Chiropractic care is a type of non-invasive, drug-free treatment of the musculoskeletal system and the nervous system. The treatment chiropractors provide are centered around maintaining strength and flexibility to help avoid injury. Should injury occur, chiropractic care is well-suited to help with effective pain management and recovery.
Athletes often seek chiropractic care for treatment of muscular and joint discomfort. Many professional sports teams include a chiropractor on staff and the 2016 Olympic Games included a chiropractor as part of the polyclinic sports medicine staff to treat athletes.
Children are becoming more competitive in sports at an increasingly earlier age. Competitive and traveling teams typically begin by age 7 or 8 for most sports and children often specialize and commit to competing in one sport by middle school. When kids dedicate their activity to one sport, they often are using the same muscles and tissues day in and day out, leading to injuries at a younger age. Chiropractors provide the least invasive treatment that gets at the root of problems most effectively without medication.
What Makes Chiropractic Care Appropriate for Athletes
Chiropractors provide care and treatment that focus on the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, targeting the areas where athletes need attention. The type of education and training chiropractors complete prepare them for the treatment sought by athletes.
Range of motion
Chiropractors complete an intense educational curriculum and training on the body’s musculoskeletal and nervous systems that enable them to help athletes improve their range of motion. Athletes consistently put their bodies under pressure when training and competing with frequent twisting and turning, sudden stops and starts, and high impact on the bones, joints, tissue, and muscles. This can lead to issues with spinal alignment that results in joint pain, stiffness, and a lack of flexibility.
When an athlete’s range of motion is limited, their ability to perform is hindered. Additionally, when athletes are not in optimal shape, they may experience more serious injury. The type of training chiropractors receive is appropriate to effectively address these issues. They have the educational training and skills to provide treatment that corrects spinal alignment to improve range of motion and preventing injuries before they occur.
Lower back pain is common with athletes as a result of the highly intense activity they engage in frequently. Chiropractors receive specialized training to care for the spine and provide spinal manipulation to achieve proper alignment. The musculoskeletal system stems from the spine, meaning it is essential for the spine to be aligned to reduce and prevent back pain. Chiropractors also provide stretching exercises to patients to help increase and maintain flexibility. With proper spinal alignment and optimized flexibility, pain can be alleviated.
Chiropractors provide non-invasive, holistic treatment without medications. They are trained to use the body to help itself heal and function properly. Medication is often a short-term remedy, such as pain relievers that help relieve discomfort, but do not address the problem causing the pain. These drugs may also have side effects. While medications are sometimes necessary for certain conditions and some injuries require surgery, chiropractic care is intended to mitigate and minimize the need for these more invasive treatments.
When athletes undergo surgery, they often have a long road to recovery. They typically have a time frame of rest followed by physical therapy and strength conditioning. Chiropractic care can sometimes treat issues effectively rather than undergoing surgery and mitigate more serious injuries from occurring. While spinal manipulation is the most common treatment of chiropractic care, it is not the only treatment.
Some other treatments that chiropractors receive training in include the following:
• Electrical muscle stimulation
• Dry needling
• Muscular massage and stretching
• Physiotherapy such as ultrasound or cold laser
• Kinesio taping
The education and training chiropractors receive include a full understanding of anatomy and physiology so they are well-versed in how frequent movement leads to injury and how to properly treat injuries in specific areas of the body.
Not only do chiropractors address the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, but they take a holistic approach to overall well-being. The education and training chiropractors must complete for licensure addresses nutrition, proper diet and adequate sleep. These are essential in maintaining good physical, mental, and emotional health and all are important in helping reduce injury and compete at the highest level.
If you are an athlete or have a child athlete and want more information on chiropractic care, call to schedule an appointment at 205-637-1363.