Chiropractic treatment is a non-invasive, drug-free, healthcare approach that can help patients find relief from a variety of musculoskeletal problems. Athletes may especially benefit greatly from chiropractic treatments both before and after they practice and perform.
A chiropractic physician has the requisite resources and expertise to improve the efficiency of the musculoskeletal system, as well as the nervous system. This advanced training enables chiropractors to deliver treatments aimed at retaining strength and rebounding after an injury. It’s also crucial to help athletes prevent injuries entirely.
Why Chiropractic Treatments Are Important for Athletes
Here are four important reasons why athletes should receive regular chiropractic:
1. Chiropractic treatment leads to improved range of motion.
Improved range of motion is one of the greatest advantages of routine chiropractic treatments. Athletes place a lot of pressure on their bodies every time they exercise, activity that is physically stressful can cause issues with spinal alignment and motion.
This makes it possible for an athlete to end up with weakness and pain in their joints. Problems with spinal alignment can cause their range of motion to be reduced or impaired significantly, thereby inhibiting their overall athletic performance. Receiving proper chiropractic treatment will help repair damage and avoid injury before it occurs, all while encouraging pain-free movement.
2. Receiving chiropractic treatment can reduce pain.
Even the strongest athletes can suffer from back pain, particularly in the lower back. To facilitate good balance and movement, a chiropractor knows just how to deal with a delicate spine. Thus, in addition to restoring function, chiropractors can prescribe therapies that will minimize all forms of back pain both in the short term and in the long term.
3. Decrease prescription drug use in athletes.
Although pain can and is frequently treated with pain killers, cortisone shots, and other medicines that offer short-term relief, chiropractic treatment offers a drug-free solution that can reduce or even remove their pain. This also ensures that athletes will not be exposed to side effects or dependences that can result from the use of prescription drugs.
The growing reliance on opioids in the United States has caused the American College of Physicians to update their recommendations on low back pain — one of the most common factors that physicians prescribe opioids. The group recommends that patients with low back pain use a range of complementary and alternative medicine methods, including spinal manipulation and chiropractic, prior to the use of prescription drugs.
4. Chiropractic treatment provides a non-invasive treatment option.
Chiropractic treatment is non-invasive and can offer relief from injuries throughout the body, not just neck and back injuries. It may also serve as a feasible alternative to risky procedures such as surgery that would hold athletes on the sidelines during long recoveries. Treatment techniques, such as spinal manipulation, extremity manipulation, electrical muscle stimulation, mechanical dry needling, Graston Technique, Traction, Ultrasound, Cupping, Massage, Flexion Distraction, and Active Release Technique, can all be used to treat athletes with a wide range of injuries.
Benefits of Chiropractic for Athletes
Athletes that compete in a local sports or professional competitors, rely on chiropractors who specialize in sports injury care to get them back to the field.
Whether the athlete is engaging in Tee Ball or Major League Baseball, there is no age restriction on chiropractic care.
1. Chiropractic treatments can decrease recovery time.
Normal wear and tear, as well as degeneration of joints can occur in healthy athletes. Baseball pitchers use a repetitive motion of throwing. A volleyball player runs, blocks and hits repeatedly. A football player takes several body blows in a single game. At some point in the season, usually several times, an athlete experiences muscle exhaustion and soreness. There is usually just one or two days between workouts or games, and often younger athletes need more than a quick rest to get them ready for action.
After practice or play, a chiropractor may use soft tissue techniques such as massage or instrument-assisted soft tissue techniques to make the tissue more flexible and comfortable, minimize lactic acid, and improve blood flow. Physiotherapy devices, such as an ultrasound or a cold laser, can be used to support areas of extremely high inflammation. Adjustments can be required to increase joint mobility. Recommendations for adequate rehydration and dietary changes to aid with athletic rehabilitation may also be addressed.
Combining these or other strategies not discussed above, depending on the experience of the chiropractic specialist, will help younger athletes heal and be better prepared for the next practice or game.
2. Chiropractic treatments can assist in injury repair.
Each sport has areas of the body that are more vulnerable to injury due to the stress that the sport imposes on the area. According to the American Orthopedic Society for Sports Medicine, dancers most frequently suffer leg injuries, golfers suffer arm injuries, lacrosse players experience knee problems and muscle strains — a list of sports injuries goes through each sport.
When an injury has occurred, the athlete and his family always want to return to their sport as soon as possible. Many of these procedures discussed earlier can be adjusted by length and severity to aid in the repair of injury.
Adjusting joint segments that are no longer moving will boost mechanical motion. Soft tissue strategies can boost muscle tone and blood flow to injured areas as well as minimize adhesion or build-up around injured areas. Ultrasound and cold laser, among other treatment options, can dramatically reduce inflammation and athlete discomfort. In addition, Kinesiology Taping can provide support and some taping techniques can improve blood flow to the wounded region.
Most significantly, chiropractors are trained to consider anatomical and physiological reaction to movement patterns, as well as appropriate treatment options. It is imperative that the treating doctor has thorough knowledge of the injury and treatment options.
3. Chiropractic treatments can lead to optimal wellness.
Caring for the body of an athlete should not begin on the first day of practice or after the first tournament of the season. Athletes will concentrate on body consciousness, fitness, and proper functioning all year round.
Chiropractors may assist an athlete with proper diet and nutrition, sleep advice, and proper fitness techniques that can be used as a lifetime habit. Proper alignment of the spine and extremities through adjustments, body mechanic assessment, and gait analysis may help with muscle patterns and growth that are important for developing young athletes.
Through consistently maintaining an athlete ‘s body in its healthiest state, he or she will exercise more efficiently and effectively during the year.
4. Chiropractic medicine plays a vital role in supporting the athlete as a whole.
With athletes practicing all year round and focusing at a younger age, a program will be in place to support the athlete to be the best he or she can be. While sports for younger athletes do not have a structured medical team developed as college or professional sports teams, they should also have a support team entrusted with their care.
Before initiating a sport, the child’s physician should perform a comprehensive physical evaluation to insure that the child is safe enough to engage in the game.
5. More time and attention from their doctors
Chiropractic physicians typically spend more time with each of their patients than traditional PCP’s. Chiropractic care requires a thorough health assessment to ensure that there are no underlying conditions that can lead to injuries or have the potential to trigger future problems. With each visit, chiropractors will continue to assess progress.