Chiropractic and Athletes

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Athletes have been benefitting from Chiropractic care for many years; however, it is only recently that it has been getting lots of attention. The 1996 Olympic Games are the perfect example. Chiropractors were a part of many of the medical teams that travelled with the athletes, they were in Atlanta and the surrounding area weeks ahead of the games treating athletes as they went through their final preparations. Donovan Bailey publically thanked his Chiropractor for helping him perform at his best further supporting the benefits of Chiropractic.

World class athletes seek Chiropractic care because it is a drug-free way to better health and performance. This is of particular importance to athletes who are banned from using even common over-the-counter medications to treat injuries. The average athlete and the weekend warrior can benefit from Chiropractic care. As well, Chiropractic adjustments help ensure that the body functions as efficiently as possible. It can also help speed recovery from injuries ranging from ankle sprains to seperated shoulders, to the all-to-common lower back pain. The most common running related injury we see in our clinic is Iliotibial Band Syndrome and it responds very well to our Chiropractic treatment.  As athletes ourselves, we know the benefits of training and competing injury-free. There's no way I could have trained for and completed the Ironman without regular care.

When choosing a Chiropractor to assess your sports injury, it is very important to find one who treats a variety of athletes and one who understands the need for an athlete to keep training. All too often we hear the story of a patient who went to another doctor with an injury related to marathon training. The patient relates that the pain came on after 'an easy 18 miler' and the doctor says "What in the world are you running that far for? Stop running and your pain should disappear." That is the last thing a marathon runner wants to hear and he or she will most likely go back to running and just try to 'work through the pain'. The correct approach is to diagnose the problem, treat it, suggest home stretches and exercises to work through, and create a return-to-full-activity program for the patient that involves modified activities until full training can be resumed. We also coach a number of runners and triathletes on a one-to-one basis and are able to design such programs to insure that recovery is swift and loss of fitness is minimal.

If you would like to read some of the articles I have written regarding sports injuries and how to prevent them, follow the link in the left margin.

Interesting Tidbits

Marathons and Overuse Injuries

  • A 1983 study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found that 6 out of 10 runners reported injury from training for a marathon. 75% of these suffered interruption to training, which varied from several days to several weeks. 6% never recovered pre-race, 43% reported partial recovery, and only 51% reported full recovery.

  • Almost all injuries were to the leg and hip (32% to the knee).

  • 55% of the injured runners did not seek professional help.

Sports Chiropractic Facts

  • 75% of the San Francisco 49's football team, including star quarterback Joe Montana, consulted their chiropractor during the final 24 hours before winning the Super Bowl in 1990. Joe Montana has gone on record to attribute his recovery from a potentially career-ending back injury to his chiropractor.

  • Retired tennis star Martina Navratilova has had a personal chiropractor in her entourage for a number of years.

  • Canadian Olympians (other than the aforementioned Donovan Bailey) who have benefitted from chiropractic care include numerous members/medalists on the men's and women's rowing teams (some of whom were patients of ours), as well as Carolyn Waldo (Gold Medalist, synchronized swimming), and Elizabeth Manley (Silver Medalist, figure skating).

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