Can Chiropractic Care Help Student-Athletes and Others Looking to Improve Range of Motion?

Man playing basketball on court

Chiropractic treatment has a broad range and can reach a wide spectrum of patients. It is not only reserved for people who are experiencing pain or have suffered an acute injury but it can be used as a preventative or helpful in recovery and rehabilitation to improve athletic performance. 

How Can Athletes Benefit from Chiropractic Care? 

Chiropractic care is known to be a non-invasive, drug-free form of natural health care. It is often used in conjunction with a broader treatment plan or used on its own as a form of recovery or maintenance. This form of treatment focuses on the musculoskeletal system, but takes into consideration a myriad of other factors. The functional medicine approach that chiropractors take is very individualized and has thus proven effective in helping athletes recover, get stronger, or correct issues. 

Protection & Prevention Against Injury

An athlete’s main concern is always the improvement of performance and the protection and prevention against injury. Injury is an athlete’s worst nightmare. For professional athletes, an injury can be personally catastrophic and a risk to an entire career. 

Of course, there are some injuries that cannot be prevented, as all sports carry inherent risks and accidents happen. However, there is a good amount of injuries that could be prevented through proper care, maintenance, and promoting the body’s natural response to healing. Chiropractic care is at the center of this, and it’s why athletes — from high school athletes to professionals — use chiropractic care as part of their routine body maintenance.  

Athletes have increasingly turned to chiropractic care when facing injury or limited range of motion. According to data, 90% of world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injury and boost performance. In 2002, 31% of NFL teams had chiropractic care as part of their training and recovery. In 2020, that number rose to 100%. In just a few years, people have really begun to notice the difference that proper chiropractic care plays in an athlete’s life. Chiropractors have also helped Team USA with over 750 medals since 1980. 

Notable Athletes Who Implement Chiropractic Care into their Programming

In addition to college and high school athletes, the pros have truly embraced the way that chiropractic treatment can provide drug-free non-invasive options that promote healing. NBA athletes, for example, look for chiropractic treatment and approaches to ward off common ankle and knee injuries. Some big athlete names that use chiropractic care include: 

  • Michael Jordan
  • Joe Montana
  • Tom Brady
  • Tiger Woods

The Importance of Range of Motion

Athletes of all levels understand that if their body is stiff or if they cannot achieve what is called “full range of motion,” then the risk of injury increases. Range of motion refers to mobility, flexibility, and the ability to utilize the body properly to perform a movement. More specifically, it refers to the measurement of movement around a particular joint. 

How does a Chiropractor Help Improve Range of Motion? 

Every athlete is different, and working with a chiropractor can reveal limitations in degrees of movement. When these limitations emerge, a chiropractor will work closely with an athlete to improve the range of movement, identify weaknesses, and expedite healing through:

  • Manipulation: Chiropractors will work with manipulations as a way to realign the body. There is a natural alignment that promotes better movement and healing. When that alignment is disrupted or altered because of inflammation, posture, or injury, it can wreak havoc on the entire body. Chiropractic care restores these states of natural alignment.
  • Exercises: The chiropractic approach can guide you towards promoting healing by using specific exercises or movements to strengthen parts of the body that may be at risk.

Improving and Fixing Asymmetries 

It’s possible for athletes to have body asymmetries that — because of the repeated performance of complex movement — emerge and cause issues. When these asymmetries go unnoticed or unchecked, they may cause injuries as the body overcompensates or develops strength unevenly. A chiropractor can help fix this by working with the athlete and addressing some of the problems. 

Managing Pain and Recovery 

Most athletes suffer from constant pain or have to devote time to their active recovery. Spinal manipulation is one way that chiropractors target pain in athletes. By releasing tension that accumulates in the spine, chiropractors promote blood flow and can help reduce inflammation — a common source of pain. 

A chiropractor can target minor injuries before they develop into chronic or major ones. For example, shoulder injuries—which are very complex and delicate in nature— can oftentimes be alleviated through careful manipulation, exercise, and reduction of inflammation, thereby eliminating the need for invasive surgeries. 

Are You Looking to Improve Performance and Range of Motion, Try Chiropractic Care

At Southwest Chiropractor, we specialize in helping people restore their natural body’s energy through working with the spine and musculoskeletal system. We aim to reduce stress, pain, and improve movement. At the same time, we can help athletes of all levels ward off injury and improve their performance by helping to maintain range of motion, targeting asymmetries, and more. 

Want to learn more about what we do? Call Southwest Chiropractic today!

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