Is There Such a Thing as a Sports Chiropractor?
Who do you go to when recovering or rehabbing from physical injury? Most of us would probably seek out a physical therapist to get us back on track. There’s no question that physical therapists or practitioners of sports medicine are proven providers of physical rehabilitation and healing. However, there is another option with whom you may not be familiar— a sports chiropractor.
If you are thinking that this is some unconventional approach that few injured people would pursue, consider that professional golfers take chiropractors with them on tour. You’re thinking that golfing isn’t a contact sport with running, jumping and tackling, but take note that every team in the National Football League has a full-time chiropractor on staff as do most major league baseball teams. You might call it preventative medicine in that chiropractic adjustments reduce the risk of injury, but the pros will remind you that it also improves performance on the playing field.
You may argue that professional athletes and Summer and Winter Olympic Games qualifiers are going to take advantage of any therapeutic approach that gives them a competitive edge. But does the weekend golfer at the Darlington Golf Course in Bergen County or the morning jogger running the loop at Wood Dale County Park near Montvale really have need for a sports chiropractor?
Recreational golfers, runners and tennis players also pull muscles, sprain ankles and strain their backs, and they, too, want to get better at their athletic pursuits and, more importantly, reduce the risk of injuries that keep them away from participating in the sports and boosting their fitness.
Why do Hall-of-Famers like Jerry Rice and Joe Montana credit their historic successes to regular chiropractic treatments, and why should it matter to the rest of us who fall prey to injury at work or play? The answer is clear. If worked for Joe and Jerry, it should work for you.
That brings us to why sports chiropractors might play a role in your active life and why what they do for our most accomplished pro and amateur athletes may benefit you:
√ Maintaining the flexibility that relies on body mechanics and flexibility is critical. Body parts must work smoothly together, often in unison, for virtually all sports movements. That includes throwing a baseball, shooting a basketball, swinging a bat, kicking a soccer ball and driving a golf ball.
Note: Sports chiropractors are experts at understanding body mechanics and the fluid movement of muscles and joints. They know that just the slightest change of movement or posture can throw everything off in the kinetic chain of bodily movement, making one susceptible to injury and overuse through repetitive movement.
√ Inflammation is too often a product of improper movement and overuse which are significant causes of injury and pain. It is not only true in sports activities but when we’re at home or on the job.
Note: Sports chiropractors, through stretching, adjusting and massaging, minimize the impact of inflammation. They understand what the body can and can’t do and know when and where to apply heat and ice to an injury.
√ Too often injuries are exacerbated by invasive approaches, including well-meaning but improper exercise and the reliance on drugs for relief.
Note: Sports chiropractors specialize in non-invasive, drug-free treatments with an eye toward promoting healing, enhancing performance and preventing further injury.
Dr. David Saint completed his undergraduate degree at Lafayette College and earned his Doctor of Chiropractic degree and Bachelor of Science in Nutrition from Life University. He is a past board member of the Council of New Jersey Chiropractors and an active member in the Association of New Jersey Chiropractors. Dr. Saint is also a member of the International Chiropractic Association and the American Chiropractic Association. He is certified in physiotherapy and numerous chiropractic adjustment techniques including Gonstead, Thompson Drop, SOT, Full Spine, HIO, instrumentation adjusting, soft tissue mobilization, Manipulation Under Anesthesia, and the Webster Breech Technique for breech presented mothers.