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How Chiropractic Care Helps Athletic Performance

For the professional athlete – or even a weekend warrior who plays a particular sport – the ability to move freely is key to performance on the field. Top-notch athletic performance requires muscle strength, flexibility, proper body mechanics and technique to prevent injury and allow maximum effort. At the Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute, we’re experts in helping athletes with chiropractic care, joint manipulation and massage therapy to enhance athletic performance.

Pain and Injury

Athletes and those who regularly participate in physical activities are more prone to stiffness and soreness following a game or practice. This is especially true for those who enjoy rough and tumble contact sports like football, hockey or soccer. Joint manipulation, which includes both spinal manipulation and treatment of other joints, helps promote flexibility and decrease pain on movement. Chiropractic treatment can help decrease the risk of injury precisely because it promotes flexibility and allows the athlete full range of motion to throw, catch, run or swing a bat.

Repetitive Motion

Many sports require repetitive motion that can lead to overuse injuries. Baseball, hockey, and tennis players, along with football quarterbacks and golfers constantly need practice to achieve accuracy and distance. This means muscles in the arm and shoulder are subject to overuse injuries. The muscles and joints can become painful and inflamed as well, and the player will start to limit their motions to guard the sore joint. While rest is helpful for repetitive motion injury, other techniques like massage therapy and joint manipulation can restore normal function and relieve muscle spasm and pain quicker.

Performance Enhancement

Chiropractors are experts in the musculoskeletal system and body movement. In particular, we know what optimum body function looks like. A chiropractor can perform gait and movement analysis to identify ways in which an athlete may be limiting his or her performance. We can also look for ways in which changing a particular movement can improve performance by increasing accuracy or allowing greater extension of a joint to provide a longer throw. In some cases, we might develop a specialized and unique exercise program to strengthen a pitcher’s fastball or use video to pinpoint movements that are less efficient and hamper performance.

Optimizing the Nervous System

One of the more nuanced benefits of chiropractic care is how it affects an athlete’s nervous system. The spine houses the nervous system, which connects and transmits messages from the brain to the rest of the body. If the spine and musculoskeletal structure are soundly in place for optimal nerve function, the athlete may experience a faster healing and better reaction time.

No matter what the sport, optimum performance hinges on the player’s ability to use his or her body to maximum effect. Whether optimum performance means better and faster running, a stronger backhand or the ability to precisely place a thrown ball, chiropractic care and adjunctive treatments like joint manipulation and massage therapy can enhance athletic performance. Contact us at the Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute to see what we can do to help you feel better, prevent injury and achieve peak performance. Call (509) 922-1909 to book an evaluation or appointment.

 

woman sprinting running

6 Tips to Avoiding Overuse Injuries

Spokane Valley is a wonderful place to work out and stay in shape. If exercise is your forte, you want to be careful to avoid overuse injuries. Overuse injuries occur gradually as physical stress remodels structures such as muscles, tendons and ligaments. Remodeling involves both the breaking down and the building up of tissue. When breaking down occurs faster than building up, overuse injuries take place. At that point, you will probably need to seek Chiropractic care. Luckily, there are ways to avoid these injuries.

  1. Don’t push through the pain

We’ve all heard the phrase, “no pain, no gain.” When it comes to discomforts like back and leg pain, it simply doesn’t apply. The more you push yourself, the more likely you are to put negative stress on your bones, ligaments, tendons and muscles. This could lead to a debilitating overuse injury. Use pain as an indicator for when to stop or slow down.

  1. Follow the 10 percent rule

Every athlete wants to improve her or his speed and strength. It can be tempting to take yourself to the next level and cause an injury. That is why experts suggest increasing your training no more than 10 percent per week. Don’t forget about the first rule. If increasing by 10 percent causes you pain, ease off on the training or activity a little more.

  1. Alternate training days

If you train extra hard every day, the stress you put on your body may very well lead to discomfort such as back and leg pain. Instead, work hard one day and take it a little easier the next. You can also alternate which parts of your body you train. If you develop pain that does not go away when you cut back on your routine, seek Chiropractic assessment and treatment.

  1. Replace your running shoes regularly

It’s a good idea to replace your running shoes every 500 miles. Beyond that, shoes lose their ability to absorb shock which can lead to an overuse injury of the legs and feet. Also, avoid running more than 45 miles per week. Running farther will not increase your stamina, and may only increase the chances of hurting yourself.

  1. Warm up and cool down

Start your workout with a light jog. Then proceed to gentle stretching to prepare yourself for more vigorous activity. After you have finished your workout, cool down by walking, stretching or doing yoga.

  1. Talk to your doctor or chiropractor regularly

If you’re starting a new exercise routine, tell your doctor or chiropractor about it. He or she can examine you for risk factors and tell you how to work out safely. For women, your physician might also suggest adding a calcium supplement to reduce the risk of stress fractures.

Working out is good for your health, but you don’t want to suffer a painful overuse injury. These tips can help you avoid being hurt.

Summit Chiropractic and Sports Institute offers a wide range of services for athletes and fitness enthusiasts who want to improve their performance. Call us at (509) 922-1909 to find out more.