An athlete's body takes on a ton of stress. Between tough workouts and the rigors of practices and games, no wonder athletes often suffer chronic aches and pains, which unfortunately can morph into serious injuries.
As a sports chiropractor, this is something we try to reduce. By correcting spinal alignment and function, a chiropractor can help maximize your performance on the field by preventing injuries and improving recovery. Here's how it works:
One of the biggest causes of injuries in athletes is asymmetry throughout the body, meaning one side of the body is different from the other. It could be a strength difference on the left or right side, but most commonly we deal with mobility and flexibility issues. We use chiropractic adjustments to get the body properly aligned and perform soft tissue work such as massage to reduce tension that could be keeping the body out of alignment. This reduces the risk of injury because one area of the body won't have to work as hard or experience as much stress by picking up the slack from a deficient area.
Increasing Range of Motion
Chiropractic adjustments allow the body to move as freely as it was designed to do. When your spine is out of alignment, your muscles commonly spasm or cramp up, causing a decrease in range of motion. Relieving misalignments throughout the spine helps free up areas of tension in the back and neck, reducing pain and improving mobility. As a byproduct, this treatment can also improve your exercise form—especially during overhead lifts—because tight muscles won't be holding you back.
Promoting Faster Healing
Misalignments throughout the body slow down healing. When an athlete is injured, his or her body tries to protect itself with muscle spams and inflammation. This increases the time it takes for the athlete to heal fully and get back on the field. Chiropractic adjustments speed up the recovery process of your muscles.
Should You Go to a Chiropractor?
Ideally, the answer is absolutely. Chiropractic care maximizes recovery and helps keep your body healthy—which is why many collegiate and pro teams have a chiropractor on staff or on consult. We focus primarily on the spine, but we can also help treat:
- Shoulder pain
- Shoulder, elbow, wrist and hand sprains and strains
- Hip, knee, ankle and foot sprains and strains
- Tennis and golfer's elbow
- Neck, mid-back and low-back pain
To get the best treatment, look for a chiropractor who has experience working with athletes. A session with a chiropractor once or twice per week can make a huge difference late in your season, when you need to be at your best.