Chiropractic Care For Athletes

Athletes, amateur and professional, are increasingly including chiropractic care in their mix of sports enhancing modalities. By doing so, many are improving their performance when using chiropractic care as an adjunct to their usual regimen of proper diet, exercise, rest, and traditional sports medicine care.

Chiropractic care can assist athletes in three main ways. The most common platform for the use of chiropractic care in athletes is in response to sports injuries. Neck, back, hip, knee, shoulder, and ankle injuries are among the top sports injuries where a chiropractor is often asked to provide care. Chiropractors are licensed Doctors of Chiropractic (DC). They focus on the biomechanics of the body as a whole and work to restore balance, alignment, and proper range of motion following an injury. Mobilizations or manipulations (also known as adjustments) may be made to the spine or extremities. The DC may also use any combination of physiotherapy treatments including, heat and ice therapy, electric stimulation, ultrasound, massage, and rehabilitative exercises. Pain relief is first, but working on the root cause of the injury and not merely addressing the symptoms is the concentration of chiropractic healing.

Reduced risk of injury (prevention) and increased performance are the other two main goals of chiropractic care in athletes. Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians (CCSP) are Doctors of Chiropractic with a special certification in treating sports injuries and optimizing physical fitness. The protocols they use to help minimize the risk of injury and enhance sports performance may include strength and conditioning programs focusing on improving balance, coordination, agility, flexibility, range of motion, and body symmetry. They are trained in biomedical sciences and advanced biomechanics of the both and apply their training to improve the relationship between the structure and function of the body.

Since chiropractors work within the body’s natural healing abilities and view healing and good health as a whole body process, most chiropractors also involve various other natural and therapeutic methods to their program of care. Nutritional counseling, therapeutic exercises and rehabilitation in addition to acupuncture are often adjuncts to a regular chiropractic plan of care.

Nutritional counseling may start with a review of the client’s current eating habits and nutritional intake. This is followed by a plan to moderate any excessive fat, sugar, or sodium consumption, and adjust for any nutritional deficiencies by adding necessary foods or supplements to help meet the client’s goals. The next phase is performance based nutrition to focus on nutrition needed for speed, strength, and conditioning.

Acupuncture is also a popular form of therapy practiced by many chiropractors. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) offers a board certification in acupuncture. When chiropractors include acupuncture in their plan of care they are focusing on restoring health by providing an obstructed path for the flow of Qi, believed to be the body’s vital energy source. The use of acupuncture in treatment programs for sports injuries is becoming more popular, particularly with new technology such as computer monitoring of Qi and new “needle-less” tools.

Chiropractic’s natural methods of healing and holistic body view make it a beneficial adjunct to sports performance programs to help heal sports injuries, reduce the risk of future injuries, and improve sports performance.

Other ways in which Chiropractic care helps athletes are;

Performance Enhancement

Chiropractic Care can greatly benefit athletes over a period time as it can improve performance. Chiropractic treatments are used to improve the movement and motion of the spine. This allows for increased flexibility, strength and coordination whilst minimizing the risk of injury. In a study, research indicates that athletes demonstrated an increase in performance after receiving treatment. The body’s performance can significantly be improved when the spine and nervous system are well supported. 

Improved Recovery Times

Athletes who have endured injuries can often face gruelling and long recovery times. Long recovery times impact the daily lives of athletes. However, Chiropractic Care can help reducing recovery times as it aims to restore muscle and spine function. A variety of techniques are used according to the needs and requirements of your body. This allows for a quicker recovery process.

Injury Prevention

It is important to manage and maintain our bodies and their motion, coordination as well as balance. Chiropractic Care takes on a preventative care method as it aims to strengthen the musculoskeletal system. Some studies have proven that chiropractic care has contributed to the reduction in several injuries such as knee and limb strain injuries. Also, it is evident that often people report that they have a reduction in body pain.

Non-Invasive Treatment

Athletes can receive Chiropractic treatments, whenever fits best for their schedule. This form of treatment is non-invasive and drug free. Some techniques that are utilized are the activator method, Graston technique and often, electric stimulation. These consist of a series of a manual impulse force or even a specialized massage. It is important to ensure that your Chiropractor is aware of your needs and requirements. This will allow them to provide you with the best possible Chiropractic care.

Pain Reduction

As the musculoskeletal system begins to heal and function at its optimal level, it is evident that body pain is often simultaneously decreased. Athletes who suffer from sore muscles, injury or generic body pain can benefit from Chiropractic treatment. The use of spinal manipulation aids with reducing pain. This is because it promotes an improved healing environment for the injured or tense soft muscle tissue. Therefore, athletes can get relief from Chiropractic Care.

Healing Hands Chiropractic Can Help

Are you an athlete looking to incorporate chiropractic care into your routine? Dr. Dee and her incredible staff at Healing Hands Chiropractic, located in Murfreesboro, TN can help! Contact Dr. Dee today for your consultation and appointment!