Chiropractic care can be a safe, noninvasive, and effective way to help manage pain and assist in the healing and rehabilitation process of common sports injuries. And, in many cases, chiropractic treatments may even prevent those injuries from happening!
Benefits of chiropractic care for the treatment of sports injuries
Here’s how a chiropractor can help athletes recover from various sports injuries:
Spinal adjustments, soft tissue manipulation, and therapeutic exercises can be effective treatments for relieving neck and arm pain, restoring joint range of motion, and speeding the recovery of damaged soft tissues in the neck. In severe cases, the chiropractor may refer you to, and work in conjunction with, your primary care physician or an orthopedic physician.
Neck sprains and strains
Just as with whiplash, chiropractic adjustments have been shown to reduce pain, improve mobility, and support the body’s natural healing process after someone has suffered a neck muscle strain or ligament sprain injury.
Lower Back Injuries
A common injury among people participating in sports, lower back injuries can be caused in many ways:
Overuse or repetitive motions, as in golf, tennis, or weight lifting, can strain the lower back, leading to muscle strains and stress fractures.
Using improper techniques when lifting heavy weights can lead to lower back injuries.
Sudden twisting motions that are common in baseball, softball, and basketball put stress on the lower back, which can lead to muscle strains or herniated discs.
Collisions or falls like you’d see in football, rugby, or martial arts can injure the lower back.
Inadequately warming up or having weak core muscles (muscles located in the trunk and pelvis area that support the spine, allow twisting motions, and help maintain good posture) make a person more vulnerable to lower back injuries.
Chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation, and therapeutic exercises can all help to reduce the lower back pain and stiffness associated with lower back sports injuries.
Cervical disc injuries
Located at the base of the head, cervical discs are responsible for supporting the head, cushioning stress on the neck, and allowing you to flex and turn your head. So injuries here can result in headaches, neck or arm pain, and/or weakness, numbness, or tingling in the arms or hands.
Specialized chiropractic adjustments and treatments are designed to reduce pressure on the injured discs in order to relieve pain and promote healing. If needed, the chiropractor may collaborate with your primary care doctor or other medical providers since imaging studies (such as MRI) or other tests may be needed for definitive diagnosis.
Chiropractic treatments for the prevention of sports injuries
We know that chiropractors can help with pain management and facilitate the healing process. But did you know that chiropractic care can also help prevent sports injuries from happening?
Here are a few examples:
By focusing on spinal health and joint function, a chiropractor can help reduce the risk of injury, improve alignment, and help assure that an athlete’s muscles, bones, tendons, and ligaments all work and move together. This can be accomplished with:
Improving Biomechanics: A chiropractor who’s knowledgeable about sports injuries can provide the most appropriate treatment options, depending on the type of injury and the athlete’s medical history and physical condition.
By helping to improve body posture and suggesting exercises, warm-up routines, and proper equipment use to strengthen joints and muscles, a chiropractor can improve movement efficiency and reduce pressure on the spine and joints.
Preventive Care: Regular visits to the chiropractor can help identify and treat possible areas of concern or misalignment that could lead to injuries. They can also offer guidance on spinal health, core stability exercises, and movement efficiency, as well as possibly refer you to athletic trainers and strength coaches, physical therapists, or other sports medicine physicians.