Many amateur and professional athletes are sidelined with injuries that could be avoided. Others sit it out on the bench because their injury does not respond to ordinary treatment. Still others are playing, but at less than peak efficiency, simply because their structural system is not balance. Progressive coaches, athletes, and doctors are realizing that pain killing drugs are not the answer. They merely cover up the symptoms, deceiving the athlete into actions which could make the injury more serious.
Probably more than any other health profession, Chiropractic's approach to health closely relates to the needs of the sports participant. Most sports involve body contact, fast starts and stops, and positioning that places an unusual amount of strain on the back and structural system. Doctors of Chiropractic consider a person as an integrated being, giving special attention to the spine, joints, muscles, tendons, ligaments, and nerves. Chiropractic is a natural health care method that stresses the importance of keeping all the systems of the body functioning efficiently so the player enjoys peak performance, a minimum injury risk, and fast recuperative powers.
Many world class and Olympic athletes, as well as professional stars and teams, have retained sports chiropractors to provide care. Joe Montana, Nolan Ryan, Muhammad Ali, Kareem Abdul-Jubbar, and Carl Lewis all utilize chiropractic care. The Players Association of the NFL has officially incorporated sports chiropractors as a regular part of care. Chiropractors have been selected as attending doctors at the Olympic Games and at national and world championships in track and field, cycling, volleyball, powerlifting, aerobics, and triathlons.
Chiropractic is that science and art based on the premise that good health depends, in part, upon a normally functioning nervous system. When there is interference in the nervous system caused by a misaligned or malfunctioning spine, tissues and organs may not function properly. Detection of these problem areas ("subluxations") and their correction by spinal manipulation will relieve nerve interference and allow the spine and nervous system to return to a healthy state. Correction of the problem and maintaining good health is the goal of Chiropractic. Chiropractic is licensed in all 50 states. Fours years of post-undergraduate education are required and culminate in a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
Chiropractors perform a comprehensive orthopedic, neurologic, and chiropractic examination after a history of the injury is taken. The need for further testing, such as x-rays and blood tests, is based on the findings of the history and examination. Should the diagnosis show anything outside the scope of chiropractic care, the conscientious sports chiropractor will refer the athlete to one of the other health care specialties.
The primary treatment of the Doctor of Chiropractic is manipulation (an "adjustment") to those areas of the spine or surrounding joints which are slightly displaced and fail to function normally. Given by hand (the word chiropractic means "done by hand"), the adjustment will restore proper alignment and function to the spinal joints, thereby restoring the normal nerve transmission and healing potential to the vital structures of the body. Physical therapy modalities, therapeutic exercise, massage, and nutritional support are part of patient care when appropriate.
Injuries like sprains (ankle), strains (eg. pulled muscles), tendinitis (eg. tennis elbow) and bursitis (eg. shoulder pain) and joint problems in the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hand, hip, knee, ankle, and foot can all be treated effectively with chiropractic care.
These are all good reasons to seek chiropractic care. However, the beauty of Chiropractic is not only drug-free and surgery free care, but also preventative and performance enhancing care. Maintaining proper alignment will allow athletes to be prepared for their sport. Many of the greatest athletes in the world are adjusted before competition as a "tune-up" in an effort to place their bodies in a state of peak efficiency. Following competition, they are adjusted to enhance the recuperative process after the stress of their particular event.
When asked about chiropractic's effectiveness, Roger Craig, formerly of the San Francisco 49'ers, stated, "We won four Super Bowls in the 1980's with it, so it must be doing something right!"
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