Georgia Chiropractic Association Offers Injury Prevention Tips for Amateur and Pro Athletes

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Chiropractic care and proper conditioning reduces chance of injury, according to Georgia Chiropractic Association members.

Both professional and recreational athletes are always searching for ways to enhance their performance, and two Georgia doctors of chiropractic say chiropractic care can provide that edge.

“Athletes are looking to take a millisecond off a sprint, for help with the placement of a pitch or to be better able to make a basketball shot,” explained Georgia Chiropractic Association member David Wren, D.C., of Chiropractic and Sports Injury Center in Leesburg. “We take care of injuries, evaluate previous injuries, restore proper spinal balance and alignment, recommend rehabilitation and conditioning exercises and provide nutrition counseling so athletes can return back to their sport at an optimum level.”

Injuries are all too common in active athletes. From acute impact injuries to wear and tear from overuse, Wren and Josh Glass, D.C. of Georgia Sports Chiropractic in Atlanta have treated them all, from the legs through the neck.

Glass said injuries are generally related to the sport. “What part of the body you’re using or gets hit is where you have the injury,” he said.

Because he treats many runners and triathletes, he sees a lot of low back and leg problems, while Wren, who sees more team sports athletes, has noticed a lot of shoulder, lower back, knee and neck injuries, as well as rotator cuff impingements.

“Joint adjustments, extremity adjustments and manipulation help these injuries, as does massage,” Wren said. “I’ve found athletes prefer to have their injuries treated without drugs or surgery.”

Both doctors also counsel patients on preventing injuries and improving performance and have the following tips:

  • Identify and avoid potential problems by having a physical before beginning a sports program
  • Build core strength with pilates, strengthening classes and physioball work
  • Build strength in upper and lower parts of the body with weight routines
  • Use stretching and theraband exercises to improve agility
  • Run to improve speed
  • Warm up for the sport by doing the activity at an easier slower rate to lengthen the muscles that will be used
  • Cool down by stretching the opposing muscle groups to the ones used during the activity

Common sense measures such as proper rest and nutrition are also vital to achieve peak performance.

“Demands on an athlete’s body are different. Their caloric intake is higher than average, especially in contact sports. They need substantial amounts of carbohydrates, fats and proteins in their diets. Some athletes take whey protein supplements and use energy bars to boost the amount of protein they are ingesting,” Wren said.

“Some athletes think drinking high carb, sugary energy drinks will help improve performance, but that’s a mistake. It just provides them with empty calories,” he continued. “Properly balanced nutrition is especially important in adolescent athletes.”

And using the proper equipment is vital. “Some contact injuries can be prevented with the right athletic equipment and safety gear,” Wren said.

Despite conditioning and prevention measures, athletes will inevitably be hurt from time to time, and they are responsible for ensuring they seek the proper treatment.

“Athletes need to report any injuries to the coach or trainer, and they should discontinue participation in the sport until they’ve been treated, rehabilitated and adequately healed, Wren advised.

For more information on chiropractic care for athletes, visit http://www.findgeorgiachiropractors.com.

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Valerie Smith
@GAChiro2014
since: 06/2014
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