletes, ranging widely in severity. Some examples of common knee injuries athletes deal with include:

  • Runner’s knee: Runner’s knee is an example of a repetitive strain injury (RSI). It involves repeated movements that cause pain and tenderness around the kneecap. As its name suggests, this injury commonly affects runners or athletes in sports that involve lots of running, such as soccer or football. With a runner’s knee, you may experience symptoms like rubbing, grinding or clicking sensations with the kneecap and dull pain around the kneecap. 
  • Jumper’s knee: A similar injury is jumper’s knee. Jumper’s knee is an RSI affecting a specific tendon in your knee called the patellar tendon. As such, jumper’s knee is also called patellar tendonitis. The patellar tendon connects your kneecap to your shin bone — the tibia. Although the name of this injury implies jumping as the sole cause, it can also occur due to running and frequent or sudden changes of direction. With that in mind, jumper’s knee is common in sports like soccer, football, basketball and volleyball.
  • Torn anterior cruciate ligament (ACL): A more severe sports injury involving the knee is a torn ACL. Your ACL connects your tibia to your thigh bone — or femur. Torn ACLs commonly occurs when your knee is suddenly hit from the side. Thus, they’re common in sports that involve physical contact like hockey, football, soccer or rugby. Severe ACL tears may need surgery, but chiropractors can help with knee pain as you recover with routine and gentle adjustments.

Shin Splints

Shin splints often develop after repetitive physical activity. They involve pain caused by inflammation in the muscles, tendons and bone tissue along the inner edge of your tibia. This inflammation occurs when the leg muscles become overworked with repetitive motions and strain, especially when you suddenly change your physical activity routine.

A chiropractor can help with shin splints through stretching techniques. These techniques break down the scar tissue that forms in the muscles, tendons and bone tissue from overuse. As scar tissue forms quickly on injured tissue, chiropractic care for shin splints can prevent these adhesions from spreading to other areas like your foot, Achilles tendon or knee. Chiropractic care for shin splints can also reduce pain and help sustain mobility in your gait.


A concussion is a traumatic brain injury (TBI) that occurs when the head experiences a bump, jolt or blow, leading to the brain moving rapidly back and forth inside the skull. As such, this injury impacts brain function and structural alignment in your head, neck and spine. Some common concussion symptoms include:

  • Anxiety and depression
  • Blurry vision
  • Brain fog, confusion and lack of concentration
  • Dizziness
  • Disturbances to smell and taste
  • Headaches
  • Insomnia
  • Irritability, mood swings and personality changes
  • Memory loss
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Sensitivity to light and noise
  • Slurred speech or trouble forming verbal responses
  • Tinnitus, characterized by ringing in the ears

Some concussion symptoms appear right away, while others manifest later and might remain for days or weeks at a time. When symptoms persist for extended periods, patients are often diagnosed with post-concussion syndrome.

Concussions have received negative attention in professional sports like football and hockey. Still, they can also occur in many other sports like volleyball, soccer or rugby. They are most common in sports with physical contact. They are most common in sports with physical contact.

Treatment for concussions typically involves plenty of rest and medical management of symptoms. These approaches are often necessary for recovering from a concussion. You can also see a chiropractor for a concussion. Chiropractic care for concussions focuses on the underlying issue rather than symptom management.

The same blows, jolts or bumps that cause concussions can also lead to misalignments with your head and spine. As many concussion symptoms share the same cause as misalignments within the spinal column, chiropractic care addresses that issue through spinal adjustments that bring about proper alignment.

Thrive Chiropractic Can Help With Common Sports Injuries

Chiropractors can help you recover from various sports injuries in ways that optimize your performance and hasten your recovery timeline. If you’re seeking chiropractic care for sports injuries, Thrive Chiropractic can help. We welcome you to come to see one of our chiropractors specializing in sports injury treatment. Fill out a contact form to schedule an appointment with Thrive Chiropractic today!

chiropractor aligning person's shoulder