There are always new fads the latest sports guru is pushing to help improve athletic performance. However, those fads often lack substantive testing both for effectiveness and safety. People have turned to chiropractic care for over 100 years, with a host of research supporting its efficacy.

When it comes to athletes, chiropractic care has become a staple for everyone from professionals to amateur teenagers looking to improve their game. Discover how chiropractic care helps with all sorts of sports recovery, from strenuous training to significant sports injuries.

Will Any Chiropractor Work?

Every chiropractor receives training in spinal manipulation and basic biomechanics. They can treat a wide range of injuries and help relieve pain. However, that’s where sports chiropractors and general chiropractors start to differ.

General chiropractors focus on two things: reducing pain and general well-being. Most patients see a general chiropractor when they are in pain and need some relief. When making chiropractic care part of your normal health routine, the focus shifts to supporting your overall well-being.

Sports chiropractors take a little different approach, having had extra training in the specific biomechanics related to various sports. They look for and correct the structural shifts that impede your performance and make you more susceptible to injury. They also look for ways you’re moving that aren’t optimal and work with you and your trainer to improve those movements.

Recovery From Athletic Training

Many people think that chiropractic care only helps people in pain or with injuries. However, routine chiropractic care can also help you recover from intense training sessions. Keep in mind that it’s best to see your sports chiropractor following your training session rather than before it to get the most from these benefits:

Ease Pain and Discomfort

Part of the goal of athletic training is building strength in your target muscle groups in addition to practicing your particular position or sport. The work to build strength often leaves your muscles sore while you look for ways to ease the discomfort.

Chiropractic care offers natural pain relief for both worked muscles and sports injuries. Studies have shown that spinal manipulation increases serum levels of beta-endorphins, pain blocker your body naturally produces.

Relax Tight Muscles

It’s common for athletic workouts to cause muscles to tighten and contract, which is part of what causes post-workout pain. There are a variety of ways that you may treat those tense muscles and get them to relax.

What most people don’t realize is that regular chiropractic care can help get these muscles to relax. Part of what chiropractic adjustments do is stimulate nerve impulses that cause muscles to relax.

When your joints are out of proper alignment, it puts additional strain on your muscles, causing them to tighten. By correcting those subluxations your chiropractor reduces the strain on those muscles, allowing them to further relax.

Improve Blood Flow

One of the keys to promoting muscle recovery following a strenuous workout, training session, or performance is having sufficient oxygen traveling to the muscles. This happens through having enough blood flow, with increased circulation aiding post-workout recovery.

Unfortunately, structural shifts inhibit that blood flow and are common after a hard workout. These structural shifts can happen because of injury in some sports, but also because of improper form and movement, especially as your body tires. Chiropractic care resolves these structural shifts, improving the amount of blood flowing to the worked areas to allow them to recover more quickly.

Reduce Risk of Injury

While fractures and other impact injuries do occur in sports, the most common sports injuries affect the body’s soft tissues, which are the muscles, tendons, and ligaments. These can happen acutely because of an isolated impact or movement. However, they are often the result of repetitious use that leads to chronic injury.

Part of a sports chiropractic care regimen is attention to these tissues. By continually evaluating structural shifts caused by overly tight or loose ligaments or muscles, you are less susceptible to acute injury. Further, continual attention to proper biomechanics reduces the risk of chronic injury.

Recovery From Sports Injuries

Sports chiropractic care can also help with recovery from many sports-related injuries. Many athletes find that seeing a sports chiropractor while recovering from an injury has these benefits:

Reduce Recovery Time

When you sustain a sports injury, one of the major concerns is how long it will take to recover and the impact it will have on your athletic performance. This is especially true when you subscribe to the traditional treatment approaches, which include rest and even immobilization.

Unfortunately, while rest can help your injury heal, it can also be deleterious to your athletic conditioning, adding significantly to your recovery time for reconditioning. Chiropractors can help reduce the loss of conditioning by helping to break up scar tissue during recovery while also increasing flexibility and strength.

Decrease Inflammation

Inflammation is part of the natural healing process, with inflammatory fluids providing necessary biochemical components for cellular regeneration. However, interrupted signaling pathways may cause that inflammatory response to go haywire. By addressing structural shifts, your chiropractor ensures signals can move throughout your nervous system, including those that regulate inflammation throughout the body.

Improve Range of Motion

Range of motion is often restricted during the healing process due to tightening ligaments and muscles and scar tissue development. Adjustments not only keep your spine and joints properly aligned but also helps keep ligaments stretched and strong.

The result is that you don’t have as much work after your recovery to regain your strength and flexibility. It may also help improve your range of motion beyond your baseline before your injury.

Avoid Disruptive Treatments

Thinking of treatments for sports injuries, many traditionally prescribed options interfere with both your performance and daily life. Prescription medications can interfere with athletic performance, dulling response times and inhibiting pain signals that help prevent further injury.

The other common treatment modality is a surgical intervention of some form. Unfortunately, sports injury surgeries often have a substantial recovery time where you have to avoid most stretching and exercise to avoid surgical complications like reopening your surgical wounds. This allows muscles and tendons to lose their conditioning and for significant scar tissue to form.

Sports chiropractic care helps provide natural pain relief, as we’ve already discussed. In some cases, it can also prevent the need for invasive surgical intervention.

Treatment Methods

Most people think of the traditional adjustments that chiropractors offer. However, sports chiropractors offer several different types of treatment that help athletes realize the benefits we’ve just discussed.

Torque Release Technique

The Torque Release Technique, also called TRT, is a different approach to the traditional adjustments provided in chiropractic care. TRT delivers adjustments exclusively through the use of an FDA-approved instrument called an integrator. This allows the chiropractor to deliver specific and pin-point force to address problematic subluxations. Many chiropractors consider this approach as one of the most advanced modern chiropractic approaches.

Deep Tissue Massage

Part of treating soft tissue injuries and muscle tension is deep tissue massage. Your chiropractor may provide minimal deep tissue manipulation as part of your chiropractic visit. However, to get the most benefit, they may recommend seeing a licensed massage therapist. Some chiropractic offices have massage therapists that work from there to make it easy to get both chiropractic and massage therapy in one convenient location and sometimes in one visit.

Infrared Sauna Therapy

Sauna therapy increases your body’s core temperature, which has a number of health benefits. An infrared sauna uses infrared light to increase your temperature throughout your entire core, not just at your head. For athletes, this helps improve circulation, reduce pain, improve cellular health, and aid in muscle recovery. Keep in mind that not all infrared therapy is the same, and the most beneficial options use full-spectrum infrared technology.

Spinal Decompression

Athletes may suffer any number of spinal conditions or injuries, including herniated discs, strains, and muscle spasms. Spinal decompression is a special form of traction that helps alleviate spinal pressure. This gently stretches the spine, creating negative pressure to draw vertebrae and discs back into their proper place. Depending on your condition or injury, spinal decompression may provide a lot of benefits in the healing process, helping transport critical nutrients through spinal fluid.

Call to schedule your initial appointment with a Louisville area sports chiropractor and equip your body to recover from all kinds of sports-related ailments.