Where Chicago's Athletes Get Adjusted     We're Open: Read our COVID-19 Update here
Schedule your initial consultation today!   773.868.0347
Spring Into Action Common Chicago Sports Injuries to Watch Out For

Spring Into Action: Common Sports Injuries to Watch Out For

As the snow melts and the days grow longer, Chicago’s athletes and weekend warriors are gearing up to spring into action. Whether it’s baseball, soccer, track, or lacrosse, spring sports are a welcome change after the long winter. However, the increased activity level also brings a higher risk of sports injuries. At Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we specialize in diagnosing, treating, and preventing these injuries, ensuring that you can enjoy the season to its fullest. Here’s a guide to some common spring sports injuries in Chicago, along with expert advice on how to stay safe.

Don’t Get Sidelined by Overuse Injuries:

Repetitive motions put stress on specific muscles and tendons, leading to overuse injuries like tendinitis. Tennis elbow (inflammation of the elbow tendons) and pitcher’s elbow (inflammation of the inner elbow) are common examples in spring sports. Beware of:

  • Pain and tenderness in a localized area
  • Worsening pain with activity
  • Difficulty performing daily tasks

Concussions: Don’t Ignore the Silent Threat

A concussion is a brain injury caused by a blow to the head. While not always accompanied by visible signs, concussions can have significant consequences. Symptoms to Watch Out For:

  • Headache
  • Dizziness
  • Nausea or vomiting
  • Confusion
  • Difficulty concentrating
  • Sensitivity to light or sound
  • Spring Forward with Injury Prevention Strategies

Common Spring Sports Injuries in Chicago

Spring Sports Injuries to Watch Out For:

  • Sudden pain at the injury location
  • Swelling, bruising, or redness
  • Difficulty moving the affected joint
  • Limited range of motion
  • Rotator Cuff Blues: When Your Shoulder Cries Uncle

Strains and Sprains

  • What They Are: Strains are injuries to muscles or tendons, the tissues that connect muscles to bones, while sprains involve ligaments, the tissues connecting bones at a joint.
  • Common Causes: These injuries often occur from overuse, improper warm-up, or a lack of conditioning.
  • Examples: Ankle sprains in soccer or hamstring strains in runners.

Shin Splints

  • What They Are: Pain along the shin bone, usually caused by repeated trauma to the connective muscle tissue surrounding the bone.
  • Common Causes: Overuse, especially in sports that involve a lot of running on hard surfaces.
  • Prevention Tip: Proper footwear and a gradual increase in intensity can help manage and prevent shin splints.

ACL Injuries

  • What They Are: Injury to the anterior cruciate ligament, one of the key ligaments that help stabilize the knee joint.
  • Common Causes: These injuries are common in sports that involve sudden stops and changes in direction like basketball and soccer.
  • Prevention Tip: Strengthening exercises for the legs, hips, and core, along with proper technique, reduce the risk of ACL injuries.

Tennis Elbow

  • What They Are: A painful condition caused by overuse of the elbow, not limited to tennis players.
  • Common Causes: Any repetitive gripping activities, especially if they use the thumb and first two fingers.
  • Prevention Tip: Stretching and strengthening exercises for the forearm, alongside proper technique, can prevent this injury.

Rotator Cuff Injuries

  • What They Are: Injuries to any of the four rotator cuff muscles in the shoulder, crucial for lifting and rotating the arm.
  • Common Causes: Frequent throwing or overhead motions, as seen in baseball or swimming.
  • Prevention Tip: Proper warm-ups and strengthening exercises can greatly reduce the risk of shoulder injuries.

The rotator cuff is a group of muscles and tendons that stabilize the shoulder joint. Throwing sports like baseball, tennis, and swimming commonly put stress on the rotator cuff, leading to potential tears.

Signs of a Rotator Cuff Injury:
  • Pain when raising your arm overhead or reaching behind your back
  • Weakness in the shoulder
  • Clicking or popping sensations in the shoulder
  • Difficulty sleeping on the affected side
  • ACL Tears: A Season-Ender (But Not Always!)

The anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) is a crucial ligament stabilizing the knee joint. Sudden changes in direction or pivoting maneuvers on a planted leg can cause an ACL tear, often accompanied by a popping sound and immediate instability. ACL tears can be season-ending injuries and require medical evaluation and potentially surgery.

Enhancing Athletic Performance

Sports Injury Prevention Chicago

At Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we go beyond just treating injuries; we help athletes improve their overall performance. Through targeted therapies and innovative techniques, we can help enhance your strength, flexibility, and endurance. Our team of skilled chiropractors and therapists use advanced sports medicine techniques to help you achieve your peak performance.

Sports Injury Recovery and Rehabilitation

Despite all precautions, injuries can still occur. Our comprehensive approach to treatment ensures that you can return to the sport you love as quickly and safely as possible. We offer:

  • Physical Therapy: Customized rehabilitation programs designed to address the specific needs of your injury and sport.
  • Chiropractic Care: Drug-free treatments that relieve pain, improve range of motion, and accelerate healing.
  • Tailored Recovery Plans: Each athlete receives a recovery plan tailored to their specific circumstances, ensuring the best possible outcome.

Spring Forward with Injury Prevention Strategies

Now that you’re familiar with common injuries and how we can help, let’s equip you with the tools to conquer them! Here are some key strategies that you can do on your own to prevent spring sports injuries:

  • Warm-Up Like a Pro: Before any activity, engage in dynamic stretches that mimic the movements of your chosen sport. This prepares your muscles and joints for action.
  • Cool Down Gracefully: Don’t neglect static stretches after your workout to improve flexibility and reduce muscle soreness.
  • Listen to Your Body: Pushing through pain can lead to more serious injuries. Take rest days and allow your body adequate recovery time.
  • Gradual Progression is Key: Don’t jump back into intense workouts after a break. Gradually increase the intensity and duration of your training sessions.
  • Master the Art of Technique: Proper form is crucial for injury prevention. Consider consulting a coach or trainer to ensure proper technique in your chosen sport.
  • Strength Training is Your Ally: Building strength in core and stabilizing muscles provides better support for your joints and reduces injury risk.

Advanced Spine and Sports Care: Your Partner in Peak Performance

Advanced Spine and Sports Care: Your Partner in Peak Performance

Spring in Chicago is a fantastic time for sports, but it’s also a peak season for injuries. At Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we’re here to help you prevent those injuries, enhance your performance, and recover effectively if you do get injured. Remember, the best way to enjoy your favorite spring sports is to play it safe and smart.

Whether you’re a seasoned athlete or just starting out, our team is ready to support your health and athletic ambitions. For more information on how we can help you stay active and injury-free, contact us today or visit us at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, your premier destination for sports injury prevention and rehabilitation in Chicago.

Common CrossFit Injuries and How Chiropractic Can Help

CrossFit Injury Treatments in Chicago

Burpees, wall balls, deadlifts, plyometrics—sound familiar? While these are all common exercises performed in CrossFit regimens, they’re also responsible for the common injuries that occur during CrossFit when not executed properly.

As CrossFit has gained popularity in recent years, so has its list of critics. But at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, our goal isn’t to dissuade anyone from CrossFit, or any other type of physical activity that you enjoy doing for that matter. Rest assured, CrossFitters can still enjoy their WOD (workout of day).

We do, however, want to help CrossFitters understand potential injuries involved in the sport and how to prevent them, just as we would educate athletes involved in any activity, such as volleyball or soccer.

Below, we’ve shared some of the most common CrossFit injuries, ways to avoid them, and why chiropractic care deserves just as significant of a part as your WOD in your healthy fitness regimen.

Common CrossFit Injuries

Sports Care & Treatments in Chicago

Lower Back Pain and Strain

CrossFit offers a multi-modal exercise approach, which translates into a lot of compound and complex movements. Athletes who are new to CrossFit and jump headfirst into the sport without proper training about form and technique are at risk here, especially when it comes to lower back pain and strain. It takes time to learn and practice proper alignment, as well as develop those supporting muscles. When complex movements are mixed with heavy weight, which is often the case in CrossFit, it can be a recipe for disaster if too much is attempted too soon.

If athletes experience lower back pain, they should immediately halt their training and seek help from a qualified physician who specializes in back pain and care.

Rotator Cuff Tendonitis

A significant part of many CrossFit regimens includes lifting heavy weights over your head. If you don’t warm up properly or have good technique when lifting, this can put you at risk for a rotator cuff injury or tear. Even lighter activities (think wall-ball shots) can cause pain and strain when not executed correctly.

As with any type of tendonitis, it is essential to rest the affected area as much as possible by avoiding putting strain on it until the pain has stopped as well as performing stretches to keep it limber. In between stretching, icing is recommended until the pain is sufficiently healed.

Anterior Knee Pain

Significant attention should be paid to proper knee alignment when executing movements during CrossFit, as knees are particularly vulnerable in this program. This is especially important if you’re an athlete who has had any previous knee injuries, as those injuries can be aggravated by CrossFit and perhaps cause lasting damage.

Sometimes anterior knee pain can be associated with overuse or strain, and can usually be handled by icing, lowering impact, and doing stretches. If pain is more intense and prolonged swelling, you should seek medical help as a dislocation or misalignment may be present.

Tennis Elbow

With all of the heavy lifting, bending, and stretching found in CrossFit, a person’s elbows are also at risk for injury. Tennis elbow refers to a strain of this joint as a result of overuse of tendons and ligaments. Beginners should exercise caution by not adding weight to workouts without first understanding proper lifting mechanics.

If pain is felt in the elbow, the elbow should be iced until the pain and swelling goes down.

How to Avoid Common CrossFit Injuries:

With the increase in popularity, many CrossFit locations are popping up, but that doesn’t mean they are all created equal. Do your research when it comes to a gym, including asking questions such as:

How are your trainers trained?

There are multiple levels of certification within CrossFit, so it is more than reasonable to ask who you are working with, how they have trained, and their level of experience. These certifications range from entry-level courses (Level 1 and Level 2 Certificate Course) to advanced credentials achieved via examination such as the Certified CrossFit Level 3 Trainer and the Certified CrossFit Level 4 Coach.

How will you introduce me to CrossFit?

Like any physical activity from running to swimming to weightlifting, proper introduction and instruction into the correct form during CrossFit activities are key components of keeping you injury-free. Choose a gym that emphasizes your learning. Keep asking questions and looking for guidance until you feel confident in your performance.

In addition to these questions, you should:

Take note of the questions you are being asked.

A good gym not only recognizes your personal fitness goals, but they should also be interested in any past injuries you might have. This knowledge is critical in keeping you safe during future workouts, as well as providing room for modifications and teaching opportunities should you need them.

If you do become injured, seek professional care.

It may be tempting to train through the pain to make progress, but chances are, if something continues to hurt, something is wrong. Continuing to work out when something is amiss can certainly make the problem worse and delay the healing process.

At Advanced Spine and Sports Care, we have a team of dedicated sports specialists and have developed a great understanding of CrossFit injuries over our years of experience. This includes treating injuries, as well as optimizing the body for the demanding CrossFit regimen.

How Chiropractic Can Help with CrossFit

Before you even begin CrossFit, chiropractors can help to unlock your body’s flexibility, most notably in your back. This flexibility will better your resilience to injury as well as allow you to approach lifting exercises properly. After all, the best injury is the one that never occurs.

In the result of injury, though, chiropractors can effectively make adjustments to the back in order to reduce inflammation and direct blood flow to the area of injury to promote healing. But chiropractic care isn’t isolated to just backs—chiropractors are adept at solving a multitude of musculoskeletal complaints including but not limited to knee, shoulder, neck, and elbow pain.

If you’re considering joining the ever-growing world of CrossFit, or if you are simply interested in living a healthier, more active lifestyle, book an appointment Advanced Spine & Sports Care. We can help get you in the best possible shape and keep you injury-free, so you can continue doing the activities you love.


Benefits of Spinal Care for the Whole Body



Spinal Care for the Whole Body

Although visiting a chiropractor for spinal care can help to reduce or eliminate back pain, it also offers a host of other benefits for your entire body. Your central nervous system is responsible for connecting the systems of your body, enabling communication between them. If your spine is misaligned or damaged, your nervous system suffers too.

Your body will no longer be able to facilitate its own healing effectively, and this increases the chances of injuries, illnesses and pain. Good chiropractic spinal care can determine the underlying causes of the issues that you experience and treat those problems so you can find relief.

The Anatomy Of The Spine

The spine’s anatomy can be divided into three sections – the lumbar, thoracic and cervical spinal regions. Each of those sections is composed of vertebrae, with 7 in the cervical region, 12 in the thoracic region and 5 in the lumbar region.

Each individual vertebra is also composed of a number of parts. The vertebra’s body is the key area for weight bearing. It also supplies a place for the discs that separate the vertebrae from each other to rest on. The spinal canal is a hole in the vertebra’s center and the spinal nerves run through this hole. It is covered by the lamina. 

Spinal Vertebra, Joints & Disks

The bone you’re able to feel when you run your hand down your back is the spinous process while you’ll find the paired transverse processes oriented at a 90-degree angle to it. This is where the back muscles are attached. Each vertebra also has 4 facet joints – one pair facing upwards and another pair facing downwards – which give the spine extra stability.

Between each vertebra, there is a disc. This acts as a cushion between the bones and is composed of two separate parts – the annulus or outer hard layer and the nucleus which is the moist center.

Spinal Cord Nerve Connections

The spinal cord contains millions of nerve fibers running through the spinal canal. Extending from the brain down to the lumbar vertebrae, it branches out in groups of fibers which form the nerves which go through to your body’s lower half.

  1. Nerves of the cervical spine area connect to the arms and upper chest.
  2. Nerves of the thoracic spine area connect with the abdomen and chest.
  3. Nerves of the lumbar spine area connect with the bladder, bowel and legs.

The nerve fibers branch off, forming pairs of nerve roots which travel through small openings between the vertebrae. The nerves of every part of the spinal cord are connected to different body parts. This explains why spinal cord damage causes paralysis to certain areas but not others.

Pinched Nerve Treatment Options

The nerves carry impulses from the brain to the body and back again. This enables us to move and to experience sensations. However, nerves may become compressed. This means they cannot function properly. The result can be pain, numbness, tingling or altered sensations.

There are several causes of pinched nerves. Bulging discs are one common cause along with compression by bones or tight muscles. There are several forms of treatment for pinched nerves. Pain relief or anti-inflammatory medications may be helpful as may physiotherapy, massage or osteopathy chiropractic treatment is often the best solution.

Vertebral Subluxation Chiropractic Treatment

If the spine is misaligned, physiological functions and movement integrity are compromised. This is known as vertebral subluxation. There are a number of causes for this condition from car accidents and improper lifting to living a sedentary lifestyle and poor posture.

When the vertebrae lose their healthy position or motion, a number of health issues can arise. A skilled chiropractor can detect vertebral subluxation and address it. By offering spinal decompression and chiropractic adjustments we can help to relieve pain and symptoms.

Spinal Treatments for Peak Athletic Performance & Overall Health

Both professional and amateur athletes can benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care. As chiropractic treatment is effective, safe and non-evasive, it represents an excellent way for athletes at all levels to continue playing sports at their peak level of performance. In fact, having regular chiropractic treatments can maximize your musculoskeletal performance and prevent injuries, while also helping to better manage any existing injuries.

By having consistent chiropractic adjustments before a sporting event or an important game, athletes can be confident they will enjoy a complete range of movement in all their joints with no resistance. This can help give them an edge over their competitors in the competitive sporting arena.

Those who participate in a diverse range of sports can benefit from chiropractic. From tennis and racing to biking and soccer, chiropractic care can keep athletes playing and prevent a minor injury from getting out of hand.

For those who have already suffered from a sports injury, having a chiropractic checkup is especially important to detect any damage in the spine and to minimize any further complications.

Here at Advanced Spine & Sports Care, we provide a comprehensive range of sports chiropractic treatment services & corrective exercise plans to suit the needs of all types of athlete. We can also treat an extensive range of sports injuries, from those caused by contact sports such as football, hockey and mixed martial arts to those caused as a result of overexertion at the gym from excess weightlifting.

Advanced Spine & Sports Care – Sports Injuries We Treat

Read More