A Key Focus for Your Practice: Athletes
Most patients come into our offices with recent injuries, or not so recent, which have finally become unbearable. Often, we are the last stop before surgery. Truthfully, the patients who need us most are the ones in our communities who are the healthiest. Athletes can rely on chiropractic physicians to reach peak performance levels and minimize the stresses that sports and training can put on their bodies. This is especially important for youth athletes, with seasons lasting longer and training becoming more competitive. It’s more common to see our young patients experiencing adult-type athletic injuries, such as a torn anterior cruciate ligaments (ACL), tendonitis, torn cartilage, and torn rotator cuffs. The injuries these kids are sustaining today have the potential to cause permanent damage that affects future joint stability.
Concern about sports injuries, particularly the possibility of concussions, is causing parents to rethink their children’s participation in sports activities. Athletes have options when it comes to treating sports-related pain. They might choose the pharmaceutical path, but drugs can dull reaction times and can become addictive. They can choose surgery to repair damage, but that might leave them unable to perform for a lengthy time. Or, they can choose chiropractic treatments, which can relieve or prevent pain and keep the body balanced, flexible, and able to perform at its peak.
Chiropractic treatments are proven effective for a number of sports ailments, including:
- Groin pain
- Tennis elbow
- Back and shoulder pain
- Headaches from injuries to the head and neck
- Ankle and knee injuries
The Treatment Used by the Best
To say that chiropractic treatment is proven as effective for the issues listed above is an understatement. A recent study estimated that 90% of world-class athletes depend on chiropractic care to reach peak performance and reduce and treat injuries. All NFL teams use chiropractic physicians, as well as the majority of NBA, MLB, and NHL teams, and 72% of PGA golfers.
Some of the best athletes in history have relied upon chiropractic care to reach new heights. Emmitt Smith, the Cowboys running back who holds the record for most NFL career rushing yards, used chiropractic treatment throughout his career. Jerry Rice, widely acknowledged as the greatest NFL receiver ever, said chiropractic was “key” to helping him stay on the field and have a lengthy career. Former heavyweight boxing champion Evander Holyfield routinely got three chiropractic adjustments a week and got adjusted before every fight.
The Picture of Health?
Chiropractic can help athletes who aren’t as healthy as they might appear. One fascinating paper that appeared in the journal Sports Medicine argued that athletes, while seeming to be the fittest and healthiest among us, actually are not. Philip B. Maffetone and Paul B. Laursen argued that “coupled with our modern-day, highly processed, high glycemic diets, over-exercise can create or exacerbate chronic inflammation, oxidative stress, and compromised immunity. Ultimately, these symptoms reveal an unhealthy athlete.”
Chiropractic physicians, they argued, can bring a new level of health and performance to athletes by removing imbalances, thus relieving stressors on the nervous system. Good posture, muscle strength, and spinal health are all connected, so a spine out of alignment can and will affect physical performance.
In a day and age where many youth athletes train like professionals, it has never been more important as a profession to begin educating parents, coaches, and youth athletes on the importance of recovering like a pro. Chiropractic care’s ability to bring the body back to its ideal state will prevent injuries, promote healing and repair, and allow athletes to maintain peak performance as they age. If made a regular part of a training regimen, it can help athletes reach new heights in the competitive world of sports, giving them a crucial edge that can be a key to victory at any age.