Taking Care of the Athlete in the Family

Summer is coming to an end and high school sports are back in full swing. You want your athlete injury free so they can perform at their best. How can chiropractic help? Should you wait until your athlete is injured and in pain before seeking chiropractic care?

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Reactive vs. Proactive Chiropractic Care

Healthcare protocol in the United States is primarily reactive in nature; meaning, we wait until we have symptoms before heading to the doctor. For example, we wait until we have a headache or severe back pain before heading to the chiropractor.

While chiropractic is beneficial in getting people out of pain, there is more benefit in getting adjusted before the pain sets in. For example, did you know that getting your athlete adjusted can help prevent a sprained ankle from occurring? Central nervous system controls proprioception in the ankle, and chiropractic adjustments improve this communication thus helping prevent sprained ankles.

This is why we encourage proactive chiropractic care. Get adjusted before the pain/symptoms occur. Since the central nervous system controls everything in the body, it only makes since why your athlete would benefit from regular chiropractic care throughout the season. There is a reason NFL, MLB and professional sports teams have chiropractors on staff.

How Do You Know if There is a Problem in Your Athlete’s Spine?

It’s very difficult to tell. Athletes get knocked around on the field/court and bounce right back up like nothing happened at all. These “micro-traumas” over time take their toll on the athlete and create what chiropractors call “subluxations” or misalignments in the spine. Symptoms of these are often silent or hidden early on, but left untreated can lead to spinal degeneration, bone spurs, and a faulty central nervous system several years later i.e. chronic back pain.

In the short term, it puts your athlete more at risk for injury because the communication between the brain and all other areas of the body, including muscles and ligaments, is being disrupted.

With that said, if you notice that your child is spraining their ankle frequently, or getting injured more frequently than others, could it be possible that their nervous system needs an adjustment?

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Success Story: A professional rugby player came to the office seeking chiropractic care after an injury in a game. He could hardly stand due to his severe low back pain and was worried his season was over. Dr. Hampton did a thorough evaluation and determined he had a disc herniation at L5-S1. After a couple of adjustments, the patient was completely pain free and back on the field playing rugby like nothing had happened at all. He now gets adjusted on a regular basis to help prevent injury and pain and has not had a disc herniation since this regular chiropractic care.

This is a great example of how dysfunction in the spine, such as a disc herniation, negatively affects nervous system function. In this example, the patient obviously was in pain, but also had loss of motor control, because of the nerve interference. A simple adjustment to the low back removed this interference and the pain went away, but the motor function was restored as well i.e the patient could stand on his own two feet and play in a rugby game like nothing had happened at all.

Long story short, chiropractic is great at getting you out of pain. However, it is just as great in preventing pain. Get your athletes’ spines checked today whether they’re in pain or not!