Why anyone can (and should) visit a chiropractor regularly, a vast number of athletes utilize DC’s for problems with their muscular-skeletal systems regularly with impressive results.
Most people make the conclusion that a person visiting a chiropractor is doing so for problems with their back or neck. According to a recent study led by Dr. Simon French of the Melbourne University in Australia, most people do visit the chiropractor for these reasons. However other research is showing that people are reaching out to their D.C. for other treatments involving problems with their muscular-skeletal system, and a great deal of these patients are younger athletes.
The punishment the body takes in sports
Participating in sports is encouraged because of the many benefits. Not only is a person getting exercise when playing, but they are also developing fine motor skills, learning about teamwork and fair play and of course building friendships. But their bodies are also taking impacts no matter what sport they are playing.
“Even if you don’t play football, sports like soccer, baseball, volleyball, softball, wrestling and lacrosse involve a lot of contact and the physical demands of any training and practice affect your spine and muscles too. Cross country track was a slug fest in NY. As soon as you were out of sight and in the woods running the race guys were catching elbows in their sides and getting pushed down,” says Dr. Jay Lipoff, Executive Board Member of the International Chiropractic Association Council on Fitness and Sports Health Science. A point he drove home by drawing a comparison between heading a soccer ball traveling at 70 miles per hour and getting punched by Muhammad Ali.
Types of sports injuries treated through chiropractic care
While seeking chiropractic care for back and neck pain caused by injuries suffered in sports like football and rugby would normal, injuries to other parts of the body can also benefit from a visit to the D.C. In fact, many studies have shown that chiropractic treatment helps athletes recover from injuries without the need for painkillers or invasive surgery.
Headaches – with a current focus on head and neck injuries in sports it should be noted that a Duke University study from back in 2001 came to the conclusion that, “Spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate relief for headaches originating from the neck.” Since 60 to 90 percent of all headaches are linked to facet joint pain (neck), chiropractic treatments offer a significant form of relief.
Shoulder pain – Studies from the Annals of Internal Medicine and the British Medical Journal both found that adding shoulder manipulation to traditional rehab techniques improved the outcomes and reduced pain associated with certain shoulder injuries.
Ankle injuries – a joint study from the JMPT and Physiological Therapeutics found that chiropractic care of ankle sprains helped increase motion, lessen pain and provide better ankle function.
Injury prevention – An Australian study conducted in BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders reported that Australian football players who used a regiment of chiropractic care had a fewer number of leg injuries than those who did not.
Types of treatment
While there are many different types of treatments that chiropractors perform on their patients, Ellen Sonnino’s report in US News and World Report discussed four methods that are often used to treat athletes:
Active Release Technique where massage and stretching are combined with moving the effected joint through a range of motion.
Graston Technique that uses stainless steel tools to break down scar tissue.
Functional dry needling where deep trigger points are focused on to release tension in the muscles through stimulation.
Electrical muscle stimulation to release tension towards the surface of the muscle using contraction caused by electricity.
And not all athletes are seeking chiropractic care after they suffer an injury. Some, like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, find that it helps improve not only their health, but their performance, “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”