What Is Sports Chiropractic?
Sports Chiropractic is a specialty branch of chiropractic, which focuses on injuries and conditions unique to the athlete, as well as promoting and implementing principles of joint and spinal function. Sports Chiropractors consider a person as an integrated biomechanical individual giving special attention to the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments and nerves. They are experts in the examination, diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. Sports Chiropractic is a natural health care method that stresses the importance of keeping all the systems of the body functioning efficiently so the athlete can express peak performance, minimizing injury risk, and enhancing fast recuperative powers. Many world-class athletes, including Olympic athletes, as well as elite level professional athletes and teams, have retained sports chiropractors to provide care. Just to name a few, Joe Montana, Nolan Ryan, Tiger Woods, Tiki Barber and Lance Armstrong all utilize chiropractic care to obtain and remain at peak performance year round. The Players Association of the NFL has officially incorporated sports chiropractors as a regular part of care. Chiropractors have been selected as attending doctors at the Olympic Games and at national and world championships in track and field, cycling, volleyball, powerlifting, aerobics, and triathlons.
Who Can Benefit From Sports Chiropractic…
As stated earlier, many professional athletic organizations recognize the value of chiropractic care in correcting and preventing injuries. Chiropractic care can be beneficial for both amateur and professional athletes engaged in all kinds of sports activities, as well as the “weekend warrior.” Chiropractors work in concert with athletic trainers and their team of sports medicine professionals such as podiatrists, orthopedic specialists, physical therapists, massage therapists and other health care professionals to provide treatment for each individual athlete.
High school, collegiate and professional athletes are seeking chiropractic care for their injuries and performance care to enhance their agility, strength and speed. Most sports injuries cause joint sprains, muscle and tendon strains or tearing of tendons, ligaments, and muscles that support the joints (shoulder, elbow, hand, wrist, hip, knee, ankle, foot, and spine). When the joint cannot be supported due to biomechanical breakdown or muscular imbalances that cause postural asymmetries, it will become dysfunctional causing pain, loss of motion, and consequently decreased performance. Chiropractic sports care includes the evaluation of the joint and the associated injured soft tissues. Most tissue tears and joint sprains can be helped with sports chiropractic. Injuries that include fractures and/or severe joint instability will be referred for orthopedic evaluation.
Whether you are a member of a team or participate in an individual sport, whether you are a professional athlete or “weekend warrior,” you can benefit from sports chiropractic care.
The Focus of Chiropractic Care
Chiropractic care focuses on the maintenance of fitness and health by improving the biomechanics of the spine and musculoskeletal system. The relationship between joint function in our body, especially along the spine and the responsiveness of our nervous system to react to our environment, is enhanced by chiropractic care.
Sports injuries and rigors of athletic training, typically disturb normal body mechanics. Because of their expertise and extensive training in neuromusculoskeletal conditions, sports chiropractors are uniquely skilled in treating the athlete. When injuries do occur, prompt evaluation and treatment by a qualified sports chiropractor will support a quick recovery and resumption of normal activities.
What To Expect
Sports care given by a Chiropractic Sports Physician will involve direct hands on application to the injured area. This may include joint manipulation, specific muscle and tendon manipulation and soft tissue manipulation. Many sports related injuries may also require physiotherapeutic modalities which may include ultrasound, electric muscle stimulation, ice/heat, and/or contrast stimulation. Manipulation or adjustments to the injured joints will not only align the bones of the joints, but will also help align the torn fibers that hold the joint together. Exercise rehabilitation will also be utilized to strengthen and stabilize the injured area. This combination of treatment decreases inflammation and pain and treats the injury directly without side effects and allows for quicker healing time. Overall, the chiropractic approach to sports injury care helps prevent chronic problems and allows for more stable, pain free joints and healthier soft tissues.