Sports specialization and an aging and active population are only a couple of reasons chiropractic sports medicine popularity continues to rise
After family chiropractic, sports chiropractic is the one area DCs choose to specialize in most often according to data revealed in Chiropractic Economics’ 22nd Annual Salary & Expense Survey.
With 12.6% of all DCs questioned reporting that they focus primarily on treating athletes and other active individuals, that places this area of service above nutrition, pediatrics, and all other specialties combined.
What makes sports chiropractic the most popular specialization by this set of practitioners?
Sports injuries on the rise
According to the most recent information released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 8.6 million injuries due to sports and recreational activities are reported every year. Additionally, males, children between the ages of 5-14, and non-Hispanic whites tend to suffer these types of injuries the most.
However, new research is finding that there are even more factors that are placing today’s athletes at greater risk of injury, reinforcing chiropractic sports medicine popularity. One is sport specialization.
In September 2019 the Orthopaedic Journal of Sports Medicine published a study involving 10,138 youth which found that females specializing in just one sport had a greater risk of injury. Researchers further indicated that this risk increased as these girls’ total hours of vigorous activity increased.
Sports chiropractors can work with patients in these types of high-injury risk groups, reducing their risk of injury by ensuring a healthy structural foundation and teaching them how to avoid some of the most common issues individuals in their demographic tend to face.
Athletes are motivated patients
It can be extremely frustrating to spend a great deal of time with a patient, explaining ways they can proactively support their own health and wellness, only to know that they aren’t listening to a word you say. They may be nodding their head in agreement as you speak, but you know deep down that the minute they walk out that door, they’re going to forget everything you just explained and keep doing what they’ve always done.
This can certainly happen with athletes too, but those who are serious about staying active and excelling in their sport are also more willing to listen to your advice and take it to heart. They have a natural appreciation for improving their overall health and will do their part to achieve that goal.
Working with motivated patients can make the days go by with more ease and satisfaction. It places the doctor and patient on equal footing as each is working toward the same goal: helping the athlete perform at maximum capacity.
Chiropractic sports medicine popularity and rewards
One thing that sets athletes apart is their constant drive to reach new goals. They strive to continue to break past their own personal records in their sport of choice, sometimes smashing the records others have set in the process.
As a sports chiropractor, it can be extremely rewarding to help athletes reach these new heights. Heights that continue to increase, even after we think the human body has reached the pinnacle of its capacity.
Penn State University indicates that the reason athletic records continue to be broken is partially due to advancements in technology designed to enhance sports performance. But it’s also possible that we’ve not yet achieved the body’s maximum athletic capabilities.
Chiropractic can help in this regard as research has found that athletes are often able to perform better after engaging in a treatment regimen. As an example, one case study published in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia involved a 50-year-old male who was an elite racewalker training for the World Masters Athletic Championships. Four days after spinal manipulative therapy and tibiofemoral adjustments, he’d beat his own personal record by 2.5 minutes. And this was a current state record he’d set himself the year before.
There are many reasons chiropractors might decide to specialize in chiropractic sports medicine, which statistics indicate will continue to grow in popularity due to a rapidly aging and increasingly active U.S. population.