Can Chiropractic Services Relieve my Sports Injury?
Sports Injury Chiropractic Treatment
Chiropractic and Sports Injuries
At the Chiropractic Center of Erie we have treated athletes from all walks of life over the last 29 years. There have been world record holders and a number of world champions and Olympians. There have been Division One Football players, slalom champs and up and comers, professional cyclists, marathoners and ultra-marathoners. Almost any sport you can think of has been represented from the amateur to the best of the best…basketball, baseball, bodybuilders, power lifters, trainers, tennis players, golfers…you name the sport, they’ve received care for treatment of injuries or to give them the winners edge.
Why do I share all this? Every sport has it’s injuries and almost every recreational athlete has experienced a pull, a strain, a sprain, whether new or chronic, and they can, many times, be treated conservatively.
One of my favorite memories while treating athletes was treating some of the members of the American Cycling Team. One of the athletes was suffering from Grade 3 Sciatica (nerve pain down the back of the leg all the way to the foot) caused by a disc herniation in his lower back. After examination and imaging, I suggested that this patient take some time off of training to focus on rehabilitating this condition. He said that he couldn’t take any time off as it would cost him his spot on the team. I tried to compromise with him and asked for a week…a day. He gave me the same answer. Since it was so important to him to continue, we set up a regimen where he would see me early in the morning before training with the team and we would perform treatment that included the three basic phases of care that I use; Adjustment or correction of spinal and extremity alignment; Therapy aimed at sedating and balancing nerve signals traveling down both legs; Soft Tissue Balancing aimed at urging the muscles to maintain a balance around the corrections to the spine in order to support and hold the proper alignment in the spine and allow for faster healing. Once he was done with training, showering, rehydrating and feeding, he would return to the office on the same day for a recheck. Anything that shifted out of alignment was again corrected and he was able to leave the office, well aligned and allow that to settle in for the night.
We continued to perform this protocol and he improved! His sciatica healed. The disc herniation resorbed and he and the team headed to the Tour de France and won!
This athlete taught me what has become more and more commonplace in the treatment of athletes. Many times athletes heal quicker if they continue to train through the injuries. Don’t mistake that this is true for everyone, but controlled activity with proper care and guidance can speed the healing process along.
The typical treatment for the athlete includes these three foundational approaches; Adjustment (correct alignment), Neurostim (balancing of the nerve signal), Soft Tissue Balancing (balancing the pull and support of the muscles and soft tissues around the correction).
As the patient heals, additional activities are prescribed such as appropriate stretches and stabilization exercises. Occasionally, especially when dealing with disc injury or disc degeneration, the treatment will involve spinal decompression. This will help to resorb and heal disc herniations and rehydrate degenerative discs.
The main aim in treatment of sports injuries is to restore the injured area to normal health and function.