Physical Rehabilitation & Prevention in Sports Injuries

Coppell Chiropractor and Physical TherapySport Injuries, including knee injuries, shoulder injuries and even ankle injuries tend to occur in sporting activities. Professional athletes in particular, are prone to injuries due to the excessive wear and tear associated with the demands of competitive sports. The right exercise program to maintain strength, flexibility and stability can help athletes recover quickly after an injury, empowering them to resume athletic activities.

Sports injuries, by definition, include injuries involving the musculo-skeletal system. The musculo-skeletal system includes the bones, tissues, muscles, and cartilage. Every injury is different and every person heals differently. The purpose of rehabilitation is to help the injured tissues recover in a controlled and supervised manner. It takes time for an injury to heal, and it’s best to seek the guidance of an experienced Core Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Specialist during this time.

Our Core Rehab Specialists can design a safe and effective recovery program specifically geared towards your individual injury, abilities and goals. Our specialists can identify the cause of the injury, create a treatment plan and also teach preventative measures of further injury in the future.

Some of the most common sports injuries include sprains, strains, shin splints and knee injuries. If you or someone you know is injured, schedule an evaluation with a rehab specialist as quickly as possible.

87491248Core Physical Medicine Rehabilitation – The Right Choice

Our Core Physical Medicine Rehabilitation Specialists are healthcare professionals with extensive training in the musculo-skeletal system. Our specialists can work closely with you to assess muscle imbalance, range of motion and functional requirements of that particular sport.

For example, a baseball pitcher may need a shoulder stabilization program; while a basketball player may need a speed and plyometric (explosive strength) training program. Our Rehab Specialists can evaluate, identify, and plan a sport-specific injury prevention and (once the injury is treated) an athletic performance program that can help the athlete regain full potential.

As part of the exercise therapy program, your rehab specialist can teach stretches and exercises; often using special equipment to reach specific goals. Rehab focuses on reducing pain and improving function as quickly as possible. Rest is an important part of the recovery process. Rest, combined with physical rehabilitation, is the best recipe for recovery after being injured.

Don’t Wait For an Injury…

An injury is the last thing an you want. Without properly rehabilitation, the damage can get worse. Physical rehab will help you heal and return to normal. In many cases, rehab can also help to strengthen a particular areas to avoid future injuries.

Taking the time to go through a safe, effective and comprehensive rehab program requires time and patience, but it’s the best way for you to resume and continue your sport or activity. It’s a great way to come back to the sport you love and enjoy it, while minimizing the likelihood of re-injury.

If you or someone you know is an athlete, or just needs to get back on the “playing field”, consider working one of our other Rehab Specialists at Core Physical Medicine. In fact, you don’t have to wait till you are injured, because a Rehabilitation Specialist can help you improve performance and minimize injury.

A preventive, proactive approach is likely to help you even more. Don’t wait till you get injured. There is a lot that a our Core Rehab Specialists can do. We can design the right program and get you great results, whether its athletic enhancement or recovery from an injury.

Our Core Rehab Specialists assess and develop safe and effective physical rehabilitation exercises and conditioning programs for clients with cardiovascular, musculo-skeletal, neurological and metabolic disorders. Contact us today for more information.

Your Workout Injury Prevention Plan

Can you relate to this scenario? After putting it off for too long, you commit to get fit—only to find yourself injured the minute you start working out.

All of the sudden your fitness goals go back on the shelf and you are left to deal with the pain.

Whether your injury occurs right off the bat or after years of regular workouts the result is always the same. It is discouraging, painful and downright depressing.

And since studies suggest that up to 38% of all exercisers suffer from an injury each year, it is a subject worth exploring.

Top 3 Workout Injuries
The following three ailments occur commonly among active people. Let’s explore the cause of each and then detail your very own injury prevention plan—because let’s face it, you simply don’t have time to spend nursing and injury (and losing all that progress you had made).

1. Strain / Pulled Muscle: occurs when a tendon (connects muscle to bone) or muscle is stretched or torn. If you suffer from a strain you will feel pain and swelling in the muscle belly, or loss of function if the strain occurred in a tendon. Many strains occur as the result of an improper warm-up and insufficient stretching.

2. Sprain: occurs when a ligament (connects bone to bone) is stretched or torn. While this can happen to any ligament in your body, the most common placements of sprains are in the ankle, wrist and knee. Often this injury will happen suddenly as the ligament is stretched beyond its normal limit, usually during a fall or other acute trauma.

3. Low Back Pain: it is said that 80% of the population will experience back pain at some point in their lives—and the list of causes is as diverse as the sufferers themselves. Here are the main reasons for workout related back pain:

  • Improper form: Similar to bad posture, using improper form while performing weight bearing exercises will leave your back sore and aching. The good news is that once your form is corrected this pain should subside after a healing period.
  • Weak muscles: If you have a desk job then chances are your deep back muscles are inactive and unconditioned. When you start an exercise program, but fail to properly strengthen these muscles, the result is often an aching back.
  • Strained muscles: Not to pick on that desk job, but another result of sitting all day is tight back muscles. When these muscles are not properly warmed up and stretched before exercise begins, muscle strains occur.

Your 5-Step Injury Prevention Plan
Injuries don’t have to slow you from meeting your fitness goals. The following 5 steps will dramatically reduce your chance of injury and if you do find yourself injured, but have been following these 5 steps, your recovery will be quick and efficient.

Step 1: Stretch
What is more boring than stretching? You want to exercise, not sit around touching your toes—right? Even though it isn’t exciting, stretching is the best way to increase muscle elasticity and durability. Tight muscles are big contributors to strains—remember? Take the time to stretch everyday before and after your workout to stave off injury.

Step 2: Warm Up
Preparing for your workout should not begin and end with putting on your gym clothes. Your muscles need to be coaxed into motion by way of a 10-15 minute warm up in order to prepare them for injury-free use. Cold muscles are less elastic and are therefore more prone to tears.

Step 3: Proper Gear
For most fitness enthusiasts proper gear has everything to do with their shoes. Don’t be fooled—not just any shoe will do. Find shoes that offer support and traction for your exercise of choice, and make sure that they aren’t too tight or too loose. If you are prone to ankle injuries then try a pair of high-tops for extra support.

Step 4: Lifestyle
Stop for a moment and think about your car—if you don’t maintain it with regular tune ups, oil changes and quality fuel then you can’t expect it to perform well on the road. The same applies to your body. Getting healthy amounts of sleep, eating well balanced meals and staying hydrated will all contribute to your performance during exercise. The healthier your lifestyle is the less likely you are to suffer an injury.

Step 5: Condition
This may seem like the most obvious step to injury prevention, but unfortunately it is the most overlooked. People who keep their bodies in top condition by exercising regularly and maintaining a healthy lifestyle are the least likely to injure themselves. When exercise programs are started and stopped sporadically your muscles are most likely to become injured.

Of course being conditioned also has another great benefit that everyone enjoys – you get to look and feel great! And who doesn’t what that, right?

If you’ve ever tried to rehab an injury or continue your post-rehab programming on your own and didn’t succeed, I feel your pain. Until now, trying to bridge the gap between your healthcare and fitness on your own has been difficult.

The best option? Core Physical Medicine! Our goal is to help you achieve a healthier life. We believe that being healthy is more than just the absence of pain. True health is having the ability to do what you need and want to do. We have helped hundreds of patients regain their quality of life and would love to include you on our list of successes.

Wouldn’t you love to see awesome results before this summer comes to an end? Simply contact us today to get started. It’s time to take action and get the results that you deserve!

Protecting Your Back

Creating and maintaining good posture decreases your risk of developing back problems. Achieving comfortable, good posture will provide a functional range of movement that will allow you to perform daily activities safely.

Even if your back feels OK at the movement, you may be straining it if you:

  1. Have poor posture.
  2. Move your body incorrectly.
  3. Are out of shape or overweight.

All of these strains add up until one day a simple act like bending over can bring on back pain.

When correctly aligned the back has three curves. It curves in (forward) at your neck (1), out in the chest region (2), and in again in the lower back (3). These curves help distribute pressure evenly throughout the vertebrae and discs.

Body mechanics is defined as the way in which you move your body and back. Good body mechanics includes lifting loads close to your body to reduce strain on your back and maintaining your three natural curves to keep your back in balance.


  1. Stand close to the object to be lifted.
  2. Spread your feet wide apart to straddle the object.
  3. Squat, bending your knees and hips, keeping your back in proper alignment.
  4. Contract your stomach muscles.
  5. Lift by using the work of your leg muscles, not your back.
  6. When lifting with another person, one person should say when to lift, walk and unload.
  7. Do not twist as you lift. Instead, pivot with your hips and shoulders in line and shift your weight.
  8. Mentally prepare, by planning what you are going to do.


  1. Push, don?t pull, whenever possible.
  2. Stay close to the object.
  3. Do not lean forward.
  4. Use both arms and tighten your stomach muscles.
  5. Never push or pull with a bent back.


[Correct Standing Image]

  1. Change position often.
  2. Wear comfortable shoes and stand on a soft surface.
  3. Bring your work to a comfortable level, do not bend over it.
  4. Rest one leg on a stool to reduce stress on the back.



  1. Sit in a chair that supports your lower back. If the chair does not support your back sufficiently, you can place a lumbar cushion (which can be bought at your local pharmacy) at the level of your low back, for added support.
  2. Position your chair so that your knees are at least as high as your hips when your feet are flat on the floor.
  3. Your desktop should be slightly above your waist.
  4. Sit close to your work, do not lean over it.
  5. Do not slump over while sitting.
  6. Take frequent breaks to get up and stretch.

[Correct Sitting Image] [Incorrect Sitting Image]


  1. Let your legs do the work.
  2. Stand with your feet shoulder length apart, one foot ahead of the other.
  3. Contract your stomach muscles.
  4. To lower you upper body, bend with your knees and hips, keeping your back in proper alignment. Rest one knee on the floor for extra support if needed.


  1. Keep loads small if possible.
  2. Tighten your stomach muscles before lifting.
  3. Change positions frequently.
  4. Turn your entire body by taking little steps or pivoting, do not twist.


  1. Keep proper spinal alignment
  2. Bend knees
  3. Keep stomach muscles tight
  4. Use larger muscle groups
  5. Keep loads close to the body
  6. Maintain stability and balance throughout
  7. Mentally prepare and plan before lifting
  8. Avoid twisting


Keeping Your Abdominal Muscles in Shape

Although toned abdominal muscles may look attractive, they actually serve a very important role in helping to stabilize the back. When abdominal muscles are strong they can help stabilize the pelvis and lumbar spine when the hips flex by preventing an increase in lumbar lordosis.

Contracting the abdominals, especially the deep inner muscles, causes an increase in intra-abdominal pressure. The increased pressure pushes out against the back which helps the back to stabilize itself. This is helpful in everyday activities from lifting objects to playing sports.

The anterior and lateral trunk muscles consist of four muscles. These muscles are large sheaths arranged in layers with fibers running in different directions. Together they are responsible for trunk flexion, rotation, lateral bending, and aiding trunk stability.

The rectus abdominis is the most superficial of the abdominal muscles. It originates at the xiphoid process and costal cartilages 5-7 and inserts into the pubic crest and symphysis. It is easy to see on a person with developed abdominal musculature, it is sometimes referred to as a “six-pack.” The primary function of the rectus is that it acts as a trunk stabilizer and flexor.

The external abdominal oblique covers the abdomen anteriorly and laterally. This muscle originates from the external surface of the lower ribs and runs in a downward diagonal pattern as it inserts into the external lip of the opposite illiac crest. The muscle contracts unilaterally as it rotates the trunk to the opposite side.

The internal abdominal oblique helps to stabilize the trunk. This muscle lies under the external oblique, however the muscle?s fibers run in an upward diagonal pattern from the thoracolumbar fascia and the illiac crest to the lower three ribs and costal margins and to the pubis. This muscle contracts with the opposite side external oblique to rotate the trunk to the same side.

The transversus abdominis is the deepest of the abdominal muscles. The fibers which run in a transverse direction serve to enclose or compress the abdomen. The muscle originates at the lower ribs, thoracolumbar fascia, crest of the illium and inguinal ligament and inserts into an aponeurosis.


To train and strengthen the abdominal muscles so that they may help to stabilize the back and pelvis, different exercises consisting of different movements must be done to target each muscle.

Pelvic tilt
This exercise is a subtle movement that will teach you the correct position your back should be in when doing abdominal exercises. Begin by lying on your back on a mat with your knees bent. Tighten your stomach and flatten your back into the floor. Your feet should remain flat on the floor while you hold this position for six seconds. Slowly release and roll back to the original position.
1 set of 10

Lie on your back on a mat with knees bent, feet hip width apart and flat on the floor. Rest your hands behind your head. Tighten your stomach and lift your shoulder blades off the floor. Exhale as you lift up and hold for a count of two. Slowly lower down to the floor while inhaling. Do not pull your head up with your hands, leave your fingers resting lightly on your head.
1 set of 20

Reverse curl/crunch
Lie on your back on a mat with fingertips behind your head. Raise legs in the air with hips and knees both bent to 90 deg. (shins should be parallel to the floor). Simultaneously pull hips off the floor while contracting abdominals in a slow motion. Hold for two seconds and release.
20 reps

Oblique twist
Lie on your back on a mat with both knees bent at a 90 deg. angle (shins should be parallel to the floor). Fingertips behind the head and elbows pointed out. Extend right leg out while pulling left leg in toward your chest. Simultaneously raise your shoulders and twist your trunk so your right shoulder approaches your left knee. Hold for one second then repeat with opposite side.
Alternate for twenty reps (2 twists equals one rep)

When doing these exercises be conscientious about your form and technique. If you experience back pain, these exercises may not be ideal for you and you should discontinue the exercises. Be conscious of your posture, whether sitting or standing, use your abs to keep your back straight.

Stretching to Avoid Injury & Stay in Shape

stretchingMost sports medicine professionals agree that those athletes who take the time to really care for their bodies experience far fewer injuries than those who act reckless with regard to their health.

It is really important to remember exactly what a benefit stretching provides when you are trying to decide if spending time stretching is worth it.  The exact benefits are almost limitless, however there are some specific benefits that virtually all athletes should experience.

It is really important to remember exactly what a benefit stretching provides when you are trying to decide if spending time stretching is worth it.  The exact benefits are almost limitless, however there are some specific benefits that virtually all active individuals should experience.

Among the benefits of stretching there are the improvements to your circulations, range of motions, posture, overall performance and even your ability to relax after working out.  However this is not all that stretching provides, it also helps you decrease the tension in muscles and can even assist in reducing overall joint stiffness that can occur after a work out.  The overall benefit of stretching is possible to achieve in as little as 10 minutes before starting an actual workout, which makes it very easy to work into any routine that you are exploring.

By properly ensuring that you are stretching, you are not only providing the benefits to your body, but you are also able to reduce the number of times you are forced to go to the doctor over an injury.  Most active individuals would rather be playing their favorite sport rather than sitting in a doctor’s office being treated.  However, while most active individuals would prefer not to spend time being treated, it is still important to seek treatment for all injuries that occur rather than leaving them unattended.

With proper attention paid to stretching in addition to an appropriate exercise routine it is possible to greatly reduce the number of injuries that occur.  While not all injuries can be avoided by stretching, it can help to reduce the severity of many injuries as well as reducing the overall number of injuries.  It is highly important to work with a coach or other sports medicine professional to develop a routing for stretching that is most effective for your individual lifestyle as well as body type.

Especially important for active individuals is discussing their workout habits and any previous injuries when selecting a stretching routine.  By carefully choosing the proper exercises and stretches it is possible to help protect against further injury, and really tailor the workout to your exact individual needs.  However, just merely stretching to stretch can sometimes void the benefits if the stretches are not the proper type.  For example, if you are a runner and focus more emphasis on stretching your arms you are going to see fewer benefits than someone who stretches their back as well as legs before actually running.

Deciding with your sports medicine team the appropriate exercises, number of repetitions and all other pertinent details of your stretching program also helps to ensure that your entire team knows exactly what you are doing, and can make modifications and adjustments based upon what you need as an individual, as well as what you need to improve your overall athletic ability.  It is very important to carefully select exercises that are appropriate for your needs at the time of the warm up as well.  This means specifically, if you have an injury to your hamstring muscle, you should give it some rest for a couple of days at a minimum.

This brings to light the importance of talking to your doctor and learning to listen to your body.  If you feel as if the stretches you are doing cause you more harm than they help, it is time to rework your routine and change how you are treating your body.  Remember, changing the types of stretches that you do is perfectly acceptable especially when you are healing from an injury.  Working to keep your body in the best overall condition possible is your ultimate goal and working towards that goal often means having to make adjustments to a routine, often at the last minute.