Why NFL Teams Use Sports Chiropractic Care
American football is one of the most dangerous contact sports to date. According to the Seton Medical Center, over 1.2 million young men are injured while playing football per year. The most common injuries players experience are concussions, overuse, and heat injuries. As players – especially the pros – are vulnerable to injuries, more and more coaches require their team to visit chiropractors. The NFL considers chiropractors essential to a team’s health and well-being, and all 32 teams have chiropractors on staff. As players consider longer careers and spend less time off the field, chiropractors have become a vital part of the NFL.
Proper Joint Function
Many athletes’ careers end prematurely due to improper joint function. Our joints are made of fibrous materials, with a piece of cartilage in the middle. Synovial fluid, a type of liquid found in our joints, ensures smooth and easy movement. Through a series of chiropractic adjustments, professionals help players prevent common joint injuries. These adjustments also have the added benefit of reducing pain and tension in muscles, which ensures that NFL players can run, jump, and tackle with ease.
To prevent injuries, many NFL players will see a chiropractor before or after a game. In fact, a chiropractor performs thirty to fifty adjustments in a regular season. Jerry Rice, a former wide receiver who spent twenty seasons in the NFL, had this to say about the importance of chiropractors: “I did a lot of things to stay in the game, but regular visits to my chiropractor made all the difference.”
Muscle and Joint Maintenance
Football is a brutal sport. From drills to practice to preseason games, players are putting constant stress on their bodies. This leads to wear and tear on the joints, muscles, and spine. Even if players aren’t injured, they may still feel pain and soreness all over their bodies. Through spinal alignment and manipulation, chiropractors reduce pressure on the body’s nervous system. This, in turn, relieves pain without the use of addictive medications. Continued work with a chiropractor helps players perform at their highest level.
As an added bonus, many players have reported increased strength and endurance on the field. The Excellence in Health Chiropractic & Rehab Clinic reports that chiropractic adjustments have been shown to increase endurance and stamina.
Sports Hernia Relief
Athletic pubalgia, also called “sports hernia,” is another common injury athletes suffer from. Sports hernias occur when tears or dilation occurs near the superficial ring of the inguinal canal. These injuries are incredibly painful and can prevent an athlete from participating in games and practice. Thankfully, chiropractic treatments have been shown to improve pain and range of movement for those suffering from sports hernias within eight weeks.
It Treats Symptoms at the Source
Chiropractic treatment has rightfully gained a reputation as a natural, holistic way of treating injuries. Chiropractic care treats pain at the source by applying slight pressure to painful areas. This can aid in the healing process and even reverse some of the causes of pain. For NFL players, chiropractic treatment is non-invasive, meaning they can return to the field and never miss a game.
Whether you’re an NFL player or a fan cheering a touchdown, the Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic in Fort Wayne, Indiana, can treat your sports-related injuries. Dr. Hartle and his team of experts are fast, efficient, and can usually see you the same day you call. Book an appointment today to relieve your pain.
Happy holidays from the Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic team!
Can Seeing a Sports Chiropractor Help your Athletic Abilities?
Patients generally use chiropractic care to help alleviate and prevent pain in the body. The targeted pain tends to be in the muscles and joints because of alignment issues. This type of care is beneficial to all because don’t we all want to be pain-free? But there’s also an entire focus that often goes unnoticed in the field, which is the work of sports chiropractors.
Good, strategic chiropractic care goes beyond the stereotypes surrounding it. As a family chiropractor in Indiana, Allen County Family and Sports Chiropractic offers services and a treatment philosophy that promotes overall health and well-being. This focus goes beyond muscles and bones and includes food, exercise, and sports. With consistent treatment by a sports chiropractor, you can:
- Enhance your athletic performance
- Prevent injuries
- Reduce recovery time for injuries
- Increase endurance during training
Sports Chiropractors & Enhanced Performance
Spine misalignment can cause a ripple effect throughout your body. Many normal bodily functions and systems can suffer, leaving your body more prone to acute and chronic pain. You can develop pain within your muscles, nerves, and joints, plus generate issues with discs and ligaments. When your body is experiencing discomfort and reacting to it, it can limit your athletic potential by slowing down your ability to perform adequately.
Sports chiropractors implement the same techniques and treatments as any chiropractor, but they focus on athletic bodies and performance. By keeping the spine aligned and healthy, you create a balance in the body. As a result, athletes experience less pain and better performance within their sport.
If you think chiropractic care isn’t for athletes, then you’re mistaken. Over 90% of professional athletes use sports chiropractors, as do most teams in the NFL, NBA, and MLB.
Increased Endurance & Fewer Injuries
If you’re an athlete and want to increase your endurance for training purposes, consider chiropractic care. When your spine is aligned correctly—resulting in reduced pain in muscles, joints, ligaments, and more—you can train harder and longer. With better training comes a reduction in injuries, as your body’s alignment lessens stress on the body and improves your range of motion. When your body is stiff in action, it’s more prone to injury. But when you have fluid movement without the risk of injury, you can do so much more.
Reduced Recovery Time
As a family chiropractor in Indiana, we offer sports care to keep athletes healthy and to prevent injury. But we can’t prevent all damage, so when an injury does occur, we use regular chiropractic care to reduce healing time. Because your chiropractor aligns your spine and lessens the irritation and inflammation between the vertebrae, the body performs better overall. This enhanced function also includes the body’s ability to heal.
Aside from regular adjustments, massage and stretching can also help reduce healing time due to sports injury. Healthy eating and mental health are also essential components in optimal athletic performance. With a holistic view of treatment, athletes can benefit greatly from chiropractic care.
Introduction to Massage
Massage and bodywork have been used, in one form or another, for thousands of years to promote health and well being. The Chinese culture has practiced ‘Amma’ techniques since around 3000 B.C., as the Cong Fou of Tao-Tse attests. In the Indian medicinal practice of Ayurveda, Tshanpau has been used since about 1800 B.C.
In the West, we find them integrated into rehabilitation programs, but also (and often) these practices are helpful in a large variety of other situations, such as comforting prenatal mothers-to-be, as palliative care for hospice patients, or for general relaxation and decrease in stress levels, as examples. I think massage therapy should be a vital and useful part of every individual’s overall health routine.
Practicing as a massage therapist for 15 years, I have had the privilege to be a part of thousands of clients individual health protocols. In one such case, I was working with a client who had some range of motion restriction and pain when raising their right arm overhead. This client had seen a few other bodyworkers, but the cause of the issue was elusive. As it turns out, after a functional assessment of that shoulder, as well as palpation of the muscles connected to it, we discovered that the client had a range of motion restrictions in the right pectoralis minor, as well as the latissimus dorsi, anterior deltoid, and biceps brachii. In this case, the patient’s history showed an old exercise injury, with muscular and fascial scar tissue present.
We decided to proceed with a protocol that involved contrast (hot/cold) therapy, a daily stretching routine, functional exercises, as well as some deep scar tissue massage work. This type of massage is more goal-oriented, and tends to not be the most comfortable modality. The client understood this and stayed faithful to the protocol, knowing that the results would follow. After 1 month, the client showed an increase in range of motion of more than +50% compared to the initial assessment, and by month two, had improved that to +80%. When we reassessed the client at the 3 month mark, they had nearly ALL of the range of motion restored, and were substantially stronger in the previously weaker/restricted muscles.
This was certainly a situation where immediate pain was present, but this is not always the case. In my practice, I also use massage and bodywork to help athlete’s muscular and nervous systems prepare for competition, to recuperate afterwards, to facilitate lymph movement in the reduction of swelling, to improve overall blood and interstitial fluid flow, etc.
Keep in mind, not all benefits of massage or bodywork are physical. Psychological and neurological benefits have also been reported in many studies. One of the more famous studies on the need for massage therapy and it’s emotional ramifications was conducted by a pediatrician named Dr. Fritz Talbot. He concluded that human beings are creatures that NEED human contact and touch to thrive.
There are times where I have found that massage is needed in a more short-term, symptomatic situation, such as in the case of a calf cramp or minor headache. In other cases, clients may require long-term treatment, such as athletes who need to keep fluid and flexible, or those gaining in years who just want to keep as mobile and ambulatory as possible.
From the very first session, massage can (and should be) customizable to YOUR individual needs. I have seen many clients who simply needed to “walk out feeling better than when they walked in”. In my practice, I strive to be flexible enough to suit as many needs as I may. I look forward to seeing you in the near future!