If you’re an athlete, you understand the numerous demands of participating in a sport such as running, jumping and tackling. Putting your body through these activities can result in painful tears, sprains, and strains. But seeing a chiropractor can help you when you’ve suffered sports injuries and also help to prevent them.
Chiropractors treat and can help prevent injuries of the neck, back, shoulder, knee, and ankle. They’re skilled in manual adjustment of the spine, ensuring that bones are lined up and balanced, which helps relieve tension in the body. This allows the body to function better and become less susceptible to injury. The goal of most chiropractic techniques is to restore or enhance joint function while resolving joint inflammation and reducing pain. This hands-on therapy is often used to treat neck or back injuries but also relieves pain throughout the joints and muscles in the body.
The main reasons athletes suffer sports injuries include forceful impacts, repetitive motions, over-training and failure to warm up properly. Chiropractors can help athletes by relieving their pain and helping them heal faster after an injury. Regular visits will promote quicker recovery after games and training as well as better balance and overall performance.
To start, a chiropractor will ask you questions about your health and perform a structural exam of your posture, spine and balance. He or she will also examine your back, extremities, tendons, ligaments and joints. Utilizing this information, your doctor will be able to determine what treatment would benefit you. The two most common techniques are spinal manipulation and spinal mobilization.
During spinal manipulation, your doctor will place you in different positions and perform a manual impulse to an affected joint. This releases pressure in the joint and aligns muscles and joints so they work the way they’re supposed to. In some cases, the impulse causes an audible cracking sounds, called cavitation, due to the release of gas that happens when the joint opens up and motion is restored.
Spinal mobilization is used for patients that require a gentle approach, and utilizes tools or simple stretches to release pressure in joints.
Chiropractors may also incorporate other treatment methods to relieve pain such as ice, heat or electric stimulation. Be sure to discuss all of your symptoms with your doctor in order for him or her to consider all treatment options.
In addition to treating injuries, chiropractors can also help you prevent injuries from occurring. Before beginning an exercise regimen or a sport, it’s recommended that athletes get evaluated by a chiropractor. Chiropractors can check your muscles and spine to detect imbalance and alleviate tension so that the body can work naturally rather than be prone to injury.
While all chiropractors are skilled at relieving pain due to tension, there are chiropractors who specialize in sports medicine. For advanced pain and chronic sports injuries, consider a chiropractor with a focus in sports medicine who’s experienced in treating athletes and identifying the cause of injury. The sports chiropractor may also have specific techniques for athletes as well as tips for avoiding reinjury.
If you’re experiencing pain from a sports injury, consider seeing a chiropractor. You may want to schedule regular check-ups to prevent injuries from occurring and to keep your body performing properly.