One of the fastest growing branches of chiropractic care has wrapped itself around sports. It comes as no real surprise. For years, professional athletes have embraced its preventative and restorative benefits, to the point of now including doctors of chiropractic on their health-care crew.
What’s fueling the growth? Celebrity testimonials from the likes of golf great Tiger Woods, tennis legend Venus Williams, and football’s Tom Brady, who said, “As long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”
But don’t underestimate studies such as the one measuring a markable increase in distance for golfers who received chiropractic care and the word-of-mouth power of those who’ve discovered for themselves the many benefits.
As the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress turns its attention to sports-oriented chiropractic care, our theme for July, here are a few things you might consider:
• Athletes, especially in high-impact sports such as football, hockey, and rugby, take a beating. Even the gentler sports, such as baseball, take their toll with repetitive strain. Many of us wondered how much longer Texas pitcher Nolan Ryan could stay on the mound before he retired at 46. But a doctor of chiropractic, by maintaining flexibility and range of motion, can lessen the risk of injuries and develop a stronger connection between the spine and the nervous system, leading to quicker recovery from minor injuries. The Olympic games is a great example. A doctor of chiropractic accompanied the Aruba team to the 1976 games, the USA team came aboard in 1980 during the winter games in Lake Placid, and in 2010, chiropractic care was fully integrated into treatment of athletes in the polyclinic at the winter games in Vancouver.
• Studies abound on the benefits of chiropractic care when there is a sports-related injury. A 2001 study by Duke University found almost immediate relief of headaches originating from the neck after spinal adjustment. Similar results were found on studies of shoulder and ankle injuries. Better yet, the treatment is drug-free and non-invasive, avoiding risk of addiction to a prescribed opioid painkiller.
• Finally, chiropractic care can enhance your performance. A 2012 study reported in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that a group of national level judo athletes improved their grip strength by 16 percent following three visits to a doctor of chiropractic. And a 1997 report in the Journal of Vertebral Subluxation Research found that chiropractic care improved muscle strength and distance jumps among baseball players.