Chiropractor Chandler AZ

Carson Robertson
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Triathlete Injuries - Prevention and Recovery

Triathlons are increasingly popular sporting events in the United States and worldwide, and support for the grueling run-bike-swim races is surging. In 2011 alone, nearly 2,000,000 Americans competed in triathlons, a 59 percent increase from three years earlier in 2008. More and more newcomers are joining the sport as well, and challenging themselves in ways that conventional road races cannot. With three different types of races - the sprint, Olympic, and ironman triathlons - the sport offers triathletes a wide range of challenges to test their mettle against.

highlighted leg bones jogging

There is one downside to the growing popularity of triathlons, however: injuries. Like any challenging sport, triathlons place incredible pressure on a triathlete's body, and injuries are quite common. A recent study of active triathletes in the UK concluded that over 72 percent suffered injuries of some sort. Athletes preparing for one particular triathlon in Norway reported an 87 percent injury rate. Knee and lower leg injuries are very common, as are any soft tissue issues. Fortunately, jumper's knee and a bad shoulder do not have to keep you away from the Ironman Lake Placid or the Doghouse Sprint forever; there are new and innovative techniques to treat your triathlon injuries, and keep you primed and ready for the most grueling races out there.

The Graston Technique: Tailor-Made for Triathlon Injuries

One of the newer treatments for typical triathlon injuries is the Graston Technique (GT). GT is a form of soft tissue mobilization, and involves a trained practitioner using a specially designed set of stainless steel instruments to manipulate afflicted soft tissue. The GT instruments allow clinicians to identify injured tissue, and then are used to break down scar tissue and other restrictors. The technique facilitates increased blood flow to problem areas, alleviates pain, and can speed up the recovery process. While still a relatively new medical innovation, several clinical trials have affirmed the Graston Technique's effectiveness at addressing soft tissue injuries.

Graston Technique knee pain

GT therapy is great news for new or experienced triathletes. People training for or recovering from a triathlon typically experience strained muscles and tendons, or adhesions, which keep muscles painfully tight and limit range of motion. Additionally, the multi-sport component of a triathlon often leaves athletes with a myriad of body pain and injures, all of which are extremely difficult to address with stretching or rest alone. GT can immediately address the buildup of scar tissue, alleviate lingering pain, and promote soft tissue healing. The Graston technique can be especially effective at addressing injuries before they become serious and debilitating, so it is worth checking with your physical therapist to get treatment as soon as your aches and pains start adding up.



Active Release Treatment Therapy (ART) for Triathletes

Active Release Therapy, or ART, is another relatively new non-invasive technique to treat injuries commonly seen in triathletes. ART is a patented technique that involves hand manipulation of soft tissue by a trained practitioner. ART's 500-move treatment protocol is exceptionally effective at identifying damaged soft tissue, and then treating it. These carefully designed, precision movements, like GT, can help increase blood flow, alleviate pain, and restore range of motion. All of this, again, is great news for triathletes.

ART can also help address the type of repetitive motion injuries that are endemic to the running and cycling events in triathlons. Specially trained ART practitioners are adept at identifying the source of soft tissue injury or pain, then breaking down the scar tissue causing it. Active Release Therapy is also used as a preventative measure to keep muscles and tendons primed for workouts, thus avoiding injury altogether. Indeed, ART is so popular with the sport that the ART organization has a partnership with the IRONMAN brand races, and often has dedicated ART providers supporting their triathlons.

Stay in the Race and Off the Sidelines

Triathlons are tremendous sporting events that allow participants to challenge themselves and get into phenomenal shape. The intensity of triathlons, like any other demanding sport, can frequently lead to recurring pain or injury. The Graston Technique and Active Release Therapy offer triathletes innovative ways to keep muscles and tendons in good shape, and prevent injury altogether. They are also extremely effective at treating soft tissue injuries and rapidly getting people back to the run, bike and swim races they all love to compete it. So don't let the aches and pains sideline you, Do your homework, find a clinician who offers GT or ART and keep yourself injury free and ready for the next sprint or Ironman.

The lower extremity works as a comprehensive unit performing many of the repetitive tasks of running and cycling. Injuries to one area of the musculature often indicate that additional damage has been incurred by other muscles.

wobble board squatting two feet

Many therapeutic exercises can help restore proper strength and endurance to the leg muscles. Isometric exercises are often the initial treatment exercises, followed by single plane rubber band exercises for the hip, knee, and ankle: flexion, extension, adduction, abduction, circumduction, inversion, and eversion. Dynamic exercises involving stability foam, rubber discs, an exercise ball, and BOSU balls can be performed on the floor. The more unstable of the surface, the more effort and stabilization is required of all the lower extremity muscles.

Vibration plates enhance neuromuscular learning throughout the ankle, knee, foot, hip, and back muscles. Additional strength exercises can be found on the hip, knee, and foot strengthening pages. More information for injuries and treatments for knee pain and foot pain.

Our Chandler Chiropractic & Physical Therapy clinic treats patients with a variety of muscle, tendon, joint, and ligament injuries. The clinic provides treatment for runners, tri-athletes, and weekend warriors in addition to common headache, neck, and back patients traditionally seen in Chiropractic, Physical Therapy, Massage Therapy clinics. We work with all ages and abilities of the residents in Phoenix, Tempe, Gilbert, Mesa, and Chandler AZ.