Chiropractic athletics is a natural treatment focused on athletes and sports injuries. It is a non-surgical, non-drug option that can help individual athletes prevent injury/s from happening, maintain optimal athletic performance, and relives sports musculoskeletal injuries. Athletes of all types can benefit from chiropractic athletics.
Sports leagues and professional athletes including Major League Baseball and the National Football League have full-time chiropractors on their teams. Athletes from all over the world utilize chiropractic medicine. With the advancement in sports technology, intense training and superb athleticism come injuries that can turn into game-ending conditions. Because of this, there is a wide variety of treatment needs and is where chiropractic athletics comes in.
Commonly athletes are referred to chiropractors for neck, lower back, and extremity conditions. Chiropractic athletics help them get them back into play after an injury faster, with added flexibility and agility. And for those without injuries chiropractic helps athletes prevent injuries by increasing strength and power to help perform at peak level.
Chiropractic sports doctors are highly trained with the tools and skills that will optimize the performance of an athlete’s musculoskeletal and nervous system. This training is what allows these athletic chiropractors to provide sports therapy/s that is focused on maintaining agility, flexibility, strength, and quick rehabilitation after an injury. Why chiropractic athletics should be essential?
Chiropractic Athletic Importance
Regular chiropractic improves range of motion. Athletes place intense pressure on their bodies when training, weight-lifting, and playing. This can shift the spine out of alignment affecting movement, along with the rest of the body, generating a high probability of injury.
Athletes have to deal with soreness, stiffness, and pain from their basic training regiment. An injury can easily compound the soreness into something more severe. Spinal alignment problems can cause the range of motion to be hindered and limited, inhibiting overall ability. Chiropractic athletics undoes the damage. Once a chiropractic regiment is in place injury prevention kicks in, all the while keeping the athlete moving pain-free.
Anyone especially the strongest athletes can have an episode of back pain, specifically in the low back. A chiropractor promotes proper alignment and movement of the delicate spine. Chiropractors can recommend treatments both professional and self-care that will reduce all types of back pain short and long-term. Research confirms that a manual spine manipulation is an effective form of pain relief.
Less Need for Pain Meds
Too often aches and pain are treated with pain meds, cortisone shots, and other drugs that provide short-term relief. Chiropractic is drug-free. This means athletes are not subject to side effects or dependencies that unfortunately arise from prescription med use.
Because of the increasing dependency on opioids, the American College of Physicians has updated their guidelines when it comes to low back pain, a very common reason for opioid prescriptions. Now, those with low back pain are encouraged to utilize various complementary and alternative medicine techniques that include chiropractic spinal manipulation before having to use prescription medication.
Chiropractic is non-surgical and can provide relief from injuries throughout the body. It can even serve as an alternative to surgery/s that would keep athletes on the sidelines because of a long recovery period. Treatments include:
- Electrical muscle stimulation
- Functional dry needling
- Graston Technique
- Active Release Technique
All of these can be used to treat athletic injury.
Whether a neighborhood sports league or advanced competitive league athletes need chiropractic specialists for injury treatment to get them back to play. Kids are now traveling at a younger age meaning more practices and tournaments. Kids are also committing to only one sport early on. This is known as specializing. A study by The American Journal of Sports Medicine found that athletes that specialize too early are subject to continued injury/s.
Chiropractic decreases recovery time
Normal wear and tear happens to all of us but can wear down faster especially in an extremely healthy athlete’s body.
- A baseball pitcher uses a consistent repetitive throwing motion.
- A volleyball player jumps, constantly hitting and blocking.
- A skateboarder falls repeatedly, sometimes over one-hundred times trying to land a trick.
At some point and quite often an athlete experiences muscle fatigue and soreness. Practices and games have only a few days between them. Younger athletes and their growing bodies need a lot more than rest to keep them in shape. After practice or a game, a chiropractor can do some soft tissue massage or instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques to make the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints flexible, relaxed, with decreased lactic acid, and improved blood circulation.
Physical therapy and the equipment used like ultrasound or cold laser therapy can be used to help with areas that are highly inflamed. This along with adjustments can improve joint mobility. Chiropractic athletics also helps with proper rehydration and customized dietary plans to assist with recovery and maintaining top-level performance.
Each sport has its own area that is more prone to injury from the stress of the specific sport. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine:
- Dancers deal with leg injuries
- Golfers go through shoulder and arm injuries
- Lacrosse players experience knee injuries and muscle strains
Chiropractic adjusting of joint segments, no longer moving, can enhance mechanical motion. Soft tissue techniques improve muscle tone and blood flow to injured areas and decrease tissue buildup around the injured areas. Chiropractic along with the aforementioned treatment options can significantly reduce inflammation and pain.
All of these treatment options can be enhanced with Kinesio Taping. It can add support and various taping techniques can assist in blood circulation to the injured area. A sports chiropractor has a complete understanding of sports injury repair and knows the proper guidelines for safely returning the athlete to their sport.
Health and Wellness
Athletes have to focus on body awareness, health, diet and optimal function. But they also need to be injury prepared through preventive awareness. Think of it as defensive driving. A chiropractor can assist an athlete with:
- Proper diet/nutrition
- Proper training strategies that can become life-long habits
- Body mechanic evaluation
- Gait analysis
Continually keeping an athlete’s body in top form, allows them to train more efficiently and effectively.
A Vital Role
With athletes training year-round and specializing earlier, chiropractic assistance can keep an athlete at a top level of body function. Chiropractic combined with certified athletic trainers can help with muscle development, ligament, and tendon stability. These specialists play a vital role in obtaining and maintaining whole-body wellness.
Chiropractic athletics includes a whole health assessment to ensure there are no underlying issues that could be contributing to an injury, or that could cause future problems. Athletes, consider seeing a chiropractor regularly for those that want to maintain physical strength and range of motion, or if they want to recover from an injury without taking prescription meds and surgery. Sports performance will improve when the body is in alignment and pain-free!
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