Why I Know High School Football Injuries & How to Help


Fall in the Carolinas means two things -- cooler temperatures and football season. Many of our patients are die-hard fans of the Carolina Panthers or one of our state’s many find college teams. But nothing beats the first-hand experience of Friday night under the lights of a high school football game. From small towns to big cities, the landscape of our state lights up on Friday nights and communities come together to cheer on their local boys.

High school football is especially meaningful to Foster Chiropractic Sports and Wellness, as I played center for my own high school football team at Mission Bay High School in San Diego, CA. In fact, it was my football career that led me to pursue chiropractic as a profession.

Like many football players, I suffered my fair share of injuries. My mom knew the ice baths provided by the school trainer wouldn’t be enough to help me heal completely. She took me to a chiropractor for additional treatments, and it helped get me back on the field quickly. Visiting the chiropractor became part of the regular wellness strategy, helping me stay limber and reduce the risk of further injury.

My story of suffering an injury during high school sports career isn’t uncommon. While advances in treatments and injury prevention, as well as equipment, have helped keep the number and severity of high school football injuries down, it’s still the sport that sees the most injuries. The Colorado School of Public Health monitors high school sports injuries and through their research found an average of 12 injuries per 1,000 high school football players each year. Those injuries include:

  • 28% head or face (including concussions)

  • 14% knees

  • 11% ankles

  • 10% shoulders

Football players are regular patients in my office. Luckily there are some ways to help educate and prepare your young athlete to reduce the risk of injury in football and other sports.

Talk with your coach. At any age, whether it’s elementary school, high school or college sports, the safety of the athlete should always be a priority. Take time to talk with your child’s coach to make sure you’re all on the same page when it comes to safety. Educate yourself on the rules and regulations of your school system, and know when your child should be removed from competition and allowed to rest and recover after an injury on the field. The coach should also be teaching proper technique in each sport to help prevent injury.

Take time to warm up/cool down and stretch before every practice and game. Stretching helps keep muscles active and flexible, and combining stretching with a good warm-up routine can help reduce the risk of injury. The same goes for a cool down, which allows muscles and ligaments tense from a workout to relax.

Wear the proper equipment. Protective gear is designed for a specific reason, and it is only helpful if your student athlete is wearing it. Never play football without the correct helmet, pads and mouth gear.

Strength train year round. Recent research has shown that kids playing one sport year-round are more at-risk for overuse injuries. So while you don’t want to play football week in and week out, it is very important to stay active year round to help reduce the risk of sports injuries. Play basketball or baseball, join the swim team, or learn to play tennis. Even when school sports aren’t in session it’s important to maintain a strength-training schedule to keep your body in shape for each season.

The Benefits of Chiropractic Care for High School Athletes

In addition to the tips above, high school athletes can benefit from regular visits to the chiropractor. Proper spinal and extremity alignment can help you perform better and reduce the risk of injury. Other benefits from chiropractic care include:

  • Nutritional and dietary advice to help you gain strength and power through your workouts and games.

  • Treatments and exercises to enhance balance, stability and muscular coordination.

  • Therapeutic exercises to help reduce the risk of injury and rehabilitative exercises after injury occurs.

If you’re a high school football player in the middle of your season and suffering from sore, achy muscles, make an appointment with Foster Chiropractic Sports and Wellness today. We specialize in helping athletes recover and perform at their best level. I’m also happy to come to your school and talk with the team about how chiropractic care can help.

Speed the Healing with Cold Laser Therapy


More Americans complain of suffering from pain than the number of people who have diabetes, heart disease and cancer combined. According to the National Institute of Health, pain is the most common reason Americans seek medical help, and one in every four Americans have suffered from pain that lasts longer than 24 hours.

Those statistics are not surprising to us here at Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness. Many of our clients come to us for help with pain relief, whether it’s back pain, a sports injury, arthritis, or some other type of pain. We use a comprehensive approach that includes a number of types of treatments in addition to the alignments many people associate with chiropractic care. One of those types is cold laser treatments. 

How Cold Laser Therapy Works

Cold laser therapy uses a low level of light to accelerate healing. It’s called cold therapy because the light is set at such a low frequency that it will not heat the body tissues. The laser is held directly above the injured area and set at a specific wavelength to interact with tissues. 

The light passes through the different layers of skin to reach the muscles that are experiencing pain. Once there, the light interacts with light-sensitive elements in the cell to initiate a series of events that result in the reduction of pain and inflammation. The process can be compared to photosynthesis in plants, how the cells absorb light from the sun and convert it to energy.

Candidates for Treatment

Cold laser therapy is used to treat many different types of pain, including arthritis, carpal tunnel, knee, neck and back pain, as well as tendonitis, tennis elbow and bursitis. This type of treatment is appealing to people who are looking for non-pharmaceutical approaches to pain management. It is non-invasive and painless, and treatments last only a few minutes.

We usually recommend multiple treatments for best results. Patients will see a decrease in pain over time while using cold laser therapy. It may also be used in conjunction with other types of treatments, such as spinal alignments or decompression therapy.

To learn more about cold laser therapy and how it can be used to treat pain, call today to make an appointment for a consultation with Dr. Foster. 

Carpal Tunnel Syndrome: The Problem is Not Your Wrist


We take for granted just how much work our hands and wrists do every day. Typing, texting, opening doors and driving a car - these extremities are very busy all day long. But for people suffering from carpal tunnel syndrome, simple daily tasks such as buttoning a shirt or lifting a plate of food become painful.

More than 8 million Americans are affected with carpal tunnel syndrome each year, and with symptoms showing up more often in women between the ages of 40-70. Carpal tunnel syndrome occurs when there is pressure on the median nerve in your wrist. This nerve runs from the forearm to the hand through a small area called the carpal tunnel. When experiencing pressure, a person will often have weakness, tingling and even numbness in the wrist and fingers.

What Causes Carpal Tunnel Syndrome?

Many factors put you at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome:.

·      Repetitive motion is a big cause of carpal tunnel syndrome, and is most often seen in the workplace. People who do jobs that require all-day driving, a lot of typing, working with small tools or instruments, packing and loading objects or writing will find they’re at risk for carpal tunnel syndrome.

·      Inflammatory diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, hypothyroidism or diabetes can cause swelling that can put pressure on the nerves and lead to carpal tunnel syndrome.

·      Pregnancy is another risk factor leading to carpal tunnel syndrome.

Relieving the Pain

Once diagnosed with carpal tunnel syndrome, patients might find relief from simple things such as reducing the amount of repetitive work being done, taking frequent rest breaks, putting ice packs on the area for 10-15 minutes a couple of times a day or wearing a splint to relieve the pressure.

If those measures fail, it is time to seek medical treatment. Many people opt for surgery, but studies show that in 75 percent of cases of carpal tunnel syndrome treated with surgery, symptoms return within two years. Research has found that many times this pain and weakness is caused by problems with the alignment of the neck, which isn’t fixed with surgery.

Chiropractic care offers a non-invasive approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome. At Foster Chiropractic Sports & Wellness, we are proud to be able to offer services that treat extremities, as Dr. Scott Foster is one of the only area chiropractors certified to adjust extremities. A chiropractic approach to treating carpal tunnel syndrome will first focus on the wrist and arm to relieve the pain, and then will work on any issues in the neck that might be causing undue pressure. We will also recommend home exercises to help with the pain.

As with many types of pain, maintaining a healthy lifestyle is also important. Maintaining a healthy weight and avoiding smoking and drinking alcohol can also help avoid symptoms of carpal tunnel syndrome.

If you are suffering from pain or weakness in your wrists and hands, call us today. We can help you get back to all of your normal activities and live pain free.