Best Practices for Athletes

John Stockton played 19 seasons in the NBA and only missed 22 games out of the 1526 regular season games, 18 of those in one season. In 2002 a Toronto sports writer asked John what was the secret to his continued success into his 40’s. He replied “A good chiropractor.”

Last weekend I was volunteering at a high school event where I saw a coach recommend that a participant push through an injury. This got me thinking… How often does this happen? How often do we push through or ignore an injury because we feel we have to? We do this with common aches and pains as well. The likelihood of reinjury or permanent damage is significantly greater when these things aren’t addressed. Pain is the body’s way of telling us that something is wrong. So why do we ignore it so often and how can we address it so that it isn’t lifelong? Let’s explore some preventative care options for athletes.

Maybe you’re a young athlete (or the parent of one). The body is working hard, training every day, being pushed to perform to the limit. Our bodies AND MINDS can push through so much discomfort when we are determined to finish. It can be very hard for athletes to stop and rest their bodies in the midst of training so it is important to take note of any warning signs. Athletes should never ignore an injury because it could lead to more serious problems. Even if you think your injury is too minor, make sure you still get it checked out by a professional. The earlier you treat an injury, the easier it will be on your body and mind. It is crucial for you to not push yourself past the point of pain- this can cause further damage or even permanent disability.

It’s also necessary for you to take proper care of your body. When an injury arises, use the RICE method (Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation) for 2-4 days. If the discomfort does not improve or it comes back, consider seeing a doctor. For those that prefer a more natural approach to healing or a more customized and need-based solution, chiropractic/physical medicine is definitely the optimal route.

For our coaches and parents: We all know that athletes put their bodies on the line every time they take to the field or court. They are constantly pushing themselves to be better, harder, faster and stronger than they were before. But what happens when they get injured? When an athlete is injured it’s important for coaches to have a plan in place so as not to hinder their recovery process or set them up for future injury. “No pain. No gain” is not a phrase to advertise, especially not to younger athletes, that are at serious risk for injuries that can stunt their growth.

Previous research has indicated that between 14% and 32% of competitive athletes are forced to retire because of a career-ending injury (Allison & Meyer, 1988; Mihovilovic, 1968; Werthner & Orlick, 1986). Ignoring an injury is not only career-threatening, but life-threatening as well.

Local physical medicine and chiropractic offices have various treatments available to help you jump back in the game. If you’re curious about what some of those might look like, give us a call OR click here to view our Services & Techniques options.

If you’re an everyday gym-goer looking to improve your form or help your body perform at it’s best, take a look at this recent article for some best practices.

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