participates in sports and fitness activities?
First the good news! The expanding interest in health and wellness is reflected
in the growth of participation in sports and fitness activities. The increases
are not only in organized sports. People are committing considerable time and
money to individual programs of exercise. Some simply want to get in better shape
or stay that way. Others hope to cope with physical deficits caused by illness
or aging. All want to have a good time while improving their health rather than
letting it deteriorate.
Everywhere, men, women, children and seniors (even people with relatively serious
physical disabilities) are involved in fitness programs. They are working out,
swimming, jogging, running (or just walking regularly) bicycling, playing racquetball,
roller blading, using exercise equipment, training with weights, rock climbing,
dancing, doing aerobics and yoga and Tai Chi Chuan, and engaging in one or more
of innumerable other activities for fitness and fun.
Adults and children are engaging in all sorts of individual and team sports.
Youth soccer attracts more participants every year. Interscholastic, intramural
and league baseball, softball, football, volleyball, wrestling and bowling are
just some of the competitive and recreational sports people pursue. Golf and
tennis remain enormously popular and represent two ends of the wide spectrum
of exercise options available-from sports requiring relatively little physical
effort to those that are extremely demanding.
Of course, professional and serious amateur sports involve large numbers of talented
athletes. To ensure that they can play at their peak without hurting themselves
and to assist them if they do experience injuries, they rely on highly skilled
trainers and health care professionals, whose numbers include specially educated
and certificated chiropractors. Many pros, top amateurs and famous champions
in professional, intercollegiate and Olympic sports loyally turn to their chiropractors
for assessment, adjustment, guidance and treatment to get a performance edge
by enhancing their strength, flexibility and endurance.
What are some of the typical health
concerns of people who engage in sports and are interested in maintaining fitness?
Now the not-so-good news. There are problems and risks associated with engaging
in sports and physical fitness activities.
Backs, necks, shoulders, knees, ankles, wrists, fingers and toes-in fact, most
bones, joints and connective tissues-are subject to misuse and injury when people
play hard. Seniors, individuals long out of shape or with disabilities, children
who haven't yet learned how to protect themselves during physical exertion, and
adolescents whose bodies are changing rapidly are among those at even greater
risk than men and women in fairly good shape.
Among the causes of sports-related injuries are:
* Overreaching, overdoing it, pushing too hard to achieve health or performance
* Failing to use good judgment to avoid injuries;
* Not knowing your limitations, or knowing them but driving yourself beyond them;
* Trying to recapture a lost (or imaginary) past of youth and vigor when you
excelled almost effortlessly at
physical contests and pastimes you now may find so difficult
and demanding that they are, realistically, nearly impossible for
* Playing all out with insufficient warm-ups, nutrition, training, and guidance;
* Not receiving the most appropriate and conservative treatment possible for
injuries that do occur;
* Failing to recuperate fully after injuries or overexertion because you can't
wait to "get back into the game."
can chiropractic do?
Chiropractic is ideally suited to helping you deal with the many pains and
strains that can result from playing sports and pursuing physical fitness programs.
Chiropractors have expertise in dealing with spine-nerve problems, with range-of-motion
and biomechanical issues often central to what makes people prone to sports-related
Among health care professionals, chiropractors are some of the most actively
involved in sports-related conditioning, injury prevention, treatment and rehabilitation.
A chiropractor can examine you before you begin or change a program of physical
activities. This is especially important before you engage in competitive sports
or try something like a marathon, which might put significant strain on your
body, and particularly on the back and joints.
A doctor of chiropractor can help you assess your athletic and exercise/fitness
goals and analyze your motivation to prevent injuries caused by going beyond
sensible activity limits given your age, health profile, preexisting conditions,
and any other factors. And he or she can offer training and nutrition suggestions,
do periodic reevaluations to monitor your progress toward your fitness or competition
goals, and work to prevent and treat injuries and rehabilitate you if you are
Chiropractic creates an atmosphere of mutual trust in which patients can be
confident that their feelings and needs are appreciated and will be dealt with
appropriately. This makes chiropractic especially effective in dealing with
issues and problems associated with sports and fitness. Patients need to keep
their health care providers informed of what they are doing and how they feel.
Chiropractors listen and they keep their patients aware of how best to prepare
themselves for exercise or competition and are there to help if overexertion
or accident causes an injury.
Many professional and high-level amateur athletes depend on chiropractic to
protect them from costly and career-threatening injuries. They want any injuries
they sustain to be managed in the most conservative way to lessen their "down
time" from the athletic activities that are so important in their lives.
Chiropractors are devoted to such conservative care, meaning they provide appropriate
and effective injury management that may make surgery and the use of dangerous
or debilitating medications unnecessary, except as a last resort.
Look for chiropractors with special training and certification in diagnosing,
evaluating and managing sports injuries and in providing preventive health
care for men, women, young people and seniors engaged in athletics and physical