The Role of Chiropractic In Sports
The determination of chiropractic’s role in sports care revolves around the ability of the doctor to show progress in areas important to the athlete. Chiropractic is not only beneficial to the experienced and professional athlete, but is beneficial to the amateur and weekend athlete as well.
The practitioner’s role is to enhance performance, and prevent and manage injury. The treatment of professional athletes has helped the chiropractors to apply knowledge of biomechanical injuries and their treatment to all sporting enthusiasts.
Chiropractors have found that they can also be effective in the nutritional aspects of athletic performance. They have been able to help in pre-competition preparation, competition endurance, and all aspects of injury prevention and treatment.
Chiropractic is becoming more a treatment of choice by professional and amateur athletes. This has been evident in the treatment of collegiate, Olympic, and professional athletes and has enabled us to gain recognition. Chiropractic care is not only limited to the more advanced athlete, but young athletes are able to benefit from chiropractic treatment as well. This is especially true in the areas of critical, acute, and emergency care.
Many high-performance athletes and their coaches have found that sports chiropractic plays a major role in three important areas of prime concern to all athletes: maximum musculoskeletal performance, prevention of injury, and management of injury.
Weekend and amateur athletes can learn about the importance of chiropractic adjustments from many professional athletes. No matter which sport you enjoy on your day off, you can find someone you admire in your area of interest that is being treated by a chiropractor.
The list of advocates is long. Boxing heavyweight champion Evander Holyfield; Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, and Roger Craig of the four time Super Bowl champions San Francisco 49ers in football; Chi Chi Rodriguez in golf; world champion kick-boxer Dennis Alexio; as well as champions in virtually every major sport are becoming regular chiropractic patients.
Many of these athletes insist on being adjusted by their chiropractors just prior to competition. They feel they are not able to perform at their optimum ability without the reassurance that they have full range of motion without restriction in their joints.
The changing outlook towards health from an allopathic standpoint to a more holistic approach has brought the study of nutrition to a more respectable position. The athlete is always looking to enhance performance, speed, injury rehabilitation, and increase endurance. In their search they are being drawn to the benefits of nutrition.
Inadequate nutrition and unhealthy nutritional behaviour is clearly linked to the aetiology of practically every major chronic disease. Chiropractors qualified in the field of nutrition are able to give pertinent advice on vitamin supplementation, dietary intakes, environmental toxicities, homeostasis, and biomechanical reactions of bodily systems.
In an effort to reduce injuries entire teams as well as individual athletes are looking toward chiropractic to design tailored conditioning programs. They are finding that chiropractors, as trained professionals in the area of biomechanical function of the neuro-musculoskeletal system, are better able to prepare a complete conditioning and injury prevention program. It is necessary to properly assess and identify the biomechanics of an injury prior to the initiation of a goal-oriented treatment program of the involved area.
The soft tissue involvement of an injury must be evaluated and included in the treatment program. Many problems are found to be initiated at the precompetition level, due to poor conditioning, poor fitness or poor posture.
Evaluation procedures use not only traditional orthopedic tests, neurological examinations, and x-ray studies, but have come to include more extensive outside professional diagnostic procedures. These may include CAT scans, MRIs, joint angiograms, and joint arthroscopic procedures.
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