Tag: pain

prevent pain while playing a sport

How to prevent pain while playing a sport (it’s all in how you prep!)

Golf, basketball, tennis, softball….these and other sports are fulfilling hobbies for adults.

You don’t have to do sports as an elite athlete or professional to get the benefits of staying physically fit while developing life skills such as teamwork, leadership and dedication.

But whether you are a pro or hobbyist, we want you to be able to play your chosen sport with as little pain or injury as possible. Staying pain-free and uninjured is critical – for enjoyment as an amateur or for your livelihood if it is your profession.

So how do you stay a step ahead…and prevent pain while playing a sport? Here are four preventative strategies we recommend – and our role in each of them.


Condition before you start playing

It is critical to condition yourself ahead of time before jumping into a sport. A person can’t just throw themselves into a new sport without gradually conditioning the body to develop strength, flexibility, speed, endurance and the skills unique to the sport.

Start by getting a sports physical before you begin playing your sport. At Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness Center, we are able to assess and correct your faulty movement patterns. Every athlete has a weak link somewhere that can make them more prone to injury. So, we’ll help you identify yours. Improving these weak links or poor movement patterns can go a long way in helping you stay well and injury-free.

Next, develop your core strength and work on your breathing.  Believe it or not, an athlete’s core is involved in just about every action, stabilizes the spine and pelvis and providing a firm anchor for the extremities. Breathing correctly matters too! Proper movement of the diaphragm stabilizes the body and prevents injury by creating stabilizing intra-abdominal pressure in 360 degrees. At Life Care Chiropractic and Wellness Center, we have processes that evaluate the breath and determine if there are deficiencies in intra-abdominal pressure that could leave you vulnerable to injury or pain – please take advantage of this!

Finally, develop a habit for both a static stretch and a dynamic warm-up to do before you participate in your sport. Studies have shown that the dynamic warm-up is even more important than stretching for injury prevention. It warms up the muscles and prepares them for the activity coming next. We like some of these pre-exercise warmup ideas from Men’s Fitness.

prevent pain while playing a sport


Make sure you have the right footgear

Another critical component of playing sports pain-free is wearing custom-made foot orthotics. Your feet are your foundation, after all. Pronation, arch collapse or even unsupported high arches can leave you vulnerable to pain and injury. In our office, we do a 3D foot scan to assess the condition of your feet and prescribe Foot Levelers orthotics when needed. Foot Levelers has done research showing positive effects of athletes wearing orthotics during their sport. From reducing football injuries, creating some improvement of vertical leap and improving balance and proprioception in golfers, orthotics have been shown to have positive effects for athletes.

It is no secret that most professional athletes and Olympians are routinely treated by a chiropractor. And no wonder – seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis helps to achieve optimal function and performance of an athlete. Chiropractors are uniquely trained to looks at biomechanics, nervous system function, balance and posture. If an athlete does experience pain, chiropractic is a great way to quickly get the person out of pain naturally and effectively.

Getting connected with a chiropractor before you begin playing a sport or have a sports-related injury is a smart move. Tom Brady of the New England Patriots said, “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”


Fuel your body properly

You may not realize this but nutrition is critical in staying fit and pain-free. It starts with proper hydration and electrolyte balance to prevent muscles from going into spasms and generating cramps and strains. But proper nutrition is also essential in maintaining strength, speed and endurance during play. If you do end up in pain after playing your sport, there are many ways to turn down inflammatory pathways with food and supplement protocols. Tumeric and Omega 3 fish oils are great for reducing inflammation. Also, we actually have a way of testing your Inflammation Index through a finger prick test and can use the results to make a plan for reducing your inflammation.  Just ask us about it.


Move in other ways

Our last preventative strategy is to find ways to move your body in ways that aren’t the same as the repetitive movements of your chosen sport. Anytime you do a motion over and over again, you run the risk of injury. Variety of movement is important to mitigate this risk. Take a yoga class once a week, get together with some friends for a friendly game of softball or kickball or go for a hike on the weekend. Just do physical activity that is different from your normal sport. And remember that everyone needs a rest day so that the body can heal and restore itself.

It may be impossible to go through a season of sports with absolutely no pain or injury, but there you can lessen your odds for an injury, how much pain you will be in and how long you will be in pain. Just follow some of our preventative strategies. And maybe just maybe, you can get through your season completely pain-free!


Dr. Sharman

pain from housework and yard work

How to Avoid Pain from Housework and Yard Work in 5 Steps

Whether we do it because we like it – or because we have to – housework and yard work can cause neck and back pain to flare up, leaving us sore or even worse, causing an injury. If you have a pre-existing issue in your neck or back, you’ve always got to be cautious about reinjuring yourself. And if you don’t have that kind of pain already, the last thing you want is to start down a path of chronic back or neck pain. Fortunately, you have more control over this than you think.


Here are five ways to prevent you from experiencing minor annoyances to major pain that can occur from doing household chores. Take them to heart and you can have a clean house, a nice yard, AND feel well!


Feet First

First and foremost, wear supportive shoes. I cannot tell you how many of my patients complain that their back pain flared up horribly over the weekend after cleaning and cooking a lot. With some probing, I often find out that they were walking barefoot around the house while doing all of those activities. I hear similar stories with yard work only to find out that the patient was wearing flip flops in the yard. Having proper arch support in the feet can take stress off the knees, hip and back. So, start your house and yard work by wearing supportive shoes – or even better – wear custom made orthotics in your shoes for optimal support. Don’t have any? We can help you get some right here in our office.


Drink Up

Stay hydrated. You’ve heard me talk about hydration for many health reasons. It applies here as well. If it is hot outside, add some electrolytes to your water. Being well hydrated and not letting your electrolytes get too low will help prevent muscle cramping and spasms. My preference for this is EmergenC, as it is quick, inexpensive and easy to find at any drugstore.


Take a Stand

pain from housework and yard workHow you stand or bend can make a big difference in avoiding pain after household activities. When sweeping or raking, try a scissor stance with your legs instead of bending forward. Put one leg forward and one leg back, keeping your chest up while you sweep or rake. Switch feet every so often.

If your activity involves lifting, lift properly, slowly and mindfully! Keep your legs about a shoulder width apart. If the object is awkward or large, it is okay to widen your stance. Also make sure to:

  • Get right in front of what you are lifting. Never lean to the side or twist to lift.
  • Squat by bending the knees and flexing at the hips, pushing your buttocks backwards but keeping your chest up as much as possible.
  • Hold the object you are lifting close to your body. When you set it down, do the same thing in reverse. Never twist or lean to the side to set the item back down.

RELATED: How Poor Posture Can Equate to Lower Back Pain


Gimme’ a Break

Better yet, don’t try to do the entire task in one day. Because we live such busy lives, we have so little time. I often find that patients hurt themselves because they try to fit a large project into their one, free day of the weekend. Whether you can and should take on a large task in one day depends on your fitness level and how easily fatigued you get. So, you may want to just clean the bathrooms one day instead of the whole house! Or just do the front yard work and leave the back for another day instead of taking on your whole yard.


All the Right Moves

Exercises are not just for general fitness – specific ones can be preventive for pain. Since most house and yard work involves repeated bending, it is great to counteract that by taking breaks and doing a few McKenzie press ups if you are able. The video below shows how to do them properly. If you experience back pain during the press up, see if you can only go part way up without pain. You may also find that after one or two press ups, the pain starts to get better.



My Final Thoughts

I’ve found that it can be normal to feel a little sore the next day after doing a lot of house or yard work, similar to when you have had an intense day at the gym. So, a little soreness is no reason to be concerned. What I don’t want for you is joint and muscle injury or inflammation. If you do feel that you have caused something to flare up, use ice rather than heat to treat the painful area, as the issue more than likely involves inflammation. If the pain doesn’t resolve itself in a few days, give us a call, as it could be more serious.

Want more detailed information about yard work safety? Check out the American Chiropractic Association’s page dedicated to this information.

Dr. Sharman