Athletes in every sport seek ways of improving performance, both on and off the playing field. Innovative nutrition, revolutionary training strategies, and finely-honed techniques can give athletes a performance edge over their competitors. Improving training and performance while avoiding injury is another aspect of an athlete’s life. Among top athletes, chiropractic care is the solution to both improving performance and reducing sports-related injuries.
Common Sports Injuries
No matter what age an athlete is, he or she can be subject to a wide variety of sports-related injuries. The type and severity of injury is somewhat dependent on the sport played; football players are more likely to have injuries related to impact than gymnasts, who may experience sprains, strains, and musculoskeletal overuse injuries.
Some of the most common injuries, regardless of sport, include:
- Repetitive use injuries
- Impact injuries
- Muscle tears
- Sprains and strains
- Pain in the spine and lower back
- Joint pain and stiffness
An athlete needs to avoid injury whenever possible. Proper technique and careful training help to minimize overuse injuries and muscle tears. During competitive play, however, there are many factors that lead up to injuries. If an athlete is injured, he or she must be able to heal quickly so as not to miss out on a favorite sport. Chiropractic care can speed recovery, as we will discuss shortly.
The Spine and Sports Performance
It should be no surprise that our spines are critical in sports performance. After all, our spines form the center of our musculoskeletal system – which itself is responsible for balance, flexibility, and core strength. Problems with spinal alignment, called subluxations by chiropractic care professionals, can adversely affect sports performance both on and off the field. These spinal misalignments can come from many sources, but the most common are impacts and trauma, poor technique, and stress.
Subluxations interfere with the function of the nervous system, which may cause a host of performance-related problems. The nerve pathways can no longer communicate effectively in those affected by spinal misalignments. Imbalances in nerve function can reduce performance by scrambling the signals associated with sensory organs like the eyes and ears. Nerve signals that help control the firing of muscle fibers can also be affected, reducing strength or interfering with balance.
Chiropractic doctors have specialized training in the diagnosis and correction of spinal subluxations. When athletes are treated with chiropractic care, the spine is realigned. This restores proper performance of the nerve pathways, allowing the athlete to regain lost balance and mobility.
Children and Sports Performance
Children can be especially prone to sports-related injuries. Young athletes do not yet have the experience needed to maintain proper form when training or during competition. These young players also tend to overtrain, positioning themselves for an increased chance of injury. Children may also take more risks both on and off the field than their adult counterparts. These factors can lead to significant sports-related injuries, such as:
- Overuse injuries, including tendonitis
- Broken bones and bruising from impacts
- Muscle tears
- Strains and sprains
Studies conducted by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicate that nearly three million children are treated for sports-related and recreational injuries every year. The most common injuries reported are musculoskeletal in nature.
Just like in adults, impact injuries or overuse conditions can lead to spinal subluxations, reducing sports performance and recovery dramatically. The solution is the same, no matter what age the athlete is: chiropractic treatment.
Chiropractic care is safe and effective, even for the youngest patient. A chiropractic doctor, with regular visits and therapies, can help restore spinal alignment in child athletes. This both improves performance, but also alleviates many of the symptoms of injury, particularly a reduction in pain. Restoration of lost mobility is another great benefit of regular chiropractic therapy.
Final Words about Chiropractic Care in Sports
Athletes have many treatments available when they have been injured. Most athletes want to spend as little downtime as possible; and the right treatments can speed the healing process after injury.
Athletes around the world are also interested in anything that can help boost performance. For both injury management and rehabilitation as well as sports performance, chiropractic care is the safe answer. By seeking regular adjustments and evaluations by a chiropractic professional, athletes can overcome debilitating injuries. Adjustments restore spinal alignment, improving the function of the body’s core, which is critical in overall sports performance. Adjustments can also help alleviate the pain associated with an injury.
Chiropractic care professionals are valuable resources when it comes to sports performance. Consult with a chiropractor near you to learn more about how they can help you avoid injury, recover from injury, and boost performance in your favorite sport.
This article was written by Pasadena Chiropractors at the Joint Chiropractic – Pasadena East.