Experts estimate that 90 percent of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential. All National Football League (NFL) teams rely on DCs in varying capacities, and 77 percent of athletic trainers have referred players to a chiropractor for evaluation or treatment. Dr. Dana is an avid runner and athlete herself and loves to help other athletes reach new goals and prevent injuries. We have helped athletes of all ages, from the little gym to high school athletes to the elderly lifting weights and walking, making sure that your body is aligned and balanced will help.
Here’s 5 Ways that Athletes and (non-athletes) benefit from chiropractic care:
Many athletes swear by the positive effects of chiropractic when talking about their personal successes. Two notable names like Lance Armstrong, Barry Bonds, Dan O’Brien and Arnold Schwarzenegger, to name a few, swear by their chiropractors. Athletic performance is affected by a combination of strength, flexibility, speed and coordination. Participating in sports is encouraged because of the many benefits. Not only is a person getting exercise when playing, but they are also developing fine motor skills, learning about teamwork and fair play and of course building friendships. But their bodies are also taking impacts no matter what sport they are playing. When the spine exhibits imperfections in movement and/or alignment, the resulting vertebral subluxations can create focal areas of irritation in the nervous system, which subsequently interfere with the optimum functions of all other systems. As a result, athletic performance suffers. When athletes are adjusted regularly, they will often attribute their success to regular chiropractic care.
Even if you don’t play football, sports like soccer, baseball, volleyball, softball, wrestling and lacrosse involve a lot of contact and the physical demands of any training and practice affect your spine and muscles too. Cross country track was a slug fest in NY. As soon as you were out of sight and in the woods running the race guys were catching elbows in their sides and getting pushed down,” says Dr. Jay Lipoff, Executive Board Member of the International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science. A point he drove home by drawing a comparison between heading a soccer ball traveling at 70 miles per hour and getting punched by Muhammad Ali.
Athletes can experience many different benefits from receiving chiropractic care. Not only can adjustments help when treating injuries from high-impact sports such as wrestling, football, and hockey, but they offer other benefits as well. It’s been shown that high-impact sports can place the same amount of strain on the body as an auto collision. Athletes getting routine adjustments may notice improved athletic performance, improved range of motion (especially in endurance athletes), better flexibility, increased blood flow, and may suffer from fewer injuries. Because spinal adjustments will reduce the irritation of the nerve roots between the vertebrae, the healing time from minor injuries can be shortened, improving performance.
Both high-impact and low-impact athletes can benefit from routine spinal adjustments. For high-impact athletes, it increases performance and flexibility and lowers the risk for injury; for low-impact athletes (golfers, tennis players, and bowlers), routine adjustments can help relieve the strain that is being placed on the body. Chiropractic care offers a natural way to treat and prevent many different ailments that often plague athletes. Headaches – with a current focus on head and neck injuries in sports it should be noted that a Duke University study from back in 2001 came to the conclusion that, “Spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate relief for headaches originating from the neck.” Since 60 to 90 percent of all headaches are linked to facet joint pain (neck), chiropractic treatments offer a significant form of relief.
Shoulder pain – Studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine and the British Medical Journal both found that adding shoulder manipulation to traditional rehab techniques improved the outcomes and reduced pain associated with certain shoulder injuries. Ankle injuries – a joint study from the JMPT and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care of ankle sprains helped increase motion, lessen pain and provide better ankle function.
Injury prevention – An Australian study conducted in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reported that Australian football players who used a regiment of chiropractic care had a fewer number of leg injuries than those who did not.
While seeking chiropractic care for back and neck pain caused by injuries suffered in sports like football and rugby would normal, injuries to other parts of the body can also benefit from a visit to the D.C. In fact, many studies have shown that chiropractic treatment helps athletes recover from injuries without the need for painkillers or invasive surgery.
Any DC who specializes in treating athletes should be prepared to treat the whole person, and tailor a comprehensive program aimed at injury avoidance. Initial evaluations should include not only traditional orthopedic tests, neurological examinations, and consideration to supplement physical exam findings with any additional diagnostic evaluations, if appropriate or a referral if indicated. Numerous studies support the fact that chiropractic care helps athletes achieve an optimal level of performance. A Canadian research team included chiropractic care in the rehabilitation program of 16 injured female long-distance runners. The runners recovered quickly; seven of them actually scored “personal best” performances while under chiropractic care, although there may be other contributing factors.
The spine is an important physical structure that contains many pain-sensitive tissues: Most notably, joints, muscles, nerves, discs and ligaments. If there are any abnormal alignment patterns in the spinal column, this can place an abnormal amount of stress and strain on any one of these tissues. In a recent article reviewing the effectiveness of spinal manipulation, chiropractic adjustments were consistently better than other medical options in reducing the intensity of acute low back pain, plus restoring normal function, both for short-term and long-term effects.
Sources INQUISITR and ACA Today