Chiropractic Care for Athletes
By Dr. Victoria Wirtz: Monument, Colorado 100% Chiropractic A Wellness Center

Remember the 2014 FIFA Soccer World Cup in Brazil? Picture this. Your favorite team has the ball drvictoria_smand is heading toward the goal. As they get closer and closer, the ball is finally kicked over to the forward and he heads the ball in the direction of the goal. I know what you’re thinking. Did he get the goal?

As a Chiropractor, I am wondering how his spine can handle that car-accident like impact to his neck. The soccer ball can travel up to speeds of 70 mph. The simple answer is, he can’t. Even if you don’t play soccer, other sports like football, baseball, volleyball, wrestling, lacrosse, and basketball involve a lot of contact and the physical demands put on the body during training can affect your spine as well.

A huge misconception regarding our spine is that if it doesn’t hurt it must be okay even though we use it continuously when we fall, play, lift weights, walk etc. So even the low contact sports such as swimming or gymnastics can be damaging to the spine due to the physical demands being put on the body.

Here is a list of common areas of complaint from an athlete and how Chiropractic care can help an athlete recover and continue to do what they love.

Headaches: It should be noted that a common symptom from concussions are headaches and they usually go untreated. Approximately 136,000 young athletes will suffer from post-concussive symptoms and experience neck pain and headaches long after the concussion occurred. “Spinal manipulation resulted in almost immediate relief for headaches originating from the neck.” Duke University 2001. Roughly 60 percent of chronic neck pain and 60 – 90 percent of headaches have been linked to facet joint pain. Chiropractors can help adjust the neck so the joints are in the proper position and the nervous system is functioning at 100%. This is discussed in many studies like the one from The Iowa Orthopedic Journal on the National Institute of Health website.

Shoulder- A 1997 study in the British Medical Journal, a 2004 study from the Annals of Internal Medicine, and another 2007 U.S study all found adding shoulder adjustments to the normal rehab protocol improved the outcomes and reduced the pain associated with certain shoulder injuries such as bursitis and tendonitis due to chronic, repetitive motions in the joint.
Knee- A study from the Annals of Internal Medicine in 2000 and the other a 2005 from Physical Therapeutics, concluded combining an exercise program with adjustments may help osteoarthritis patients avoid surgery. Common problems many athletes face many years down the road is the wear and tear on the knee joints. With Chiropractic adjustments early on, an athlete can prevent osteoarthritis from setting in all together and keep the knee joint healthy and mobile.

Ankle- A 2001 U.S study from JMPT and Physiologic Therapeutics both found Chiropractic care of an ankle sprain showed increased range of motion, less pain, and improvement of overall ankle function. It also found that the ankle joint was less likely to be re-injured.

Research is showing more and more benefits of chiropractic care for athletes and is definitively one of the best ways to prevent injuries. Getting adjusted regularly can prevent complaints from even beginning. Chiropractic can help an athlete recover from an injury as well without using painkillers or having to undergo surgery.

The majority of pro teams have Chiropractors on staff because it helps these elite athletes prevent injuries, recover, and compete at a high level. My husband is a professional mountain biker training for the 2016 Summer Olympics and he gets adjusted weekly to help keep his immune system strong, prevent injuries, and to help his body function at the optimal level. Before he started getting adjusted 4 years ago he suffered from chronic tendonitis in both knees. Now, tendonitis isn’t even part of his vocabulary. His knees are functioning perfectly and he feels better than ever.

I want to leave you with a few famous athletes who have been quoted over the years stating the importance of Chiropractic as a part of their weekly routine.

“I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. Since I’ve been in chiropractic, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically.” Michael Jordan
“Being a Chiropractic patient has really helped me immensely…lifting weights and seeing a Chiropractor on a regular basis has made me a better golfer. I’ve been going to Chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” Tiger Woods

“Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.” Tom Brady

“Deep-tissue massage and chiropractic are now common treatment around the league. I started doing this about four or five years ago. I believe that what I’m doing is what helps me go on. So I’ve become a big believer in servicing my body and making sure it is lined up properly and functioning the way it is supposed to on Sunday. I go see my chiropractor when I get bent out of shape on Sundays. Playing in a football game is like being in 30-40 car accidents. It definitely helps me perform at a higher level.” Emmit Smith

“Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using chiropractic very extensively in order to stay healthy and fit. I found it was better to go to a chiropractor before you get injured. We are a perfect team – the world of fitness and the world of chiropractors.”? Arnold Schwarzenegger

“The team wasn’t just riders. It was the mechanics, masseurs, chefs, seigneurs, and doctors. But, the most important man on the team may have been the chiropractor.” Lance Armstrong