Sports Chiropractors is an alternative health care profession that focuses on treating athletes in the sports industry. Sports chiropractic can be defined as a specialization of chiropractic, which emphasizes soft tissue rehabilitation. It typically requires a degree or certificate issued by a nationally recognized credentialing board in a chiropractor’s area and post-graduate course work completed at an accredited university. Sports chiropractors can treat sports injury and the buildup of subluxations in the spine that cause muscular or skeletal dysfunction. This type of athletic subluxation is often caused by spinal bones that have been misaligned due to a direct impact, unnatural mechanical forces, or excessive loading and tension on spinal ligaments, muscles, or tendons.
To become an effective sports chiropractor, a sports chiropractor must also have a thorough training program that focuses on biomechanics and motor function. A training program will teach the chiropractor how to examine an athlete’s spine to determine the exact location of subluxations and where they are located within the vertebrae. The chiropractor will then design a specialized treatment protocol that addresses the biomechanics of the spine and the musculoskeletal structure of the athlete’s body. In addition, the chiropractor will also work with the athlete’s medical history and current treatment plan to ensure that the patient is receiving the appropriate treatment.
Sports Chiropractors employs many modalities to help athletes recover from athletic injuries and prevent injuries from occurring again. One of the most common modalities used by sports chiropractors is spine biomechanics. Spine biomechanics techniques are designed to restore full motion to muscles, joints, and ligaments that have been affected by an acute sports injury. The goal is to reduce inflammation and protect the body from sudden and unforeseeable sports injury, similar to what an injury prevention program can do for an athlete.
Another modality used by sports chiropractors is exercise rehabilitation. Exercises used in exercise rehabilitation allow patients to increase strength, improve flexibility, and build muscle strength without repetitive movements or high levels of exertion. Many chiropractors recommend that their patients start with mild to moderate exercise rehabilitation to reduce any possible cause of sprain or injury. Once an individual has received an initial physical assessment and has determined which therapies may be helpful, the chiropractor works with the patient to develop a tailored exercise rehabilitation plan that is right for their particular situation.
Active release exercises or NSAIDs are a key part of the treatment protocol that is recommended by a good sports chiropractor. Active release techniques are designed to stabilize the spine, strengthen surrounding soft tissue, and reduce inflammation. Common active release techniques include ultrasound, passive release, trigger points, deep tensed gluteal muscles, active release therapies such as ultrasound, cold laser therapy, and modified passive release. While these are all common techniques used by many chiropractors, it is important for an athlete to seek a trained and experienced professional to ensure they receive the best care.
In addition to the use of therapeutic modalities, many sports chiropractors utilize the use of diagnostic devices and software to better diagnose and treat patients. Diagnostic devices can include x-rays, computerized tomography (CT) scans, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and orthopedic scans. Some diagnostic software is available free of charge, but many offer a fee based service. This is an important consideration when athletes are looking to get the most out of their athletic career.