Chiropractic care is a form of natural health care, specifically a non-invasive, drug-free alternative that can help patients find relief from a variety of musculoskeletal issues. Athletes in particular can greatly benefit from chiropractic treatments both before and after they practice and perform.
Chiropractic care for the athletic population is nothing new, but the understanding of the benefits has continued to grow. Professional sports leagues, including Major League Baseball (MLB) and the National Football League (NFL), have recognized these benefits for years. In fact, most professional teams employ their own official sports chiropractor. The Green Bay Packers QB, Aaron Rodgers, had this to say about chiropractic care:
“Performing at my best is important to me and should be to everyone. I am blessed that my dad is a chiropractor. Getting adjusted regularly – along with practicing other good health habits that my mom helped me to establish – are all part of my goal to win in life and on the field.”
A chiropractic sports physician has the tools and skills necessary to optimize the performance of an individual’s musculoskeletal system, as well as their nervous system. This specialized training allows sports chiropractors to provide therapies that are geared towards maintaining strength and rebounding after an injury. It’s also important to help athletes avoid injuries altogether, or if that’s not possible, to effectively manage the associated pain and healing.
How Can Athletic Performance Benefit from Chiropractic Care?
Through training and performance an athlete deals with cumulative microtraumas. In training, this is how an athlete gets stronger:
Apply adequate stress to the system → Develop microtraumas within the tissues → Adequate recovery → Microtraumas within the tissues heal → Builds stronger athlete
When an athlete pushes the threshold too far, or doesn’t allow for adequate recovery, that is when the dreaded injury comes into play; specifically overuse injuries. That is where chiropractic can provide a boost to athletes. Along with these microtraumas comes a loss of active range of motion which leads to weakness of the surrounding structures. Chiropractic can help recovery time and recovery quality by improving range of motion and promoting a healing within the tissues. This can lead to increase muscular function, decreased joint stiffness and pain, improved reaction time and better hand-eye coordination.
Normal wear and tear occurs often to a healthy athlete’s body. After all, that is part of training—we push ourselves hard in practice so we can perform in competition. A chiropractic physician can help assess and treat athletes of all ages to help improve performance and keep them on the field. The goal of any athlete should be to stay healthy—the less time dealing with an injury, the more time that can be put towards getting better—and a chiropractor can help with that.