When it comes to chiropractic care, not all chiropractors are the same, and not all will help your game equally. Traditional chiropractors focus on overall wellbeing, helping the body stay healthy through structural alignment and activating the parasympathetic nervous system.

Sports chiropractors receive the same extensive training as traditional chiropractors. However, they’ve gone a step further in studying how athletes move, repetitive motion injuries, and identifying structural shifts and weaknesses that could lead to a sports-related injury. Consider these seven reasons why every athlete, from hobbyist to professional, should seek the regular treatment of a sports chiropractor.

Avoid Pain Medications

No matter how serious an injury is, pain is commonly one of the initial symptoms and can inhibit the healing process. The result is that athletes then turn to pain medications to help relieve those symptoms.

Pain medications have inherent problems. First, they interrupt the pain signals to the brain, which changes how your body works while performing athletically. Second, some pain medications can damage the liver and kidneys, leading to additional problems later in life. Finally, some can also form dependencies, which again causes significant problems later in life.

With sports chiropractic care, you can get some of that relief without the risks that come with medications. Spinal adjustments release pain-relieving endorphins, reducing the discomfort associated with sports injuries.

Prevent Sports Injuries

When you’re an athlete, it’s usually a question of when not if you’ll sustain some sort of sports injury. Whether that injury comes from an accident while participating in your sport or simply overusing a joint, the result is an injury that inhibits your performance.

In many cases, these injuries are preventable when you attend to minor muscle weaknesses and structural shifts. This is exactly where a sports chiropractor shows their extra expertise, with particular attention to small things that can lead to injuries. By evaluating your motion rather than simply pain symptoms, a sports chiropractor can help correct these issues before they result in an injury.

Rest Better

Every athlete knows how important getting enough quality sleep is to maintaining their performance. However, there are a lot of variables that can affect your sleep, from pain to stress and more. In fact, chronic insomnia affects an estimated 1/3 of adults, and athletes are not excluded from that. When an athlete suffers from poor sleep it can affect their motivation and athletic endurance.

Chiropractic adjustments, including those that assist with athletic performance, help encourage proper sleep. These adjustments correct structural shifts that may make laying down uncomfortable, making it difficult to sleep. More importantly, every time you receive an adjustment your body naturally lowers its cortisol level, allowing your body to enter the parasympathetic state, which is when it heals.

Improve Reaction Time

Your body’s reactions are controlled by your central nervous system. This works by sending messages to create movements and respond to stimuli from your senses. However, when something restricts those signals from passing properly, then your reaction time increases. This is a significant handicap for most athletes, especially if you have to respond to an opponent in real-time.

Most of these signals are passed along the spinal cord, that bundle of nerves that run along your spine. When one or more vertebrae shift from their normal position, they can start pressing on those nerves, interrupting the flow of information. Chiropractic adjustments help keep your spine and other joints from compressing the nerves, keeping all of your nervous system’s signals firing and receiving properly.

Reduce Body Wear

Have you ever heard a coach say that you just need to push through the pain? There may be some wisdom to that when you’re strength-building. However, too many athletes take that as their modus operandi, which causes long-term damage to muscles, tendons, and joints.

Continually pushing through even minor pain puts excessive strain on your body, leading to soft tissue injuries like strains and sprains. These eventually lead to the development of scar tissue, which doesn’t function optimally and can contribute to chronic pain.

Regular adjustments help prevent these injuries and keep your joints working optimally, reducing overall athletic wear. Combining sports chiropractic care with regular massage also helps prevent the buildup of scar tissue.

Recover More Quickly

When injuries do happen, you want to get back to your sport as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, surgical interventions take a long time to recover, plus there’s substantial rehabilitation to gain back strength and conditioning following surgery.

Seeking sports chiropractic care when you have an injury may help avoid surgeries that take you out of a competitive state. Chiropractic adjustments help reduce inflammation and encourage a better flow of nutrients to the affected tissues. One of the major benefits is ensuring synovial fluid can flow properly to the joints, which carries nutrients and helps lubricate the joints.

Improve Sports Performance

When you think about what affects your athletic performance, it’s hard to perform at your peak when you’re stiff, in pain, or feel weak. All of these can occur because of routine training in addition to injuries.

Including sports chiropractic care as part of your regular training routine helps reduce all of these performance inhibitors. We’ve already discussed how chiropractic adjustments release pain-relieving endorphins. The increased nutrient flow allows your muscles to recover more quickly from strenuous workouts or competition. This allows you to train harder and push yourself more during competition without risking an injury.

Improve your game by attending to your body’s structure with the help of a sports chiropractor. If you’re in the Redmond area, call (425) 636-0303 to schedule your sports chiropractic consultation with Structural Chiropractic.