Keeping athletes in the game with chiropractic
It also wasn’t long ago that we heard about Sidney Crosby’s astounding recovery thanks to chiropractic treatment. Even further back, during the 1997 Skydome race against Michael Johnson in Toronto, Donovan Bailey received treatment from his chiropractor just minutes before sprinting to a first place finish that maintained his title as the world’s fastest man for three more years. On an even larger scale, the 2010 Winter Olympics were proud to be the first to fully integrate chiropractic into host medical services. Even with this recent success, chiropractic doctors were already working directly with sports teams and Olympic athletes decades before the Vancouver Games.
History has shown us that chiropractic is widely recognized in the athletic arena. Professional sports teams understand the importance of retaining a team chiropractor who can attend to players on the sidelines during games. The list of examples is endless (golf pros, MMA fighters, hockey players, extreme snowboarders, etc.). Whether an athlete is on a team or participating in an individual sport, chiropractic has probably played a role in their athletic development. There is a staggering amount of evidence and research that supports the effectiveness of chiropractic, but it is even more telling to note just how many athletes depend on chiropractors to keep them in the game.
Athletes are backed by healthcare teams that consist of several different medical professionals and more often than not include a chiropractor or two. This team approach is key to the athlete’s well-being and efficiency in their sport. As such, athletes receive some of the best health care available from a wide range of qualified providers.
Having a chiropractic doctor as part of the healthcare team is even more important when you consider the forces and stresses athletes subject themselves to. Their bodies are pushed to the limit which means they must be in peak physical condition at all times. Training and performing at this level may cause the athlete to be more susceptible to injury. Some of the demands of the sport may also be unnatural to the human body, say for example taking strides while skating, which can pose increased risk. Let’s not forget environmental hazards where athletes compete: a slippery field, a hard running surface, high altitudes or blistering heat just to name a few. By working with coaches and athletes themselves, chiropractic doctors can recommend specific exercises and techniques to promote quality movement specific to their sport and help mitigate the risk of injury.
The truth is chiropractors are well positioned to work with athletes. Musculoskeletal and neurological function forms the core of a chiropractic doctor’s scope of practice. Biomechanics, physiology and biochemistry are just a few of the topics chiropractic students will study during their 7-8 year education. In conjunction with the expertise offered by other health professions, the athlete is at the centre of care and is able to take advantage of multiple perspectives.
Of course, not all of us are pro athletes, but many of us still receive the benefit of chiropractic care. Approximately 80% of Canadians will experience a spine or spine related problem and that’s not just the high performance types. The one thing we do have in common is that we all have a back, something all chiropractors understand very well.