Preventing accidents and injuries has become as important as treatment for athletes seeking out chiropractic
From D.D. Palmer’s first chiropractic adjustment in 1895, chiropractic has been considered a modality that helps patients heal. Now studies, research and evidenced by virtually every professional sports team employing a chiropractor link chiropractic with enhanced recovery from sports-related injuries.
One example is a dual-case report published in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies that shares how chiropractic intervention helped two Australian Rules footballers completely resolve hamstring injuries. Another study, this one published in Chiropractic & Osteopathy, shares how chiropractic was beneficial when treating ice hockey with a variety of muscle, joint, and tendon injuries.
Now chiropractic is being used as a way for athletes to get and stay in top shape before injuries can occur, hopefully preventing them altogether.
A shift in athletes’ perception of chiropractic care
“Many decades ago, doctors and patients alike started noticing that chiropractic care not only allowed them to feel better and eliminate aches and pains, but they also noticed it could help people recover faster from their injuries,” says Tabor Smith, DC, owner of Pure Life Family Wellness in Houston, Texas. “It wasn’t long after this realization that the sports industry caught on to it as well.”
One reason injury prevention is so important to athletes is because being injured can keep them from competing for long lengths of time, costing professional athletes and teams money, says Smith. “Depending on the nature of the injury, it could even become career-ending,” he adds.
This issue is made even more complex by the fact that some of the most commonly used recovery options include surgery and drugs. While these remedies are sometimes an effective option for athletes, “the amount of improvement someone can get just from drugs and surgery is limited,” says Smith. This has caused many athletes to turn to chiropractic instead.
Chiropractic for preventing accidents and injuries
“As recent as a few decades ago, athletic organizations realized not only could utilizing chiropractic care return an athlete to the roster quicker, but implementing consistent chiropractic check-ups and adjustments could in fact prevent many injuries in the first place,” says Smith. “An athlete whose body expresses normal biomechanics, alignment, and joint function is much less likely to sustain injury compared to an athlete who is not in proper shape or alignment.”
Whether taking this approach to gain a competitive edge or reach new personal goals, “It’s important to understand no matter how good an athlete is at what they do, they’re only one injury away from a major setback,” says Smith. “Many have discovered a secret to lowing their risk of injury by utilizing regular chiropractic care.”
Helping athletes embrace preventive care
Athletes are interested in achieving optimal health in an effort to improve their bodies and master their sport of choice. How can chiropractors utilize this desire to help them also realize that chiropractic is not only an effective sports injury treatment remedy, but may be able to help prevent issues in the first place?
“To a serious athlete, preventing injury is much more valuable than recovering from one,” says Smith. “When you add in the fact that regular chiropractic care can not only help prevent injury but it also helps to maximize performance, it becomes a very compelling case.”
Chiropractic becomes even more convincing when you consider that some of the greatest athletes in the world rely on this modality as part of their healthcare regimen. Case in point: the American Chiropractic Association reports that approximately 90% of world-class athletes currently engage in chiropractic care with a goal of preventing accidents and injury and improving performance.
“There’s a reason virtually every professional sports team has a chiropractor on their staff now,” says Smith. “To a professional sports program, the health and longevity of their athletes is top priority.”
Making chiropractic part of a healthy lifestyle
“Chiropractic will always be great for helping people recover from injuries,” says Smith, “but no matter what level of activity a person participates in, they’ll be much better off if they incorporate chiropractic in their lifestyle. It’s definitely true what they say, ‘An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.’”