SPORTS INJURIES AND CHIROPRACTIC CARE
CHIROPRACTIC CARE GIVES ATHLETES A COMPETITIVE EDGE
Why 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.
- It helps prevent future problems.
Common sense tells us that what can help the professional athlete can 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 care 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 like football, hockey, basketball and soccer benefit from care, but golfers, bowlers, joggers, tennis players, skiers and many others also have found that Chiropractic care gives them a decided “competitive edge.”
BETTER REACTION TIME & COORDINATION
Athletes under Chiropractic care were compared with a control group that received no care for agility, balance, power, speed reaction and hand reaction time. After six weeks, the Chiropractic group had a 10.7% improvement while the control group had a 4.5% improvement. After 12 weeks, the Chiropractic group’s improvement was 16.7%! The (Chiropractic cared for) athlete reacted faster, coordinated better, and executed fine movements with improved accuracy and precision, amounting to an overall better athlete.”
SPORTS INJURY TRAUMA
The injuries received in a contact sport like football or hockey is often the same type you might suffer in an auto accident. The body is subjected to forceful impact. When an arm or leg is fractured, the bone is set and in time, it heals. When a vertebra is damaged or displaced in the neck or back, it may not be detected until much later. As the problem progresses the injury creates pressure on adjacent nerves and other health problems are sure to follow.
Contact sports are not only ones to produce injuries. Disc and soft tissue injuries are common in sports like 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. A Chiropractor restores spinal function with a series of manipulations that gradually realign the spinal bones. They also treat the soft tissues (the muscles, tendons, ligaments and cartilage) with ART (Active Release Technique) to reestablish healthy joint function.
SPORTS CAN CREATE AN IMBALANCE
Take, for example, golf, tennis, racquetball and handball. Swinging a club or racquet or throwing a ball are all one-side activities. Repetitive participation and training can cause the spinal column to lose its natural balance. This gradually developing imbalance can lead to health problems in many ways. But you don’t have to be an Olympiad, a professional athlete or a “serious” athlete to benefit from Chiropractic care. Americans suffer form 17 million sports-related injuries each year and everyone with such an injury needs regular Chiropractic spinal check-ups.
A WARNING TO “RECREATIONAL ATHLETES”
While trained athletes often suffer muscle and joint injuries, the danger to the “recreational athlete” are perhaps even greater. 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. Chiropractors trained in sports injuries (the additonal training results in a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician certification- C.C.S.P.) have special training in reducing inflammation and increasing joint function. They are also trained to fully evaluate and treat joint dysfunction.
IMPROVING ATHLETIC PERFORMANCE
For many of us, even before we are sidelined by a sport 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. The “compensation” causes your body to function improperly. With correction, the athlete can experience improvements in range of motion, muscle function, coordination, balance, and as a result, overall performance.
PREVENT FUTURE PROBLEMS
Many 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 compresses to reduce inflammation, treat you with ART to speed soft tissue healing, and exercises to increase muscle conditioning and joint flexibility.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Want that winning edge? A little more balance? A little more lightness to your step? “Getting in shape” should always include a periodic Chiropractic “shaping up” of the spine.
Here are some common injuries that are treated by Chiropractors trained in sports injury care:
- Carpal Tunnel Syndrome and associated wrist injuries.
- Elbow bursitis/tendonitis and tennis elbow.
- Multiple shoulder injuries including swimmers shoulder and rotator cuff syndrome.
- Hip problems involving iliotibial band injuries, bursitis, and hamstring injuries.
- Knee injuries.
- Ankle, plantar fascitis and foot injuries.
Before 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.