What is a Sports Chiropractor?
Sport specialist chiropractors have advanced clinical training in the diagnosis and management of sports injuries. Physical activity is a crucial component of maintaining one’s health, function and quality of life. However physical activity, including competitive and recreational sports, and even day-to-day activities, can have an important impact on your musculoskeletal health. In fact, musculoskeletal injuries are the largest class of sports injuries, even among elite Olympic athletes1.
Commonly, sports injuries result from poor adaptation, overtraining or repetitive use of a joint or muscle group. Due to the nature of most sports, foot and ankle injuries remain among the most common, followed by back pain.
Do I need to be an athlete to see a sports chiropractor?
A frequently asked question is whether a Sports Chiropractor treats non-athletes, and the answer is yes, of course! Much of the same approach in evaluation and treatment is utilized as would be for the athletes. This can be very useful in treating chronic, stubborn injuries & pain too.
Sports chiropractors work with individuals who participate in a variety of ordinary physical activity, like working in labour or even gardening. Of course they work with sports of all types, including:
- Rock climbing
Sports chiropractic is not just for those who are injured. This type of therapy can also benefit athletes who want to prevent injuries and improve function and mobility. By focusing on posture and muscle imbalances as well as treating areas that are overused, a sports chiropractor can help athletes optimize and enhance their performance.
What does a sports chiropractor do?
An appointment to address sports related injuries or to improve athletic performance starts with an evaluation to thoroughly ensure an appropriate and individual-specific plan of management. This plan may involve many other tools that will work synergistically with the chiropractic adjustment in attempts to speed up healing time, provide long-lasting results, and prevent future injury. These tools include: soft tissue/muscle release therapy, acupuncture & an individual specific and/or sports specific rehab program. These types of appointments typically take longer that usual chiropractic or physiotherapy appointments.
As mentioned, a thorough assessment is required in establishing the correct diagnosis and an individual-specific plan of management. A standard physical exam will also include a movement assessment which is imperative, since a moving body can at times reveal dysfunctions that a static, non-moving body exam cannot.
If you are an athlete or someone who is regularly active, a chiropractic sports specialist can help you ensure that you are doing all you can to get back on the course or field as safely and quickly as possible. No matter what your experience level, a sports chiropractor can help you recover faster while improving overall athletic performance.
1. Vanhegan, I., Palmer-Green, Soligard, T. et al. (2013). The London 2012 summer Olympic Games: an analysis of usage of the Olympic Village “Polyclinic” by competing athletes. Br J Sports Med. 47(7): 415-9.