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:
1. It speeds recovery from injury
2. It enhances performance
3. 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 “competive edge.”
Better Reaction Time and 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.
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.
Sports Injury Care: Chiropractic Cases
Many professional and Olympic athletes have used chiropractic care. "Weekend Warrior" athletes also extensively use chiropractic services. Chiropractors are frequently called upon to treat knees, ankles, hips, feet, hands, wrists, elbows, shoulders, and jaw problems, in addition to the spine. Here are some stories of our athletic patients.
John, the wizard of his own computer business, tried to be a wizard on the weekend basketball court. He was elbowed in the ribs going for a rebound and could not sleep or breathe well for several days. He was treated and is once again dazzling the weekend hoop stars with his moves (I think he's shooting more 3-pointers and rebounding less).
Devon, a principal dancer for the Boston Ballet, injured his hip while dancing for his performance. The cause of his hip pain was a sacroiliac joint that had lost mobility. The hip, being the next joint to be affected, had to start taking on more stress than it was designed to receive. After extensive therapy and rest there was still a severe problem. Over a three-month period of regular adjustments to Devon's pelvis, the proper function of his hip and low back returned and he was able to resume his career.
Softball Shoulder Injury
Mike, a patient of ours, was a star pitcher on his fast-pitch men's softball team (and this was a serious league). Mike was unable to pitch without a lot of pain. With chiropractic care, Mike not only regained his full arm strength, but also pitched the team to the playoff championship.
Runner's Foot Injury
Rob has run many marathons in his life. He developed a sharp tack-like pain in his foot. There appeared to be no apparent cause for his problem. This is a common injury to runners and non-runners alike. It was discovered that two metatarsal bones had become locked up and actually lost motion. An adjustment to re-establish motion in his foot had him on the road again.
Recently a patient named Velma asked us to examine her elbow. Velma sought out chiropractic care for an elbow injury sustained from repetitive activity at work. She gradually developed intense pain, which wouldn't allow her to continue bowling, which was a hobby. Upon examination, she had a radius bone that had become misaligned, as well as a weakness of a major muscle group (brachioradialis). An adjustment of her radius and some muscular treatment with Applied Kinesiology techniques resolved her problem