When was the last time you saw a chiropractor for reasons other than back pain or serious injury?
Most athletes don’t even think about going to a chiropractor until they’ve been put on the sidelines for an injury or are suffering pain that keeps them out of the game. Visiting a chiropractor is not considered a priority while they are feeling at the top of their game. However, regular appointments to a sports chiropractor can prevent sports injuries from happening while improving overall performance.
And this isn’t just for professionals, either. Whether you like to run marathons, play in a sports league with friends for fun, or simply want to be able to keep yourself in shape with regular trips to the gym, healthcare professionals recommend seeing a chiropractor regularly to receive the following benefits:
Healing Strains and Damage Quicker through Acupuncture – Many chiropractors also offer acupuncture services, the ancient Chinese practice of using needles to target and relieve strains in the muscles.
As athletes put their body through rigorous training, they may suffer strains and damages that, without proper care, will lead to serious injuries. But acupuncture can help: inserting needles where strains are present can stimulate circulation in the area around the strain, bringing more fresh blood to the injured muscles and tissues. This extra focus on specific strains will help to speed up recovery time and get the body in its best shape for more training.
Increased Flexibility – Keeping your muscles flexible is key to preventing injuries, and you can improve your flexibility by doing more than just stretching. Chiropractors have the ability to gently manipulate and align your spine to achieve a wider range of motion and increased flexibility. They also can give athletes additional advice on the best ways to warm up the body before training or exercise, as well as how to cool down the body with stretches and a transition back into daily life.
Increased Focus – Chronic pain can affect everyone, but it is especially prevalent amongst athletes who put extra strain on their body. Chronic pain isn’t merely limited to physical symptoms, either. It often causes depression and a decreased focus.
Having your chiropractor help you with that pain alleviates unnecessary stress that, when present in the body, decreases overall mental health. Similar affects can also be achieved with consistent massage therapy, which helps to relieve muscle tension in all areas of the body.
Relieves Pressure on the Nervous System – Chiropractors focus heavily on aligning the spine. The top three vertebrae of the spine are especially important since they sit closest to the brain, neck, and the central parts of the nervous system. Misalignment may interrupt the normal functioning of the nervous system, causing neurological issues.
Maintain Proper Alignment Throughout the Whole Spine – Of course, the spine is made up of more than just three vertebrae, and every area of the spine affects the functioning and the abilities of different parts of the body that we use during athletics. Adjusting the spine and maintaining proper alignment will set you up for success in any athletic activity. Consider the following benefits of proper spine alignment:
- Provides cushioning and protection for the spine as it moves through athletic activity.
- Optimal balance and proportion while in motion
- Reduces stress on the tissues of the body
- Better circulation of bodily fluids
- Increases ability to breathe
- Reduces the amount of energy necessary to breathe, stand, or move
- Helps to activate and use the proper muscles
Body Awareness – By taking more time to focus on the needs of the body, athletes can gain more awareness and understanding as to how the body functions and how different parts of the body work together. Getting to know your body will allow you to properly give it the care it needs, while also acknowledging your boundaries regarding exercise, diet, and care.
Of course, even through intensive dedication to both training and caring for the body, injuries and accidents can happen during sports or training. To get back on the field or the track as soon as possible, a chiropractor may use adjustments, acupuncture, or different types of therapy (massage, physical, exercise, and so on).
Increased blood flow to the area and readjustments of the spine are key to getting any athlete back on their feet and back in the game. Seeing a chiropractor regularly after an injury will help long-term healing and also prevent future injuries.
Treating the spine to extra care and adjustments with a chiropractor will allow athletes to provide a solid foundation for athletic and physical improvement in every other area of their body. Athletes can also benefit from seeing chiropractors immediately after, and going forward from, sports injuries.
For more information on how you can get started on preventing injury, promoting muscle strength, and improving your overall athletic performance, contact an experienced Florida chiropractor today.
About the Author:
Dr. Marc Browner is the Founder of iChiropractic and Wellness in Naples, Florida. A graduate of the University of Florida in 1991, he earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Life Chiropractic in 1995. In private practice since 1998, Dr. Browner is a member of the Florida Chiropractic Society, the Florida Chiropractic Association, and he attends continuing education seminars, classes, and workshops to remain abreast of the most current treatment methods and technological advances in the field.