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Benefits of Chiropractic Care For Athletes

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By: Dr. Stephen O’Neil

Whether a weekend warrior or a professional athlete at the top of their game, all athletes benefit greatly from regular chiropractic care. The benefits of chiropractic adjustments are double for athletes, because they receive an optimally functioning nervous system, which promotes health and overall well-being. They also recover from injury much quicker and are able to perform at a higher level.

Even minor misalignments or restrictions in the spine can cause interference with proper messages being sent through the nervous system. Since proper nerve impulses control and direct things like balance, strength, co-ordination and speed, the effects on an athlete's performance can be devastating. Often, only minor adjustments to the spine can have very positive effects on the nervous system and overall ability. Only when the brain and nervous system are able to freely and efficiently communicate with the rest of the body, can athletes reach their full potential.

As any athlete knows, with sports, injuries are part of the game. It is how these injuries are diagnosed and cared for which dictates speed and success of recovery. Chiropractic care can speed recovery from injuries ranging from ankle sprains, separated shoulders, low back pain and any other soft tissue or joint problem. As an athlete it is important to find a chiropractor that is well versed in sports injuries. As an athlete myself, there was no feeling worse than to hear a doctor say, ‘ No more sports or training until this resolves.' Most athletes will not heed this advice any way and continue to try to work through the pain. The correct approach is to diagnose and actively treat the injury. This includes modifying training to help the body support the injury and increase strength in the area. This may include home stretching, exercise, and creating a return-to-full-activity program to set the athlete on a path back to full activity.

Athletes have been benefiting from chiropractic care for many years, however it is only recently that it has been getting lots of attention as virtually every professional sports team has a chiropractor on staff and individual athletes have been publicly singing the praises of chiropractic care. Chiropractors are now a staple on the sidelines, in the locker room and even at the Olympics. Athletes such as Joe Montana and Donovan Baily both publicly praised their chiropractors after winning the Super Bowl and the Gold Medal respectively. World-class athletes seek chiropractic because it is a drug free way to better health and performance. It can be the last little tweak to a system to allow for optimal performance.

It is always a pleasure treating athletes because in general, they have a better understanding of the benefits of training, they have more motivation to get well, they are more likely to follow treatment protocol and as they are usually physically fit they respond even better to chiropractic care. It can also increase resilience to injury and give you the edge you need. See your chiropractor today for a nervous system analysis and start playing at the top of your game.