Sports and Recreation Injuries

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The Winning Edge

Chiropractic can give your athletic endeavors an edge, improve your athletic ability by helping to keep you healthy and in top form and by keeping minor injuries from becoming major ones. Team Doctor That's why you'll find chiropractors as "team doctors" for professional, college, high school, junior high and elementary school football, basketball, baseball, ice hockey, handball, rugby, soccer, running and weightlifting teams. That's also why chiropractic has been used by champions: Ken Norton, Tim Witherspoon and Evander Holyfield of boxing; Ivan Lendl, John McEnroe and Martina Navratilova of tennis; Marcello Angelini and Daniela Buson of ballet; plus world-class bikers, racers, golfers and even race car drivers. In all these sports, chiropractors help keep the athlete on the field and help stop minor injuries from becoming major ones without the use of drugs or surgery.

Better Reaction Time

Coordination Athletes under chiropractic care were compared with a control group that received no care for agility, balance, power, speed reaction and hand reaction time. After six weeks, the chiropractic group had a 10.7% improvement while the control group had a 4.5% improvement. After 12 weeks, the chiropractic group's improvement was 16.7%! "The [chiropractic] athlete reacts faster, coordinates better, executes fine movements with improved accuracy and precision, amounting to an overall better athlete. Many amateur and professional athletes wouldn't dream of competing without first getting a chiropractic spinal checkup. That's why 75% of the San Francisco 49ers received chiropractic care the day they won the 1990 Super Bowl. Dr. Nick Athens, their chiropractor, says: "Athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performances on the field; chiropractic care is one of the best ways to accomplish this. That's why there were 16 chiropractors from 12 countries at the 1988 Seoul Olympics.

How does whiplash happen?

Whiplash is most commonly received from riding in a car that is struck from behind, or collides with another vehicle. When the head is suddenly jerked back and forth beyond its norma1limits, the muscles and ligaments supporting the spine can be overstretched or torn. In a rear end collision for example, the victim's car is first pushed or accelerated forward and then, because their foot is on the brake, or their car hits the vehicle in front, their car is rapidly slowed down, or decelerated. As the vehicle accelerates forward, it pushes the body forward too, but the head remains behind momentarily, rocking up and back, until some of the muscles and ligaments are stretched or torn. Too often, the injury occurs before the head rebounds off the headrest (Providing there is one. If not, the injuries sustained are much worse as there is no method to prevent hyperextension from occurring). These muscles, in a reflex action, contract to bring the occupant's head forward again, and to prevent excessive injury. This overcompensates because at this point the head is already traveling in a forward direction as the car decelerates. This violently rocks the head forward, stretching and tearing more muscles and ligaments, where the joint can become "jammed" and swollen. The soft pulpy discs between the vertebrae can bulge, tear, or rupture. Vertebrae can be forced out of their normal position, reducing range of motion. The spinal cord and nerve roots are stretched, irritated, and choked. If the victim is not properly restrained the occupants head may strike the steering wheel or windshield, possibly causing a concussion.

Team Chiropractor

And let us not forget the millions of people who regularly perform aerobic workouts. Exercise workouts are much more effective when the spine is balanced. "Getting in shape" should always include the "shaping" of the spinal column by a good chiropractor.

Sports Are Designed For Chiropractic Care

Take, for example, golf, tennis, racquetball and handball. Swinging a club or racquet or throwing a ball are all one-sided activities which can cause the spinal column to lose its natural balance. But you don't have to be an Olympiad, a professional athlete or a "serious" athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Americans suffer from 17 million sports-related injuries each year 6 and everyone with such an injury needs regular chiropractic spinal checkups. Even the kinder, gentler sports can create damage from micro- trauma rather than macro-trauma. A leisurely game of billiards, pool or table tennis may seem nothing like the collisions of football, soccer or rugby, but micro-trauma caused by repeating the same movement can eventually wear down a body part as severely as colliding with a defensive lineman or running into a wall.

What Your Chiropractor Does

Your chiropractor balances your spinal column and relieves stress on your muscles, ligaments, tendons and nerves. Sports injuries nearly always jar and misalign your spine and the structures near it. A trauma to anywhere in the body can damage your spine--a blow to the ribs, legs, feet, head, shoulder or torso can radiate to it. If you play any sport you should receive a chiropractic spinal check- up to ensure that your spine is balanced and free from misaligned vertebrae causing "pinched" nerves (spinal subluxations). Chiropractic care may give you the winning edge. That is why there are many amateur and professional athletes who wouldn't dream of entering competition without a chiropractic spinal checkup.

Severe Trauma?

Athletes who are in trauma need chiropractic. The orthodox medical profession specializes in the management of fractures, torn flesh, ripped tendons, dislocations, blood and fluid loss, and other emergency attention. However, most victims of trauma leave the hospital with serious spinal subluxations from their accidents because MDs are not trained to locate and correct this form of spinal damage. That is the realm of chiropractic care. Before surgery, if at all possible explore chiropractic and natural methods first. Superstar Joe Montana stated, "I only wish I had tried chiropractic care a few years ago when I first started having back pain and maybe this surgery would never have happened." Evander Holyfield, World Heavyweight Champion, reflects the attitude of many world famous athletes: "I found that going to a chiropractor helps my performance. Once I drove 20 miles to see a chiropractor before a fight. I have to have my adjustment before I go into the ring."

How about you?

Want that winning edge? A little more balance? A little more lightness to your step? "Getting in shape" should always include a periodic chiropractic "shaping up" of the spine.

Need a sports doctor?

Many doctors of chiropractic volunteer their time to local little leagues and neighborhood, school and professional teams. Why not ask your chiropractor if he might be interested in donating time to your organization or sponsoring a team?