As a chiropractor, I have taken care of athletes from various sports such as golf, football, and gymnastics. In almost all cases, they come in for help with an injury. As a former athlete that had to retire my soccer career at 19 due to chronic back pain, I am honored to be able to help athletes overcome their injuries so they can perform their sport with a better functioning body. I did not get to receive chiropractic care during my athletic career, so helping athletes as a chiropractor is very valuable to me.
Even though treating an injury is very important when helping athletes, there is more to chiropractic care in improving athletic performance.
Preventing injuries is, in my opinion, the most important factor for athletes. Chiropractic care can be very helpful in preventing injury and dysfunction. A chiropractor will check the spine for structural alignment and mobility to make sure the spine is ready to perform the activities needed for the sport. Full range of motion of the spine is very important and will decrease the likelihood of injuries. It's also very important for athletes to have full range of motion in their extremities and a chiropractor can assess and adjust every joint in the upper and lower extremities, if needed.
When the spine and extremities are aligned, balance, coordination, and performance will improve because the brain and nervous system can communicate more efficiently. This is very important for an athlete and a good reason to see a chiropractor regularly even if there are no injuries or dysfunction present.
When the spine is misaligned, pressure on the nerves can affect the muscles in the body. Every muscle is innervated by a nerve or nerves that exist in the spinal column. Pressure on the nerve will decrease the ability of the nerve to send the signal to the muscle. This results in decreased muscle strength, therefore, a decreased chance of a successful performance.
Flexibility is another important piece of the puzzle. An athlete will make sure stretching is a part of their routine, but chiropractic can also help with that. Full range of motion will be easier and stretching can be more efficient when the spine and extremities are properly aligned.
Athletes make sure they exercise, eat right, hydrate, sleep enough, and take their supplements, but taking care of the spine is just as important. Chiropractic care can help you enjoy your sport with fewer injuries and dysfunction and decrease the stress the sport puts on your body.