If you play a sport or are an athlete in Chippewa Falls then you are certainly concerned about your body and how well it is functioning. The options for health and wellness professionals that can help ensure that you are at tip top shape are limited in the Eau Claire area, which is why we have wrote this article about sports chiropractic treatment and how athletes, runners, or fitness enthusiasts can learn to take better care of their machine known as the body.
Aaron Rodgers, Tiger Woods, Johnny Damon what do these professional athletes all have in common beside being great at their sport? They all use chiropractic treatment on a regular basis. Why would all the best athletes in the world have chiropractors? The simple answer is chiropractors and chiropractic ensures a safer and more efficient performance from the body during sport. My ultimate goal as a sports performance doctor is to educate the athlete on proper performance training, strengthening, and stretching so that the athlete does not need my services. The hard truth is that regardless of how well you are training, strengthening, and stretching you are still putting stress on the body and eventually you will need assistance in reducing that stress. In our office we have a three phase process that we teach all of our patients to help them properly manage the physical stress that they are exposed to daily.
PHASE ONE – Stretching both dynamic and static doesn’t require any tools just knowledge space and your machine aka your body
PHASE TWO – Equipment a must have for every athlete is a Foam Roller this assists in restoring proper mobility and flexibility through increased pressure and pumping of the blood my favorite is the Grid Roller from tptherapy.com they sell for $50 online with shipping but we have them in the office for $36 in both black and orange.
PHASE THREE – Professional assistance this is required only after you have exhausted the first two phases. Just like when you or your husband tried to fix the car and ended up with too many pieces left over and a non functioning vehicle sometimes a professionals expertise is required. Professionals range in expertise and not all health professionals are created equally.
Professionals that every athlete should have:
- Chiropractor (better if they have an emphasis on sports medicine see below about a Sports Chiropractor)
- Medical Doctor (better if they have an emphasis on sports medicine see below)
- Massage Therapist (better if they have an emphasis on myofascial release and sports massage see below)
- Nutritionist/Dietitian/Nutrition Chiropractor (nutrition is very important but make sure that the nutritionist or dietitian has some training in sports nutrition, if the sports chiropractor doesn’t have nutrition training you may need two separate chiropractors)
- Physical Therapist (better if they have an emphasis on sports medicine see below)
- Dentist (depends on your sport but some sports require a good emergency dentist)
The big differences comes in training Massage is a great tool and should be utilized by every athlete however Massage Therapists range from general swedish massage training to sports massage and myofascial release. When you call or are searching for Massage therapists make sure to ask if they are trained in sports massage and myofascial release, if not its probably better to keep looking.
The same thing goes when you are looking for a medical doctor. Although your primary care medical doctor receives training in diagnosis and management of musculoskeletal issues the core of their training is focused on pharmaceuticals and the organ systems. This doesn’t mean that your Medical Doctor can’t help you but it does mean that their may be someone that is more qualified to help. My favorite thing to ask any health professional is what sports do they do themselves? Do you workout and if so how do you like to do it? If the health professional works out more then likely they are passionate about their physical well being and then it is highly likely that they will use their education, expertise, and spare time to further their education on sports and wellness.
Questions for a health professional:
- What sports do they do themselves?
- Do you workout and if so how do you like to do it?
- What additional training have you had with athletes and sports medicine?
- Do you currently work with any sports teams?
- Have you worked with athletes that perform my sport? ; What injuries did they have and how did you help treat them or prevent them?
What most people don’t know is what a sports chiropractor can actually do and why they would need one. Chiropractors in general get their primary training in the musculoskeletal system that means that we have training in the body and not just diagnosing the body but in palpation and management of the body. A chiropractor spends every day of their working life palpating joints and mastering how joints should move and feel when functioning at 100%. This means that any chiropractor will be able to diagnose and manage a sprained ankle, torn rotator cuff, or a meniscal tear. The benefit of seeking a chiropractor out to initially diagnose and manage your symptoms is that no referral is require you can often receive treatment the very same day and if Surgery or bracing is required the majority of the time “conservative management” aka (phases one and two, chiropractic, and physical therapy) is required to help with cost containment and to help reduce unnecessary procedures. Now if you fall and break your hip and need an ambulance to take you away they are not going to bring you to the chiropractor to have them diagnose it and try conservative treatment prior to surgery although the chiropractor is technically the most appropriate to diagnose this they are not the most appropriate to treat and therefore you will be taken to the hospital. Although any chiropractor has had the training to diagnose and manage any musculoskeletal complaint as we previously stated they may not have focused on it since school and may only be passionate about the spine. This is where not all chiropractors are created equally, when searching for a sports chiropractor to either help improve your performance or get you back to a state that you can actually perform your sport you should be asking about their training. I have a Masters Degree in Sports Science and Rehabilitation aka Sports Medicine this means that I have taken an additional Two Years worth of training in sports. You will not find another chiropractor in the entire Chippewa Valley that has a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine, that doesn’t mean that Reilly Chiropractic is your only option. Another option is searching for a chiropractor that has a CCSP or is a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, this is additional continuing education and certification that a chiropractor that is passionate about sports can receive to help him further his education in the sports world it requires an additional 100 hours of training basically an additional year of education.
At Reilly Chiropractic in Chippewa Falls, WI we are the Sports Chiropractor for the Chippewa Valley Roller Girls and the semi-pro football team the Eau Claire Crush. Dr.Reilly has worked with numerous athletes and reviews are posted in the review section. Dr.Reilly has a Masters Degree in Sports Medicine and is ready to help not only manage injuries that have already happened but also help educate and assist in prevention of future injuries that you are susceptible to due to both the sport you play and your biomechanics.
In closing as you become a better athlete and more seasoned you will want to develop your athletic portfolio. Investing your time in a sport is not all that different than investing your money for retirement it takes knowledge, goals, and a support structure and most individuals go through a growing process. As athletes become more passionate about their sport invest in higher quality equipment and start to focus on training for their sport specifically. That is typically where most casual athletes stop which is why they do not typically grow to become the best that they can possibly be. Professional athletes go through the same growth in their athletic portfolio however they also have the knowledge to build a support structure of coaches, trainers, and health professionals around them to ensure a better opportunity for success. If you are serious about your sport and want to ensure that you can perform at your highest level while preventing and managing injuries then take the steps to make the connections and build a network of sports focused health professionals around you and grow your athletic ability and performance. The first step is already out of the way you have read this article and gained the knowledge, now make some calls and talk to your athletic friends then make initial appointments with the health professionals and build your team so that they are ready when you need them.
Green Bay Packers MVP, QB Aaron Rodgers
Green Bay Packers Superbowl Winning MVP, QB Aaron Rodgers, has received regular chiropractic care from his father, Dr. Ed Rodgers throughout his athletic career. What other famous athletes depend on chiropractic to elevate their game?
“The team wasn’t just riders. It was the mechanics, masseurs, chefs, soigneurs, and doctors. But the most important man on the team may have been the chiropractor.” – Lance Armstrong, 7 time Tour de France Champion stripped from his title but still did some amazing stuff
“When you get to the NFL, hits are a little bit harder. That’s why I see the chiropractor because after some of those hits, you know you’ll see your bodies not inline.”
– Maurice Jones Drew, NFL Running Back, Jacksonville Jaguars
” …as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.” –Tom Brady, New England Patriots ~ 3 time Superbowl Champion and 2 time Superbowl MVP
”Those are the guys that put me on the field when I didn’t think I had a chance to be on the field. These are professionals, and God put them in my life for a reason.” –Terrell Owens, NFL Wide Receiver
“I believe in chiropractic, and I know it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.” – Jerry Rice, Wide Receiver ~ 3 time Superbowl Champion and Superbowl MVP
“..lifting weights and seeing a chiropractor on a regular basis has made me a better golfer. I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” – Tiger Woods ~ 14 time PGA Championship Golfer
“Without chiropractic, I wouldn’t be able to play consistently throughout the season.” –Johnny Damon, MLB Center Fielder and two time World Series Champion.
“You obviously can’t compete at your fullest if you’re not in alignment. And your body can’t heal if your back is not in alignment. Every track and field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or another. In track and field, it is absolutely essential. Chiropractic care is one of the things I think that no one has denied or refuted”
– Dan O’Brian, Olympic Gold Medallist ~ Decathlon
“Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using chiropractic very extensively in order to stay healthy and fit. I found it was better to go to a chiropractor before you get injured. We are a perfect team – the world of fitness and the world of chiropractors.”
– Arnold Schwarzenegger, 7 time Mr. Olympia, Governor of California