Minor Sport Injuries

Minor sports injuries can best be defined as musculoskeletal conditions arising secondary to sporting or athletic conditions. Sports injuries include muscle strains, meniscal injuries (knees), ligament sprains (knees), tendonitis and bursitis.


Chiropractors manage sports injuries by undertaking a full assessment, performing a physical examination and utilising diagnostic imaging where appropriate.

Evidence based summary for manual therapy [53]

The benefits of chiropractic in comparison to normal treatment for the prevention of non-contact knee injuries in players of Australian Rules Football shave been shown in a single blinded randomised controlled trial. Incidence of injury in the chiropractic intervention group was 3.6%, in the control group 24.1%. There was a statistically significant difference in the number of matches missed – 1 in the intervention group, 24 in the control group [106].

Back-in-Action Clinical Comment

As musculoskeletal specialists, chiropractors have expertise in this field of care and utilise interventions which are common to other health professions providing care in this area. It therefore follows that there is a substantial evidence base to support the application of physical modalities to the treatment and rehabilitation of minor sports injuries.

Chiropractors treat minor sports injuries using a package of care that may include self help recommendations of using ice or heat is often given in the acute stage and limiting of aggravating activities. Nutritional approaches can be beneficial to help support soft tissue healing. Chiropractic adjusting techniques (manipulation) and mobilisation may be applied to improve the function of the knee joint itself and other functionally related joints in the lower back and leg. Various muscle release techniques may be applied. An emphasis is placed on self help exercise which might include self mobilisation, stretching, strengthening and balance training. Core stability exercise often is useful for improving the position of the low back, pelvis, knee and hip. Areas of severe muscle spasm may also benefit from massage or acupuncture. Foot orthotics, heel lifts, sitting advice and other ways to improve postural problems affecting the knee may be suggested. Functional neurological treatment and exercises can be helpful.

Severe sports injuries, usually benefit more from a medical approach, at least in the first few months.

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