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Improving Athletic Performance: Benefits of Chiropractic Care
The benefits of athletes seeking chiropractic care are vast. Treatment of injury, prevention of injury, as well as increased strength and ability, are among the many reasons for chiropractic care.
Injury Treatment for Athletes
Typically, patients begin their chiropractic treatment when they suffer an injury. Before treating sports-related injuries, we run through a Functional Movement Screen to gain an understanding of what happened to cause this injury. The Functional Movement Screen is a series of 7 basic movements that help determine the body's overall mobility, stability, and athletic readiness. We also leverage a Technology Selective Functional Movement screening tool to assess the entire body's joint restrictions and motor control deficits.
Before creating a treatment plan, our team completely understands how the patient's body moves from head to toe. Not only are we looking for the source of the pain, but mainly for the cause of the pain. The source of the pain and the cause of the pain often is not the same. We look to understand how a patient's body is working and if there are specific areas that are compensating for other areas that aren’t working properly.
When we begin treatment for injuries, we have two main objectives; to reduce the pain they are experiencing, and to speed up the healing time.
To get a patient out of pain we are looking primarily looking to decrease inflammation. We also leverage techniques to speed up recovery time. When our bodies suffer an injury, the defense mechanism is to tighten up. By leveraging chiropractic treatments, we can loosen up those muscles and help patients recover quicker.
The body will heal naturally, however, we can help the body speed up the healing process it goes through and ensures healing does not become stagnant. We utilize techniques like the Active Release Technique, Kinesiology Taping, Cupping, Gaston, and other techniques to decrease inflammation and increase the body’s natural ability to heal itself.
Injury Prevention for Athletes
Beyond treating injuries, we ensure our patients receive the benefits of chiropractic care to prevent injuries from happening again.
We have found that most of our patients are overcompensating in some area of their body for another area of the body that just isn’t working properly. Typically, we see the back, hips, and glutes as areas of the body that cause other areas to overcompensate. We train our patients on spine sparing exercises, how to properly squat, how to hinge at the hips without rounding the back, and many other movement techniques to ensure sections of their bodies are not overcompensating.
Another major indicator of a future injury is a lack of range of motion. For example, if your upper back can’t extend very well it lacks a range of motion which often leads to lower back pain. Or if your hips lack a range of motion, your lower back tends to overcompensate for hips as well. A lack of range of motion impacts the areas above and below the area of the body.
The body encompasses what we call Compensation Patterns, which is the idea that every segment of the body alternates from a mobile joint to a sable joint. When an area of the body that should be a mobile joint gets stiff and tight, the stable join in the section above or below the mobile joint has to perform as the mobile join, and it doesn’t perform well that way.
To prevent injury, we ensure segments of the body are functioning properly, the body doesn't lack a range of motion, and our patients understand techniques that allow them to move in a way that doesn't cause strain to other areas of their body.
Improving Sports Performance
Not only do we treat and prevent injuries, but we also strive for our athletes to finish treatment stronger than they were before. We work with patients to improve their athletic performance by increasing strength and enhancing their range of motion.
At Team Elite, we incorporate exercises into our chiropractic care. By leveraging bodyweight exercises and bands to increase the strength of joints and muscles, we not only treat an injury but strengthen the surrounding areas to prevent overcompensation.
We also use a patient's range of motion to improve athletic ability. For elite athletes, the range of motion can be what separates the good from the great. Improving range of motion, even by just a few degrees, can make a difference on whether or not an athlete receives first place or doesn’t make the podium at all.
The impact of the range of motion is especially important when it comes to pitchers in baseball. If pitchers can cock back just a little more, they can gain significantly more velocity on their pitch. In contrast, if there is tightness and a lack of range of motion, they won’t be able to externally rotate their shoulder and the pitch will suffer.
There are significant benefits for athletes to seek chiropractic care for the treatment of injuries, injury prevention, as well as enhancing athletic capability. Team Elite specializes in supporting athletes in reaching their peak performance.