Chiropractic treatment, with its emphasis on restoring the body’s natural balance, enables flexibility and mobility to return in painful or injured joints, tissues and tendons, and so is an effective and holistic method of treatment for sportspeople of all abilities and levels.
You don’t need to be a professional athlete to require chiropractic treatment for a sporting injury. Whether you’re a runner, cyclist, rower, amateur footballer or cricket player, and whether you compete at a high level or just play for fun, it’s more than likely that at some time or another you’ll find yourself suffering from an injury.
What types of sporting injury does chiropractic treat?
There are a wide variety of injuries that can befall the sportsperson and which chiropractic effectively treats, usually through a realignment of the spine which then in turn restores the body’s natural balance and results in improved mobility and flexibility.
Soft tissue injuries
Damage to the body’s soft tissues, such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, nerves and joints are common injuries incurred by sportspeople, and these can occur in a variety of ways.
For instance, a muscle or tendon can be pulled too far in one direction, known as hyper-extension, resulting in a strain. Contusions can be caused when a muscle or soft tissue receives a direct blow, as frequently occurs in high-impact sports. An inflamed tendon can be caused through repetitive overuse, resulting in tendonitis (e.g., what is commonly referred to as tennis elbow), while ligaments can be sprained if they’re stretched too far, or sprained if they’re torn.
A soft tissue injury in a sportsperson can also lead to further problems. Often, if a muscle, ligament or tendon is injured or sore, the body attempts to compensate for this, and in so doing upsets its natural balance. This can in turn lead to pain and stress in other parts of the body because the spine is out of alignment and the body is unable to function at its most effective.
For the occasional or amateur sportsperson, there are some additional risks that a professional athlete may not be as susceptible to. This is because a professional is trained to stretch and prepare in such a way that their body is readied for vigorous exertion, while the player who plays only once a week in a less competitive environment may not be as diligent in their preparation and so have far less flexibility, which means that the likelihood of a joint injury is increased.
Chiropractors commonly treat injuries to joints such as ankles, knees, shoulders, elbows, as well as back pain, that are caused when the body is pushed in ways to which it is unaccustomed without being sufficiently prepared.
Other types of injury
Of course, you don’t need to be a sportsperson to sustain an injury to your joints or soft tissues. If you don’t have sufficient flexibility or mobility, these sorts of problems can just as easily occur when undertaking regular day-to-day activities, such as cleaning the house or moving heavy objects, or even doing something as simple as getting in and out of bed.
Why sportspeople so often choose chiropractic
Chiropractic is highly effective at strengthening muscles and improving musculoskeletal function because it identifies and seeks to correct the underlying causes of discomfort and injury, with the aim of enabling patients to resume a fully active lifestyle. For many sportspeople, its appeal also lies in the fact that it is non-invasive and drug-free.
A primary aim of chiropractic is to restore and increase mobility and flexibility through ensuring that the body’s joints and surrounding tissues are working effectively and in a proper functioning relationship with nervous system and spine.
This is generally accomplished through chiropractic adjustment, a series of specialised techniques that involve gentle, painless directed force being applied to joints in which movement is restricted and through so doing, they are able to regain their normal motion. There should be no pain nor discomfort experienced as a result of chiropractic adjustment, nor any after-effects besides, in some cases, a mild sense of fatigue as after a session of exercise, although this soon passes.
In addition, chiropractic care also appeals to many sportspeople because it seeks to address potential problems before they occur, and a chiropractor will work with you to devise a personalised treatment plan and, if necessary a programme of stretches and exercises, that will reduce your risk of an injury reoccurring.
Balance in the body is key to the prevention of injury, and chiropractic aims to restore your natural balance so that joints and tissues are not under undue stress as a result of not being able to function with the degree of flexibility and mobility required.