Youth sports are incredibly beneficial for teaching discipline, respect, and sportsmanship to student athletes. The physical activity involved also supports a healthy weight, reduces stress, boosts mood, and promotes restful sleep. Unfortunately, young athletes are prone to sports injuries. The key to keeping your child in the game is to visit a chiropractor for athletes.
Chiropractic care is ideal for treating athletic injuries because it’s noninvasive and drug-free, with few, if any, side effects to contend with. Professional sports leagues, including the NFL and MLB, and coaches of Olympic athletes have long recognized these benefits. Still, many parents of student athletes are not up to speed with everything chiropractors have to offer.
Are you raising a graceful gymnast, body-slamming wrestler, or agile tennis player? No matter your child’s chosen sport, it pays to understand the benefits of chiropractic care for athletes, what sports injuries a chiropractor can treat, and the effective therapies available.
Chiropractic Benefits for Athletes
Seeking out chiropractic care for athletes is a smart move, whether you’re looking to speed up your child’s recovery or help them avoid future injuries. Here are 10 reasons to take your student athlete to the chiropractor.
Relieve Sports Injury Pain with Less Medication
You may not feel comfortable putting your child on strong painkillers after a sports injury. Your concerns are justified. After all, even over-the-counter pain medicine can have harmful side effects, including organ damage, increased risk of bleeding, and the possibility of a life-threatening condition called Reye’s syndrome. Prescription opioids are even worse, with potential side effects ranging from constipation and nausea to weakened immunity and addiction.
This is why many parents seek out natural treatments before resorting to potent drugs. Chiropractic care addresses your athlete’s pain at the source, promoting natural healing rather than masking the problem with a pill. In addition to providing spinal adjustments, chiropractors can recommend at-home stretches, exercises, and hot and cold therapy to further aid the healing process with less reliance on medication.
Address the Underlying Cause of Mysterious Symptoms
When your child sprains a muscle or pulls a hamstring, it’s no mystery that their sport is the likely cause. But many athletes develop seemingly unrelated issues, such as tingling or numbness, dizziness, headaches, or balance problems.
These are signs of pinched nerves caused by herniated discs or spinal misalignments. If your child is experiencing odd musculoskeletal issues without other symptoms of being sick, there’s a good chance the spine is to blame.
The best way to find out is to bring your child to a sports chiropractor. A physical assessment, including X-rays and other diagnostic tests, will reveal whether your child’s spine is misaligned and if an adjustment could help alleviate their symptoms.
Decrease the Potential for Future Injuries
Many parents assume their child only needs to see a chiropractor if they complain of an injury, but you shouldn’t wait to seek chiropractic care. When used as a preventative measure, you can help your young athlete be less prone to future injury.
For instance, spinal adjustments loosen tension in the muscles and connective tissues, improving flexibility in the process. With a greater range of motion, ligaments and tendons are less likely to stretch and tear, stopping injuries in their tracks.
Chiropractic care also addresses acute muscle fatigue and soreness to prevent these issues from becoming chronic. With only a day or two between practices at times, youth athletes need a better way to recover and prepare for the next game. Chiropractic for athletes can prove to be an invaluable tool for decreasing lactic acid buildup, improving circulation, and minimizing inflammation, all of which help reduce the risk of injury.
Shorten the Recovery Time
The last thing an injured student athlete wants is to sit on the sidelines longer than necessary while they heal from a pulled hamstring or torn ACL. Help your child return to their beloved sport faster by including chiropractic care in the overall treatment plan.
Rather than simply immobilizing the injury and prescribing pain pills, a chiropractor seeks out the injured area and recommends the best treatments to speed up recovery. Surgery isn’t always avoidable after a sports injury, but when it is, noninvasive treatments offer a much faster way to heal.
Gain a Competitive Edge
Routine spinal adjustments can do wonders for athletic performance. A properly aligned spine ensures the nervous system is functioning at its peak. This results in better posture, balance, and coordination, making it possible for your child to push themselves to new limits. Regular chiropractic visits also reduce lingering neck pain, back pain, and muscle spasms, preventing unnecessary distractions and giving your athlete a competitive edge.
Coordinate Care with Other Medical Professionals
Chiropractors are only one part of the overall healthcare picture. They can work closely with your child’s trainers and coaches, primary care doctor, podiatrist, neurologist, and other sports medicine professionals to establish a synergistic treatment plan.
Address Other Concerns in this Stage of Life
Kids and teens are still growing and developing, so their bodies need extra care and support during these defining years. Any minor problems caused by playing sports, lugging around a heavy backpack, slouching at a desk all day, and dealing with emotional and social stress could become more serious, even permanent, without the proper care.
For instance, scoliosis is a prominent concern for young people, with most cases classified as adolescent idiopathic scoliosis, which develops between the ages of 10 and 18 with no apparent cause. Regular visits to the chiropractor can catch scoliosis and other spinal conditions early, allowing you to pursue more effective treatment.
Promote Complete Health and Wellness
Student athletes should focus on staying healthy all year round if they hope to hit the ground running on the first day of practice. This includes eating a healthy diet, getting enough sleep, and following proper training strategies. It also involves working with a sports chiropractor to receive spinal adjustments, body mechanic evaluations, and gait analyses essential to a young, growing athlete. Focusing on total body wellness supports good physical and mental health, both on and off the field.
Receive a Personalized Treatment Plan
Sports chiropractors typically spend more time with their patients than primary care doctors. They examine the body as a whole and recommend treatments based on the individual’s needs. A golf player may receive care focused on treating and preventing arm injuries, while a runner may need more attention given to their knees. This kind of customized therapy improves athletic ability and promotes improved long-term health.
Save Money Compared to Traditional Medical Treatment
Chiropractic services often cost less than traditional physiotherapy or general practitioner care. And with the ability to receive multiple customized, holistic therapies all under one roof, each treatment is likely more affordable than seeking care at numerous offices. Plus, most health insurance policies now cover chiropractic care, including employer-sponsored plans, Medicare, and Medicaid. Check with your insurance provider to learn more about your coverage.
What Sports Injuries Can Chiropractors Treat?
The Effective Integrative Healthcare team is comprised of trusted chiropractors for athletes with years of combined experience addressing injuries most commonly seen among our young athletic patients. Don’t hesitate to reach out if your child is struggling with any of the following:
- Joint pain
- Pulled hamstring
- Pulled groin muscles
- Sprained ankle
- Shin splints
- Injured knee
- Stress fracture
What Therapies Do Chiropractors Offer Athletes?
Chiropractors are best known for performing spinal manipulations, but this is far from the only service Effective Integrative Healthcare provides. We combine numerous advanced modalities focused on uncovering the source of the problem and promoting natural healing using noninvasive, drug-free techniques. So in addition to chiropractic adjustments, the other effective therapies we offer for sports injuries include:
- Physical therapy and rehabilitation, including customized stretches, exercises, and other pain relief techniques
- Massage therapy, including an adapted form of Swedish massage designed specifically for athletes
- Active Release Technique, a patented system of hand movements based on massage therapy methods
- Disc decompression, a noninvasive therapy that gently stretches and elongates the spine
- Kinesiotaping, a supportive taping technique that stabilizes muscles and joints during the healing process
- Gel knee injections made of natural materials to temporarily relieve pain from a knee injury
- Dry needling to release trigger points causing referred pain throughout the body
- Cold laser therapy involving low-level light pulses to relieve pain and inflammation
Contact a Sports Chiropractor
The team at Effective Integrative Healthcare is here to ensure your student athlete receives quality care after a sports injury. When you visit one of our offices in Crofton or Millersville, MD, you’ll be greeted by a friendly, personable staff ready to answer your questions and get your athlete on the road to recovery. We have over a decade of experience treating sports injuries, so you can trust that you’re in good hands. Contact us today to request a consultation with our sports chiropractor.