by Brent Hearn •
You don’t have to be an athlete to reap the fruits of chiropractic care. (Who among us can’t benefit from a body that functions as it’s supposed to?) If you are an athlete, however, chiropractic can arguably be even more crucial. An athlete’s body undergoes stress on a regular basis that non-athletes may deal with only on occasion, if at all.
For the professional athlete, this physical stress, and the resulting wear and tear on the body, can negatively affect both their performance and their health, which can, in turn, impact the success and longevity of their career. One doesn’t need to play a sport at a professional level to be exposed to the physical stressors of an active life, of course; amateur athletes, especially those who play competitively, rigorously, and/or often, can face similar physical challenges.
Here are just a few of the benefits chiropractic can offer for the athlete, whatever their level.
Chiropractic treatment can help to reduce and prevent pain. This pain relief serves the athlete in multiple ways:
- A pain-free body is a higher-functioning body. Decrease the pain to increase the performance.
- Using chiropractic to relieve pain can help to lessen an athlete’s need for opioids, cortisone shots, and other pharmaceutical forms of pain relief. To be clear, pharmaceutical solutions have their place and can be very effective under the right circumstances. That said, there are well-documented risks of side effects and dependencies, so it certainly makes sense to examine the efficacy of alternative means of pain relief.
- Chronic pain and depression are closely linked, so it stands to reason that addressing such pain successfully can pay dividends with regards to an athlete’s mental health.
Improved Range of Motion
The physical demands of an athletic life place a lot of stress on the body, and this stress can lead to spinal alignment issues. These issues can negatively impact an athlete’s range of motion, which can in turn decrease performance. Chiropractic care can address existing damage and serve as a safeguard against injury in the future. That’s all good news for a healthy range of motion.
Improved Hand-Eye Coordination
Many, perhaps even most, athletic endeavors require (or are at least greatly enhanced by) a high level of hand-eye coordination. A study published in PLOS ONE suggested that chiropractic manipulation could improve hand-eye coordination in those with neck pain.
Whether you’re a weekend warrior doing battle in a local league, a professional athlete, or somewhere in between, you can likely reap benefits from chiropractic care. Think of chiropractic as just one more tool in your toolbox of whole-body care and maintenance.
And if you don’t count yourself among the ranks of the athletically inclined, what are you waiting for? There’s a myriad of sports and activities just waiting to be mastered (or at least enjoyed) by those from all age ranges, fitness levels, and walks of life. There’s no time like the present to get started!