Sports and Chiropractic
Chiropractic Care Gives Athletes and EdgeWhy do professional athletes in almost every sport rely on regular chiropractic care? The simplest answer is, because it works. In fact, the role of chiropractic in sports is three-fold: it speeds recovery from injury, it enhances performance, and it helps prevent future problems. Common sense tells us that what can help the professional athlete can also help the rest of us.
Although it’s true that injuries are possible in any sport, the increased fitness and fun of athletic participation make it not only satisfying but worthwhile. Sports chiropractic is a specialty area that helps athletes return to peak performance by applying chiropractic principles to restoring biomechanical and muscular function. Not only do athletes in "high impact" contact sports such as football, hockey, basketball and soccer benefit from care, but golfers, bowlers, joggers, tennis players, skiers and many others also have fond that chiropractic care gives them a decided "competitive edge".
Sports InjuriesThe injuries received in a contact sport such as football or hockey are often the same type you might suffer in an auto accident. The body is subjected to a forceful impact. When an arm or leg is fractured, the bone is set and in time heals. When a vertebra is damaged or displaced in the neck or back, it may not be detected until much later. When this creates pressure on adjacent nerves, other health problems are sure to follow.
Contact sports are not the only ones to produce injuries. Disc and soft tissue involvement is common in sports such as golf and tennis which require a twisting motion. Runners subject their joints to punishing wear and tear with constant jarring.
When spinal bones lose their normal position and motion, this can exert pressure on adjacent nerves, impair neural function and affect the function of virtually every other tissue, organ and system in the body. Doctors call this a vertebral subluxation. These spinal injuries limit motion, strength, endurance and speed. Until the joint is restored to normal motion and position, complete recovery from an injury is not possible and athletic performance is also limited. The chiropractic doctor restores spinal function wish a series of manipulation that gradually realign the spinal bones.
A Warning to "Recreational Athletes"While trained athletes often suffer muscle and joint injuries, the dangers to the "recreational athlete" are perhaps even grater. Because their muscles and joints may lack the flexibility and conditioning of the trained athlete, strains, tears and inflammation often occur and can heal more slowly.
Doctors in sports chiropractic have special training in reducing inflammation and increasing joint function. Only they are qualified to fully evaluate and treat joint dysfunction.
Improving Athletic PerformanceFor many of us, even before we are "sidelined" by a sports injury, we may not be functioning to our fullest potential. Any malfunction in the neuromusculoskeletal system causes your body to "compensate" by changing or adapting the way other parts function with it. This "compensation" causes your body to expend more energy to achieve the same result it did before the malfunction. Even when other symptoms are not evident, proper function may be lacking. With correction, the athlete could experience improvements in range of motion, muscle function, coordination, balance, and as a result, overall performance.
Prevent Further ProblemsMany potential problems could be avoided or eliminated with early detection and correction of joint dysfunction. Your doctor of Chiropractic can provide you with guidance in conditioning and flexibility exercises, and give you a clearer understanding of your musculoskeletal structure. With proper diagnosis, care and preparation, athletes can prevent many of the sprains, strains, and pains that can take the fun out of athletic participation.
Your doctor may also suggest related therapies including hot or cold compress to reduce inflammation, massage to speed soft tissue healing, and exercises to increase muscle conditioning and joint flexibility.
What You Can DoBefore you begin serious conditioning for a new sport, or after you suffer a sports-related injury, seek a full evaluation by a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Whether it is some previously undetected joint or spinal problem, or years of poor posture, a chiropractic checkup will discover any problems that could limit your athletic performance. Regardless of your age, conditioning, or health, chiropractic care can improve your athletic potential.