Certain sports can be hard on the joints, muscles, and spine, especially in contact sports such as football and hockey. Your chiropractor can treat sports injuries without surgery and drugs, and encourage your body to heal itself. It's important that you see a doctor as soon as possible after an injury to reduce the risk of further damage. Your quick response may even speed up the healing process. Strains and sprains can be treated with heat and ice therapies, as well as immobilization with braces and supports. Injuries to the back, neck, and other joints may need to be evaluated with X-rays before treatment begins. Treatment usually includes chiropractic adjustments to the injured area to realign any partial dislocations, relieve pressure on nerves, and relax the muscles. Nutritional supplements may assist the body with its healing process. Because chiropractic care focuses on natural and non-invasive cures, it can take time to see results. Depending on the severity of your injury it could be days or weeks before you can resume your normal activities. Because recently injured joints and muscles are susceptible to re-injury, it's best to return slowly to exercise and sports after your recovery. In the meantime, follow your chiropractor's advice and alert him or her to any changes in your condition.