The world of chiropractic care is always evolving to better provide healthcare solutions to the millions of people with spinal and musculoskeletal issues. Millions of people each year suffer from issues ranging from back and neck pain, all the way to debilitating conditions that limit bodily movement.Unfortunately, our bodies go through a lot of wear-and-year. Our muscles get sore and joints start to ache, which can reduce our overall standard of living. There are many different situations that can lead to various physical ailments.
This can be especially true for those who are physically active. Athletes and those who engage in physical activity often suffer some musculoskeletal issues brought on by physical stress. By adding extra stress to their bodies, athletes increase the risk of tears, fractures and other injuries. Running, for example, has an average injury rate between 24 and 68% each year. If these issues aren’t remedied quickly, further physical activity can make the problem even worse.
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Athletes and those who engage in physical activity often suffer some musculoskeletal issues brought on by physical stress.
Benefits of Sports
One popular method for getting in daily or weekly exercise is by playing sports. Sports offer a wide range of benefits to your body. According to Hopkins Medicine, sports and other exercises reduce all causes of death by as much as 80%.
For most, sports help tone the muscles in numerous areas of the body, burns a substantial number of calories, and in several cases sports can be played without specialized equipment. Even though there may be little that compares to the fun of playing sports, consistent and intense physical activity takes a toll on the body.
Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Athletes
Treating Sports Injuries
Numerous injuries are common among athletes including pulled muscles, stress fractures, broken bones, and herniated discs, just to name a few. All athletes need to have the necessary tools available to keep their bodies in optimal shape if they want to compete at a high level.
Adding chiropractic care to the list of possible treatments offers the ability to treat some common injuries and prevent others altogether. Whether you go play a pickup game to burn extra calories, or play a sport competitively, there are benefits from chiropractic care to keep your body ready for your next game.
Reduction in Pain and Fatigue
It may sound far-fetched, but research has shown that chiropractic care, in particular spinal cord adjustments, can have a profound impact on pain. The data suggests that spinal manipulative therapy can reduce pain in healthy young adults. This means that athletes can have shorter recovery times and get back into the game more quickly. By reducing the pain associated with injuries, athletes can begin stretching and receive physical therapy more quickly, leading to a better recovery time.
There are also positive psychological impacts from reducing pain associated with injuries.
Less Healing Time Between Injuries
By utilizing chiropractic adjustments and massages, athletes can decrease the healing time between injuries. Unfortunately, injuries are a fact of life for athletes.
Living a very physically active lifestyle opens people up to a higher chance of injuries and other wear-and-tear on the body. This is especially true for runners, which is a very popular form of exercise. Physical exercise such as running can put excess stress on joints and muscles, leading to injury. Loosening muscles and joints with chiropractic care and massages can help athletes reduce their recovery time and get back to a healthy lifestyle.
Increased Range of Motion and Flexibility
Chiropractic care, including chiropractic massages, can dramatically increase athletes range of motion and flexibility. Athletes often experience knee, back and hip discomfort, which can lead to restriction in mobility and joint movements.
Visiting a chiropractor for an adjustment or massage can have an enormous impact on joints. When joints become relaxed, they also become more agile and responsive during periods of physical stress.
Hip joints in particular benefit from chiropractic care. By increasing mobility in the hips, athletes can improve physical performance and help get to the next level. Research has even shown that spinal manipulation of the cervical spine can increase active range of motion.
Less Chance of Injury During Physical Activity
When the spinal cord is out of alignment, the chances of injury during physical exercise increases. Regular visits to a chiropractor can help align an athlete's spine and reduce overall injury rates. Many athletes know this well. In fact, a study revealed that up to 31 percent of professional NFL teams have a chiropractor officially on staff, with up to 77 percent of NFL trainers referring players to a professional chiropractor. Many other professional athletes also use chiropractors for bodily maintenance and injury recovery to boost physical performance.
While injuries associated with physical activity may be unavoidable for some, chiropractic care can help in injury prevention over the long term. Adjusting the spine back into alignment means that stronger parts of the body no longer need to compensate for weaker areas, reducing the chance for injury. Spine alignment is key to reducing the negative impact repetitive and forceful motion sports can have on the body. This can lead to a healthier athlete who is less prone to lasting injury.
Injured Athlete Care Solutions
Keeping your body in its best shape is the greatest step you can take to ensure your sports routine is not interrupted or impeded by injury or restricted mobility.
When stretching, training and avoiding overexertion are not enough, consider the benefits of chiropractic care and massage therapy to help maintain your body’s optimal health over time.
Simple Warm-Up Techniques to Protect Your Back While Running
Before any workout, warming up is a necessary step toward preventing uncomfortable injuries or unnecessary strain on the back. For runners, the need to warm up effectively is even more pressing because of the prevalence of injuries runners can experience. Before you suit up for your next run, give your body the love it needs by loosening up your muscles, bones, and joints with these warm-up exercises.
Start with Your Hips
As a runner, your hips play a vital role in maintaining a healthy running routine, especially as it relates to protecting your back. The hip muscles need to be strong to help support your back while you run, and keeping them in their best form starts with stretching. An easy way to stretch your hips is to lie on your back and simply pull the knees up into your chest for 15 to 30 seconds.
Move Your Feet
Taking a few minutes before every run to walk around does wonders for your back – not to mention the rest of your body. Walking even for a short two minutes prior to starting your run gives your back an opportunity to loosen up, as it reduces the amount of stress placed on the spine.
Strength moves and exercises focused on increasing your range of motion make up dynamic stretches, and they work to boost blood flow in the body while also lubricating the joints.
Examples of dynamic stretches include lunges, donkey kicks, and front and side leg swings, all of which engage the back in the process. Muscles are safely warmed up with dynamic stretching which ultimately improves your efficiency as you run while protecting your back muscles.
Following these easy warm-up techniques before hitting the pavement will help keep your back at its best. If you’ve experienced an injury from running that causes persistent pain, or you’re looking for other ways to maintain your bone and muscle health as a runner, contact us today.
Running With Good Form to Protect Your Body
Runners reap numerous benefits, from an active way to reduce stress to maintaining a healthy, toned body throughout a lifetime, but injuries are common. Putting repetitive strain on the joints and muscles by running on a regular basis can lead to aches and pains that are difficult to combat, especially as we age. Fortunately, having the proper form when running helps reduce the risk of injury or discomfort. Here are a few tested and proven tips for improving running form in order to protect your muscles and joints.
Focus on Your Stride
One of the best tricks to maintaining proper form when running is to focus on your stride. While some runners want to increase speed, lengthening their stride is not the best way to accomplish the task. Keeping a short but quick stride allows you to maintain control over your foot positioning which helps you avoid a running calf injury or other injuries.
Engage Your Core
Runners are known for their strength and stamina, but those traits come from more than just hitting the pavement every day. Core strength, specifically in the glutes and the abdominal muscles, is part of the total runner’s package. Without strong core muscles, it can be difficult to remain upright while running which causes unnecessary strain on the hips. Ongoing hip strain while running can eventually lead to a hip injury that can take a long time to recover from.
Keep Your Knees in Line
To help prevent injuries while on a run, it is important to keep your knees in line throughout your workout. Ideally, the foot should strike directly under your knee, not in front or behind. This helps protect your body from injury when you’re running uphill, downhill, or on a flat surface.
Pay Attention to Your Hands and Elbows
Good running form also connects to your hands and elbows. Most experts suggest that your elbows should be kept at a 90 degrees angle or less while on a run, and your hands relaxed and below your chest throughout. To safeguard from injuries or discomfort after your run, make sure your hands don’t regularly cross your midsection or punch forward. This can be hard to accomplish if you run with a dog leash or music player in hand, but take care to reduce these movements when possible.
Running in an incredible way to stay in shape while also working off stress, but it is important to understand how your form affects your ability to keep up the workout routine for the foreseeable future. Focus on your stride and having a relaxed upper body, and remember to align your knees while engaging your core muscles. Each of these tips will help you prevent injuries and keep your joints and muscles safe during every run.
Skiing & Snowboarding Tips to Help Your Body
Updated: Sep 1, 2019
With the ski and snowboard season just around the corner, it’s easy to get caught up in thoughts of racing down the slopes with friends or family. But if you spend the majority of your time at a sedentary job or you are only lightly active throughout the day, you may be setting yourself up for muscle strain or injuries that could cut your time on the mountain short.
Exercise tips to strengthen your muscles and reduce your chance of injury or soreness from skiing or snowboarding
Boost Your Stamina
Spending a weekend skiing or snowboarding is not a walk in the park. Both activities require a great deal of stamina to get down the hill without constant stopping. While you can use the lift as a rest, you’ll want to build up your cardiovascular fitness level before hitting the slopes. Low-intensity cardio such as biking, running, stairclimbing or swimming is the smartest way to increase your ability to stick with skiing and snowboarding for an extended period of time.
Increase Your Strength
Skiing and snowboarding also require quite a bit of strength, especially in the back, the core muscles, and the legs. This means that in addition to ramping up your cardio routines, you will also want to focus some of your energy on building strength in the muscles you will use on the slopes. Simple exercises like bodyweight squats and lunges a few times a week are incredibly beneficial in strengthening your leg and back muscles. Planks are also helpful in increasing core strength which is necessary for getting down the slopes with ease while also helping to protect you from getting a knee, back, neck, wrist, ankle, hip, or shoulder injury or worse during skiing or snowboarding.
Tend to Yourself Beforehand
Hitting the slopes is often a time for relaxation and respite, but take the time to de-stress in advance of your skiing or snowboarding adventure. Stress from work, family, or relationships can have devastating effects on the body, so it is necessary to identify the causes and reduce them as much as possible before skiing or snowboarding. Also, you can protect yourself from further injury by tending to the aches and pains you have now. If your back is hurting or you’re suffering from sore muscles or spasms, make an appointment to see a chiropractor or massage therapist before you take to the slopes.
You’ll enjoy your time on the slopes far more when you feel confident in your physical ability, and you have made a good effort to remove stressors that could exaggerate an injury.
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Click here or call our Auburn, WA office at 253.833.4800 to set up a consultation to see how we can help you eliminate pain quickly and accomplish your spinal health goals.