The American College of Pediatricians (ACP) states that spending time as a family offers numerous benefits.
Bringing everyone closer together reduces stress for individual family members. Doing things as a family unit also tends to have a positive effect on the behavior of adolescent children, according to the ACP, with research finding that togetherness often results in younger family members engaging in fewer delinquent behaviors.
Although there are many family-based activities that can accomplish these goals, the ACP particularly recommends playing sports. But can you build and grow a successful chiropractic business around this one activity alone?
Expand your knowledge base
Some doctors of chiropractic (DCs) who specialize in sports chiropractic work primarily with one type of patient.
For instance, many professional sports teams such as the National Football League and National Basketball Association have an official chiropractor who works to prevent and treat sports injuries. Therefore, these DCs must know what types of injuries are most common to a particular sport, and the injuries more prone to afflict players in the average player’s age range.
However, when working with entire families, your knowledge base has to be wider and more inclusive. Instead of knowing how to work with a specific age group, gender, or certain type of athlete, you need to be able to effectively help them all.
This may require additional training in any areas you lack. Certainly, you don’t have to master every modality, but even a basic skillset can help you better evaluate and treat families.
Learn the causes of the most common injuries
The American Chiropractic Association finds that younger athletes tend to have more overuse injuries. They are also more likely to engage in practices that typically stress their musculoskeletal system, which includes not using the right equipment or practicing good technique. Thus, knowing how to correct and treat these issues is critical when working with younger family members.
Gaining this type of knowledge for adults and seniors enables you to work more effectively with all of the individual family members, reducing their risk of injury by sharing causes of the most common injuries for persons their age. It also enables you to provide them with the concepts and tools necessary to prevent these types of injuries from occurring.
Identify the sports that affect each age group most
According to the American Physical Therapy Association (APTA), injuries related to “general exercise” are most prominent in those aged 5 to 14, as well as for those 25 years old and up. Yet, when it comes to specific sports, there are some clear statistics as to which ones generally result in the most injuries based on age alone.
- 5 to 14 years of age: football, playground activities, gymnastics and cheerleading, cycling
- 15 to 24 years of age: soccer, football, gymnastics and cheerleading
- 25 years of age and up: recreational sports (e.g., racquet sports, golf, hiking), basketball, cycling, watersports
The APTA further indicates that the most common injury types across all age ranges are sprains and strains, with lower extremity injuries more frequent than those of the upper extremities, head, neck, or trunk. Knowing this better prepares you for the injuries your sports-playing families are more likely to face based on their ages and the sports they prefer to play.
Enhance communication skills with parents
Though you may be treating the entire family unit, it is the parents who are ultimately responsible for ensuring that safe sports practices are followed. This makes them key players in the process, and the ones you should provide with suggestions or concerns.
According to an article published in Indian Pediatrics, engaging in positive communication with parents includes using such strategies as:
- Truly listening to parents’ concerns;
- Bolstering their confidence by not judging them and praising them for their positive actions;
- Taking the time to thoroughly explain diagnoses and treatment recommendations, increasing parents’ level of understanding; and
- Being truthful and clear in your explanations, while also remaining empathetic and tolerant of their responses and worries.
Building and growing a successful family sports chiropractic practice involves understanding the challenges and injury risks faced by all of the individual members. The better you’re able to treat each one, the more effective you are in helping the family as a whole.