Sports chiropractic athletes: A sports chiropractor is a specialist that works with athletes to improve their performance. These doctors specialize in assessing and treating sports injuries. Treatment also prevents future damage/injury by providing a customized rehabilitation, strengthening, flexibility, and mobility program, that includes:
- Exercise prescription
- Ergonomic recommendations
- Health coaching/counseling
- Therapeutic sports massage
Sports chiropractic deals with preventing, diagnosing, and treating sports-athletic-based injuries to muscles, tendons, ligaments, and joints. Sports chiropractors have extensive training in evaluating muscular-skeletal problems related to sports participation overuse. Diagnosis is acquired through:
- Body compositional analysis
- Physical examination
- Clinical findings
- Muscle testing – neurological evaluation
- Radiological imaging
Sports Chiropractic Athletes
Chiropractors are masters of the human body and trained to use advanced diagnostics tools. A sports chiropractor evaluates individuals from all levels of sports and fitness, including:
- Athletes – professional or recreational
- Weekend warriors
- Military personnel
The objective is to identify musculoskeletal problems related to sporting activity or overuse, alleviate pain, rehabilitate, and strengthen to prevent future injury. They can diagnose and treat sports-related injuries from common overuse injuries like:
- Hip pain from frequently running on pavement.
- Shoulder pain from damage caused by continued overhead throwing or hitting.
- Low back and leg issues from twisting, bending, jumping, and reaching.
Athletes need a healthy balance of endurance, strength, and structure. Through biomechanics training, sports chiropractic restores the body’s natural balance and proper function. The goal is to get the athlete re-engaged and protected against further injury and play without any problems or limitations. Sports chiropractic athletes can return in a short amount of time from injuries that include:
- Torn ACLs
- MCL Sprain
- Ankle Sprain
- Achilles Tendonitis
- Rotator cuff tears
- Quadriceps Strains
- Hamstrings Strains
- Shin Splints
- Sports Hernia
- Neck Pain
- Back Pain
They can recommend prevention programs to prevent potential problems before an athlete gets hurt. A chiropractor will detect developing muscle imbalances before they turn into a chronic condition that can lead to damage to the rest of the body. Additional therapies include:
- Hot/cold treatments
- Ultrasound therapy
- Low-level laser therapy
Adjustments, stretching, core training, therapeutic sports massage, health coaching, and nutritional counseling will strengthen the body, allowing for performing physical activities and sports at optimum levels.
Working with sports chiropractic athletes means achieving a balance of lean mass to maintain sports performance and reduce the risk of injury. Athletes, doctors, and trainers monitor gains over time to maximize performance and watch for signs of potential injury. A method of monitoring for potential injury is the ECW/TBW Analysis. When training and engaging in sports, the body is under physical stress. The proper amount of rest and recovery are needed to allow muscles to recover and regrow. Inflammation is reflected in the ECW/TBW by monitoring changes over time. A steady increase can indicate a sign of overtraining or improper recovery. Monitoring this progression can alert doctors and trainers that an athlete needs a less intense workout or longer recovery to reduce the potential for overtraining injury.
Corcoran, Kelsey L et al. “Association Between Chiropractic Use and Opioid Receipt Among Patients with Spinal Pain: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis.” Pain medicine (Malden, Mass.) vol. 21,2 (2020): e139-e145. doi:10.1093/pm/pnz219
Naqvi U, Sherman Al. Muscle Strength Grading. [Updated 2021 Sep 2]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (F.L.): StatPearls Publishing; 2022 Jan-. Available from: www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK436008/
Nelson, Luke et al. “A descriptive study of sports chiropractors with an International Chiropractic Sports Science Practitioner qualification: a cross-sectional survey.” Chiropractic & manual therapies vol. 29,1 51. 13 Dec. 2021, doi:10.1186/s12998-021-00405-1
Williams, Sean et al. “Kinesio taping in treatment and prevention of sports injuries: a meta-analysis of the evidence for its effectiveness.” Sports medicine (Auckland, N.Z.) vol. 42,2 (2012): 153-64. doi:10.2165/11594960-000000000-00000
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