Healing Sports Injuries Through Soft Tissue Therapy

With Issues From Repetitive Motion Use On The Rise, Dr. Jennifer Grozalis Helps Young Athletes Get Back Into Action

Being active benefits both the mind and body; it's especially important for children, helping to boost their self-confidence, social skills and team building. However, children are starting sports at much younger ages than in the past, and often sticking with the same sport year-round. While self-satisfying, this increases the chance of repetitive use problems, resulting in overuse injuries at a much younger age. By the time athletes enter high school, they're frequently experiencing more severe injuries because they haven't given their muscles and joints a chance to heal. In turn, this increases the incidence of strains, sprains, tendinitis, bursitis and stress fractures.

Dr. Jennifer Grozalis, of Synergy Rehabilitation and Chiropractic, says that’s why it's so important for children to have a doctor who can treat these injuries from the time they're young. "This allows them to continue their favorite sport throughout their high school and college careers," she adds. 

Synergy Chiropractic specializes in sports injuries, specifically soft tissue injuries. As a chiropractor who focuses on muscle, fascia, tendon and ligament injuries, Dr. Grozalis says she is the only chiropractor in the area certified in Active Release Techniques (ART), a medical massage- and movement-based therapy designed specifically to treat athletes of all ages. Patented ART applies state-of-the-art, soft tissue movement-based treatments to solve problems with muscles, tendons, ligaments, fascia and nerves. The goal and difference with this non-invasive therapy is to strengthen the area injured and promote faster healing. 

She also applies the Graston Technique, an instrument-assisted soft tissue mobilization that enables the doctor to effectively detect and treat scar tissue and restrictions that affect normal function. This technique is also being used by NBA, NHL, NFL and Major League Baseball trainers.

“When an athlete is injured, it isn't because they're weak, it's because of overuse,” explains Dr. Grozalis. "These strains to soft tissue result in micro tears and the formation of scar tissue, decreasing range of motion and causing pain that impacts the athlete’s abilities."

The techniques used by Dr. Grozalis are specifically designed to eliminate these injury-caused barriers and help children and teens quickly return to their sport. The techniques also promote overall, healthy cell growth. 

Every treatment is tailored to the patient’s needs, she says, depending on the symptoms and the muscles that need to be treated. Types of treatment include Kinesio taping, ultrasound and laser therapy, which Dr. Grozalis refers to as “amazing at speeding up the healing process, literally cutting healing time in half.”

However, she stresses all therapies take time to perform and are not a quick, “in and out” or adjustment type of treatments.

Dr. Grozalis says her interest in sports rehabilitation was sparked when she saw a need to treat athletes quickly and effectively to get them back on the field or into action. “The normal medical route takes a lot of time and often doesn’t address the myofascial issues that these athletes face,” she says.

By using a muscular overuse treatment approach, she says “once this is fixed, they can actually benefit from healing exercises and physical therapy.” Because the same techniques can be used for any kind of injury, she also treats children and teenagers who are not athletes. 

Some patients see her weekly or monthly during their sports season to address any minor issues right away before they grow into a larger concern. Patients also schedule time with her right before a game or a meet because the techniques she employs increases their range of motion, allowing them to play at their optimal level. She has seen patients who are swimmers and runners cut their times, and football players and baseball players who perform better as well. 

She says she treats athletes from the time they were in elementary school all the way up through high school and then into college and after. “It’s exciting to see these young athletes grow and how good they get,” she enthuses. “When they get athletic scholarships, I feel just as excited as they do!”


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