January 25, 2017

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.