ATHLETIC INJURIES AND PERFORMANCE
It is estimated that 30 million children now participate in organized sports including soccer, football, swimming, gymnastics, hockey, skating and baseball. Approximately 775,000 children are treated in hospital emergency rooms for sports-related injuries. In professional sports, injury is the number one reason for early retirement. According to U.S. News and World Report 67 billion dollars is spent each year for the treatment of athletic injuries. According to Incidence of Sports Injuries in Children and Adolescents American Family Physician, Sports and recreational activities account for 4.3 million or 36% of all injuries to children in the U.S.
In the Journal of Neurological Science, more sports-related, non-fatal injuries are treated in hospital emergency departments than any other type of unintentional injury. While traditional medicine treats fractures, dislocations, lacerations and damaged tendons and ligaments, many athletes leave the hospital with as much spinal stress as they had prior to care. In Sports Sense Consumers Research Magazine, Children between the ages 11-15 account for 55% of all sports-related injuries that require hospitalization. Dr. K. Christensen stated in the American Chiropractor, Sports Related Back Injuries in Young Athletes as participation increases, injuries increase. Sports injuries to young people now exceed the occurrence of infectious disease.
SO WHY IS CHIROPRACTIC CARE IMPORTANT FOR BOTH YOUNG AND OLDER ATHLETES?
The science of Chiropractic is founded on the premise that a proper nerve supply is essential to controlling and regulating the functioning of the human body. The central nervous system controls every activity in the body by sending and receiving nerve messages and is protected by the bones of the spine called vertebrae. When the spine is in its optimal structural position, the nerves are protected. Optimal communication exists between the central nervous system, muscle contraction and joint movements, and the rest of the body. The vertebra of the spine is susceptible to certain stresses and forces, which can cause them to lose their proper structural position. These minor misalignments of the spine referred to as “subluxations” cause nerve interference and weaken the entire structure of the spine. Athletic training can often jar and misalign the spinal column, because the spine is at the center of the body.
Impact to the legs, feet, head, shoulders and torso often radiates/transfers to the spine. Doctors of Chiropractic detect and correct vertebral subluxations by physically adjusting the spine. This restores the spine and nervous system to a more optimal level of function, which maximizes the body’s performance and healing potential. Anyone who engages in athletics can benefit from regular Chiropractic checkups to ensure that their spine is balanced and free from structural stress and misalignments (subluxations). When the spinal column is brought into balance and alignment, the body's nervous system and body biomechanics (posture) are maximized. While observing an athlete in action, a chiropractor can often detect and prevent a structural problem that can lead to injury or poor performance. In the Journal of Neurological Science, the quality of healing is directly proportional to the functional capability of the nervous system to send and receive nerve messages.
Dr. Timothy Miller in the Sports Medicine Guide stated that postural strength and coordination are essential for injury prevention and sports performance. Posture affects and moderates every physiological function, from breathing to nervous system function. Despite the considerable evidence that posture affects physiology and function, the significant influence of posture on health is not addressed by most physicians, as stated by J. Lennon in the American Journal of Pain Management
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR CHIROPRACTIC CARE FOR ATHLETIC TRAINING AND SPORTS PERFORMANCE?
Athletes have been benefiting from Chiropractic care for many years; however, it has only recently been receiving attention from the media. Athletes of all types, from the weekend warrior to the world-class athlete, utilize Chiropractic because it is a drug-free way to better health and performance. Dr. Sean Adkins, PhD in Exercise Physiology estimate that more than 90% of all world-class athletes use Chiropractic care to prevent injuries and to increase their performance potential. In a pilot study Athletic Performance and Physiological Measures in Baseball Players Following Upper Cervical Chiropractic Care involving 28 college baseball players results showed there was positive correlation between chiropractic adjustments and athletic performance.
The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation, tested two groups of 25 subjects in 11 different athletic categories. After 12 weeks of chiropractic care, the average reaction time of the athletes improved by over 30%. Athletes have discovered that chiropractic care allows them to achieve an optimal level of performance when training and competing in their sporting event, restores balance in the Musculoskeletal system and improved recovery and healing time. Chiropractic allows athletes to achieve and maintain their performance safely and naturally.