Professional athletes use chiropractic care to avoid injury, maintain peak performance and boost flexibility. According to the American Chiropractic Association, it’s even known that all NFL teams use chiropractors. Even most NHL and MLB teams keep chiropractors on staff. It’s common to see golf and tennis stars with chiropractors traveling with them during training and competitions. Are you noticing a trend? People who know the most about how to make their bodies perform at the highest levels have confidence in chiropractic care! There’s a lot that everyone from weekend athletes to “desk jockeys” can learn from professional athletes when it comes to the benefits of seeing a sports chiropractor. Take a look at the five reasons professional athletes consistently see sports chiropractors.
1. Chiropractic Treatment Can Reduce the Need for Pain Medications and Drugs
Chiropractic care is a holistic option that allows professional athletes to avoid the need for pain medications and drugs that only offer short-term relief. It’s so important for athletes to avoid medication use whenever possible due to issues like side effects and dependencies. According to a 2019 study, people who saw a chiropractor for pain were 64 percent less likely to use opioids than people who didn’t. Sports chiropractors are able to use techniques like spinal manipulation, massage, exercises and education to promote healing of the underlying issue instead of merely masking pain. While getting to the true cause of pain is important for everyone, it can be especially important for athletes who rely on proper function of their muscles, joints and ligaments to perform.
2. Seeing a Sports Chiropractor Can Help to Prevent Injuries
Athletes know that being off balance by even an inch can ruin a match, season or career! That’s why they’re so diligent about maintaining peak physical condition. Musculoskeletal injuries are especially common in athletes due to the quick maneuvers that are demanded of them during games and matches. The best way to avoid a musculoskeletal injury is to keep the musculoskeletal system in optimal balance.
Many people have something called “muscle asymmetry” that is caused by some muscle groups being overworked while others are underworked. Even athletes who dedicate big portions of their lives to training in the gym can still fall prey to muscle imbalances! A sports chiropractor can be essential for helping athletes to identify muscle groups that are overcompensating for weaker muscle groups. Unbalanced muscles account for so many of the sports injuries that people don’t see coming. This is so important for amending a training routine to create balanced strength that can cut down on injury risks. In studies, sports chiropractic intervention has been associated with significant reduction in primary lower limb muscle strains and weeks missed due to non-contact knee injuries.
3. Sports Chiropractic Care Can Reduce Recovery Time
Muscle fatigue and soreness are common in athletes due to the grueling training schedules needed to compete! While rest and hydration are important parts of recovery, professional athletes don’t stop there. They know that soft-tissue stimulation can help to speed up recovery by:
- Improving blood flow.
- Decreasing lactic acid.
- Making tissue more movable.
- Increasing joint mobility to fight stiffness.
The benefit of increasing blood flow through manual and instrument-guided stimulation is that oxygen helps to feed muscles. It’s also important to speak on the benefits of reducing lactic acid that builds up following intense exercise. The reason why serious athletes develop high amounts of lactic acid in their bodies is that this glycolysis byproduct forms as the body produces energy. The body produces lactic acid naturally in response to the need to increase energy during grueling and intense physical activity. Unfortunately, a buildup of lactic acid can cause muscle pain, cramping and fatigue. Lactic acid can be a big impediment to recovery for athletes.
4. Chiropractic Care May Reduce the Need for Surgery Following Sports Injuries
Surgery is something that every professional athlete lives to avoid! Surgeries for common musculoskeletal issues can require weeks of bed rest following by months of physical therapy. There’s also a risk for complications that could make it impossible to ever get back in the game at the same level. How does sports chiropractic care help to reduce the likelihood of needing surgery following a sports injury?
In a 2013 study looking at early predictors of spine surgery, researchers found that seeing a surgeon as a first healthcare provider instead of a chiropractor greatly increases the risk of being told you need surgery. In fact, 43 percent of people looked at by the study underwent surgery within three years of seeing a surgeon. By contrast, only 1.5 percent of patients who saw a chiropractor first needed surgery.
Chiropractic techniques focus on correcting the root imbalance behind an injury. This often means identifying knots, muscle asymmetry or underlying structural issues that are causing pain, malfunction, reduced flexibility or loss of mobility. Correcting the issue at the source is often enough to activate the body’s own healing abilities. What’s more, correcting a misalignment or imbalance in one part of the body can often enhance blood flow to other parts of the body for better overall performance. The end result is holistically oriented, whole-body healing that doesn’t just focus on surgically altering one part of the body to try to restore function.
5. Chiropractic Care Helps to Support Whole-Body Wellness for Life
The real beauty of chiropractic care for athletes is that it doesn’t just focus on “manipulating” the body for short-term gain. Sports chiropractic care is truly focused on developing a healthy, balanced body that’s capable of performing at peak without injuries. Chiropractors help to set the body up for success by focusing on:
- Gait analysis.
- Ligament stability.
- Tendon stability.
- Proper spinal alignment.
- Proper extremity alignment.
- Evaluation of body mechanics.
- Assessment of muscular patterns.
- Proper diet.
- Proper sleep.
Chiropractors can help athletes to unwind properly using sports massage techniques, trigger-point therapy for muscle knots, inversion therapy, Kinesio® taping and many more cutting-edge treatments. Athletes can even turn to chiropractors for cutting-edge laser therapies. Shockwave therapy is known to speed up tissue healing following injuries or strains that are reducing function, mobility, range of motion or comfort.
Chiropractors Offer Support for the Sport of Life!
It’s obvious why thousands of chiropractic adjustments happen during every season in every facet of the professional sports world! However, it’s important to know that sports chiropractic care is something that’s truly accessible for all people. While athletes have been hiring their own chiropractors for decades, the reality is that the same techniques and cutting-edge tools being used on the sidelines at the biggest arenas in the world are also available right at your local chiropractor’s office. Chiropractic care is considered an affordable, accessible care route that is increasingly being covered by major insurance plans due to its proven efficacy and cost benefits.
Let’s bust the myth! It’s not necessary to be paid millions to play to see a sports chiropractor. In fact, getting seen by a sports chiropractor can be an investment in your long-term health and wellness even if you’re just a weekend runner. Many people are unknowingly setting themselves up for injuries and strain when playing the sports they love because they aren’t being serious enough about training just because they are “amateurs.” The reality is that part-time athletes are just as susceptible to common sports injuries like runner’s knee, tennis elbow, golfer’s elbow, jumper’s knee, shin splints, torn rotator cuffs and Achilles tendinitis as people who are on the field all day.
See a Sports Chiropractor in Scottsdale, AZ
AZMulticare is so pleased to be able to offer top-tier sports chiropractic care for athletes at all levels at our state-of-the-art chiropractic clinic in Scottsdale, AZ! Dr. Robinson has personally worked with athletes in the NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB, PGA Tour and LPGA Tour. He applies the same techniques that have helped some of the world’s top athletes to perform at their best every day here in our office. For a consultation, call (480) 991-5555 or book online!