By, Dr. Mike Chanatry

There are many benefits to chiropractic care for collegiate athletes, ranging from injury prevention to increased performance and shorter injury recovery time. Chiropractic doctors specializing in athletics can identify and target areas of overuse or stress so these problems don’t turn into something more serious. Chiropractic care for athletes can keep them operating at peak performance and minimize potential health issues. Through a variety of methods, like spinal adjustments, dry needling, acupuncture, or therapeutic taping, the chiropractor can play a key role in the overall health of a college athlete.

Increased range of motion

Athletes who are struggling with muscle tightness and trouble stretching can work with a chiropractor to develop techniques to help them increase their flexibility. Flexibility is a key component in athletic performance. No matter the sport, it is important to work on muscle flexibility throughout training to ensure that athletes don’t succumb to cramps or pulled muscles. Increased flexibility allows for more productive stretching, which leads to a reduced risk of those concerns.

Preventing injuries before they occur

Chiropractors are trained to identify misalignments and can help keep a college athlete working at peak performance. Often, injuries, especially those stress-related, don’t occur with no warning. Keeping a regular appointment schedule with a chiropractor can allow athletes to address burgeoning issues that the chiropractor can address through many methods, including regular adjustments to the spine.

The constant repetitive movements associated with certain sports, like the swing of a tennis racquet, or the kicking of a soccer ball, can cause general wear and tear that a chiropractor can address through certain therapies as well. The targeted use of kinesiology tape can help relieve sore or swollen muscles, or even electrical stimulation of muscles are methods a chiropractor can employ to relieve those issues.

Case Study

We had an interesting case this season with a hamstring strain (pictured).

Before treating the soft tissue injury I always motion palpate every joint to determine which joint dysfunctions may have contributed to the injury. It is important to educate the patient to help prevent future injuries, and adjust the dysfunctional joints.

Many times with a hamstring injury there will be restrictions in ankle dorsiflexion or hip dysfunction as one of the main contributors to the injury. In this case, there were no major lower extremity deficiencies initially detected. The greatest dysfunction was found in the thoracolumbar spine which is crucial for a sport such as lacrosse which requires a great deal of repetitive rotation. If there are functional limitations in one area of the spine, speed and power will be compensated for elsewhere along the chain.

Pain relief without the use of drugs

In the event that an athlete does incur an injury, it must be treated so the injury does not affect the athlete’s life for the rest of their life. In addition, depending on the issue, the injury may cause pain that could lead athletes to medication.

Drugs may not be the best mode of care for an injured athlete, especially younger ones playing at the college or high school level. Chiropractic care offers techniques like acupuncture and dry needling to target pain areas and relieve sore or injured muscles. Natural therapies like these can be highly effective in reducing the level of pain and getting athletes back on the field more quickly.

Chiropractic care for collegiate athletes can improve their physical health and help prevent future detrimental injuries down the road. Chiropractors can work in concert with the rest of the team of trainers to keep athletes performing well and address injuries or strains as they arise. Whether an athlete is looking to improve upon their throw, swing, stroke, or stride, chiropractic care may be a great option for them to provide a holistic approach to health and keep them in top shape.

Since 2013, I and my team at Chanatry Chiropractic have worked with Jacksonville University student-athletes as well as high school and professional athletes to ensure their bodies are helping them perform at peak levels. Contact us to discuss the different ways we can help with increased performance, injury prevention, and rehabilitation.