Whether you’re a professional athlete or just got your first gym membership, there are a variety of health and wellness benefits of chiropractic care for athletes. No matter the sport, athletics can take a toll on the body. From injuries to muscles getting sore, chiropractic treatments come in a variety of techniques to help improve recovery time and get patients back to peak athletic performance. Find out how chiropractic care can help take you or your athletic team to the next level of health and performance.
What is Chiropractic Care?
The primary goal of chiropractic treatment is to promote proper alignment in the body through gentle adjustments of the spinal vertebrae, neck, and joints. This overall alignment through adjustments allows healthy flow throughout the body, promotes the body’s natural healing ability, improved range of motion, and provides pain relief effects for an athlete.
A chiropractic sports physician will typically begin an appointment by going over the sports-related injuries, body pains, and other issues a patient has been experiencing. With deeper insight into the problems an athlete is dealing with, they can then perform a thorough evaluation of the body to prepare a custom treatment plan. Using gentle spinal manipulation, the chiropractic professional will use one of the many treatment techniques available to benefit each athlete and their pain.
Chiropractic Treatment Techniques
- Activator Method: This is a gentle method of effective treatment that uses a hand-held chiropractic tool to provide precise adjustment and gentle manipulation. This method is great for children, the elderly, and those who are new to chiropractic health.
- Diversified Technique: This technique is the most common active treatment for chiropractic professionals. This method uses the hands for joint manipulation and spinal manipulation.
- Thompson Technique: Patients will lie face down on a chiropractic table for gentle manipulation with this technique. In this particular method, chiropractic care professionals can best evaluate the pelvis and adjust alignment.
- Webster Technique: This method is used most for expectant mothers during pregnancy. It focuses on the sacral area of the spine and cervical adjustments for patients with symptoms like acute low-back pain.
- Gonstead, Toggle, and Cranial-Sacral Techniques: There is an array of therapies that chiropractic care professionals also use to treat chronic pain and alignment issues.
Other Chiropractic Care Methods
Beyond the many spinal manipulation and chiropractic adjustments methods available, there are other forms of treatment a chiropractic physician can utilize for athletes.
- Electrical Muscle Stimulation: Electrical muscle stimulation works to promote chiropractic health and recovery by sending electrical pulses into the underlying muscle, causing it to contract. These muscle contractions have a variety of chiropractic benefits for patients experiencing many different aches and pains. For those experiencing persistent chiropractic issues, electrical muscle stimulation can reduce pain through the targeted contraction, reduce muscle and tissue swelling, and promote overall muscle toning. These chiropractic benefits from electrical muscle stimulation can also be utilized to promote healing, recovery, and ease of pain for those who have experienced an injury.
- Chiropractic Massage: Similar to many other chiropractic care techniques, chiropractic massage is aimed at promoting healthy blood flow and improving the range of motion to muscles and joints. Massage can be used to reduce inflammation, relieve pain, and treat soreness from injury or post-treatment.
Common Sports Injuries
The risk of injury is high when a sport is involved, no matter an athlete’s fitness level. While training and preparation can help to avoid some injuries, there will always be aches and pains. From youth athletes to world-class athletes, there are many athletic injuries chiropractic care can help treat.
Ask any football player and they can tell you all about the injury potential that comes with impact sports. These severities of injury can range from painful muscle tension to broken bones and torn ligaments. When the body is running at its optimal level of health, athletes’ bodies are typically better equipped to adapt and recover when impact occurs. However, when the range of motion is compromised due to a misaligned spine or muscles are tense from pain left untreated, injuries can plague any professional sports team.
Some parts of even an accomplished athlete’s body simply aren’t able to perform intense repetitive motions over and over without experiencing some breakdown. Baseball players often have reoccurring arm injuries and we’ve all heard of the common ‘tennis elbow’ from hours on the court. Treatment of injury caused by overuse can sometimes entail treatment of the current pain or injury and an ongoing plan to keep the competitive athlete at their highest level of performance.
A concussion is essentially a bruise on the brain caused by an impact on the skull. This can seriously impact the optimal function of the brain and memory as the injury heals. Given the contact nature of many sports, concussions are, unfortunately, relatively common among competitive athletes. Chiropractic adjustments to the spine and neck can improve healthy blood flow to the brain and help relieve inflammation due to misaligned or pinched joints.
Many common types of pain athletes experience come from pinched nerves in the body. This pressure on a nerve causes pain of its own and can even lead to future injury as an athlete overcompensates with muscle to make up for the strain.
When you come into the clinic for treatment options, your sports injury chiropractor will help to relieve pressure on the nerve and reduce pain by promoting proper spinal alignment. Gentle manipulations of the vertebrae can realign the spine, neck, and pelvis to allow for unobstructed flow throughout the body and relieve the pressure on the pinched nerve.
Neck pain happens every day in the sports world. In contact sports, neck injuries are found on every field. Whether you’ve experienced whiplash from a tough game or just developed some issues over time, chiropractic care has a treatment option that can help.
Whiplash and basic prolonged use injuries to the neck usually result in pain from misalignment in the head, neck, and spine. Your comprehensive treatment plan will include realignment sessions at your chiropractic clinic and further sessions to prevent pain in the future.
Much like neck injuries, back injuries are an everyday occurrence in the sports world. Unfortunately, many athletes find themselves with perpetual back problems and enduring pain. Chiropractic care for sports injuries can help athletes reach their fitness goals.
Through spinal realignment sessions, joint therapy, and muscular therapy with a chiropractor, many athletes can achieve pain reduction and help prevent further injury.
Chiropractic Benefit for Athletes
Chiropractic treatment effects can have athletes of all kinds back on the court or field and back to their best athletic performance without intensive treatment plans or invasive medical interventions. After a tough practice or a game-time injury, a chiropractic team can play a key role in recovering athlete sports performance and health.
An athlete’s worst nightmare is the treatment of injury plans that have them sitting through long physical therapy sessions or sidelined from invasive medical procedures. Chiropractic professionals can provide safe and effective care to athletes that provide a non-invasive and more holistic approach to treating common sports injuries.
Another important aspect of sports care comes with chiropractic injury prevention. Chiropractic care provides athletes a method of improving their body wellness and body function before an injury happens. This overall investment in optimum health can often put athletes in a position to stay healthier and injury-free more often, even while the training and games continue.
Safe and Effective
Where all athletes are concerned, chiropractic care is one of the only methods that can have a safe and positive impact on all patients, regardless of age, fitness level, or sport. Chiropractic manipulation is gentle and non-invasive, making it an alternative medicine technique safe for every athlete, children to professionals. These beneficial effects are a great option for child athletes and elderly players alike.