March Madness is finally here and with it comes the thrill and the sprain (or strain, but we’ll get to that) – incredible wins and bracket-busting defeats. But the real “strain” referred to here has to do with muscular/spinal pain and injury. While many of us will be watching these collegiate athletes representing their schools and competing for one of the most prestigious titles in college sports, younger kids will be working towards their goals on becoming one of those elite athletes and as for us “older kids” we’ll be trying to relive our glory days on the court.

It is very common to see basketball players of all ages encounter some sort of sprain injury. A sprain is defined as is a partial or complete tear of a ligament. These includes sprain of the ankle, foot, hip, knee, low back and neck. The most common injury seen in basketball is an inversion sprain of the ankle. This is when the player’s foot lands on the lateral (outer portion) side of the foot and they “roll their ankle.” Inversion ankle injuries affect three common ligaments – the posterior talofibular ligament, anterior talofibular ligament and the calcaneofibular ligament. Besides pain, some common signs and symptoms of a sprain include stiffness and decreased range of motion in the ankle joint, bruising and the inability to bear weight on the affected foot or ankle.

A muscle strain is another common injury seen in many types of athletics. A strain is defined as an over-stretching or tearing of muscle or tendon. The most common strains seen in basketball athletes are those of the hamstring, calf, LOW BACK and NECK. These injuries are due to tight muscles or muscles that have not been properly stretched before the player takes the court. The signs and symptoms seen in strains include pain with muscle activation, immobility, muscle weakness and swelling.

There are also strains seen from those who jump off or up from the couch and high fiving your friends and doing their happy dance when your team does something good and well even strains are caused from when your team does something bad as well.

Treatment time for sprains and strains largely depends on the severity of the injury. A complete tear of any ligaments, tendon or muscle will require surgical consultation and intervention while a less severe injury may only necessitate treatment from a chiropractor with physical therapy treatment.

At the Dallas Wellness Center we have multiple providers that can treat a wide variety of sport injuries in athletes and those of course those athletes that like to watch from the couch. Our chiropractors will provide patient education about the severity of the sprain or strain injury, work with the patient to develop a treatment plan, and in some cases provide beneficial spinal manipulation due to body compensation of the injury. Our physical therapist will provide rehabilitation treatment to mobilize, stabilize and strengthen the injury. The Dallas Wellness Centers multidisciplinary approach to patient care ensures that every physician works alongside each other to provide superior individual care. So if the March Madness for you involves a strain/sprain and simple tension caused by your incorrect team selection with a basketball bracket, get the care you need to get back on the court again in no time and to simply feel great again.