Back pain is one of the most common reasons for people to visit a MD, hospital or start taking prescription painkillers, and that’s especially true for athletes who suffer sports-related injuries and discomfort. In fact, 75% of all elite athletes experience back pain at some point during their playing days, and even 10-15% of child and teen athletes experience low back pain.
But chiropractic care – not hospitalizations and dangerous drugs – are the best first defense against sports injuries for young and old athletes alike. Chiropractic care is the optimal way to treat these injuries and allow the body to naturally heal the root cause of pain and discomfort.
But you don’t have to be an elite athlete to suffer back pain or sports injuries. In fact, there are about 30 million children in the U.S. people who play organized sports – and that doesn’t count all of the kids that play pickup or recreational sports. Each year, high school athletes alone suffer 2 million injuries resulting in 30,000 hospitalizations.
So which sports are the hardest on the body and cause the most lower back pain? Some of the findings are fairly predictable, but some may surprise you.
Instance of lower back pain by sport:
Intercollegiate athletes see their share of lower back injuries, considering that an alarming 7-13% of all injuries in college sports are lower back injuries. Of those back injuries, 60% are simple muscle strains while 7% are disc injuries.
Other common sports injuries include neck pain, whiplash, concussions, sport hernias, MCL sprains, quadriceps sprains, hamstring sprains, ankle sprains, shin splints, and Achilles tendonitis.
It’s no wonder why 39% of college athletes receive chiropractic treatment and most major college athletic departments now have a chiropractor on staff.
In part thanks to those chiropractic treatments, research also shows that athletes don’t tend to have lingering lower back issues at the rate of the general population, most likely because their fitness level, activity, and other health factors make them quick healers with lower back pain actually less common for former athletes than non-athletes.
75% of non-athletes experience some lower back pain, compared to only 31% for athletes. However, disc degeneration is far more common for elite athletes than non-athletes because of the massive strain and stress they place on their body.
But injuries and lower back pain are just one of the ways chiropractic care can aid the modern athlete. In fact, 90% of all world-class athletes also now use regular chiropractic care to amplify their performance, avoid injuries, and recover faster.
Research shows that athletes see a 6.12% increase in their athletic performance after receiving spinal adjustments from a chiropractor. In fact, after only12 weeks of chiropractic treatments, athletes measure 30% higher in their hand-eye coordination.
Chiropractic care certainly doesn’t stop when young and teen athletes progress. In fact, elite athletes in every sport use chiropractic care.
72% of PGA golfers on tour receive chiropractic care.
A near-perfect batting average .930 of Major League Baseball teams have a chiropractor on staff, and the same goes for the majority of pro basketball and hockey teams. Every single NFL franchise employs a team chiropractor now, up from 31% in 2002. In fact, during a typical NFL football season, chiropractors give 16,320-27,200 individual treatments to these pro players!
The reality is that every athlete in every sport or physical endeavor will see tangible benefits from regular chiropractic care. For instance, chiropractic treatments can help basketball players improve their speed, flexibility, balance, and strength. Baseball players jump higher, increase coordinate and strength when they get regularly visit a chiropractor. U.S. judo athletes experienced a 16% stronger grip after just three chiropractic sessions.
Chiropractic also allows the body to heal naturally, boosting the immune system and speeding recovery from injuries. 80% of hockey-related injuries, which often include painful shoulder problems, can be managed with four treatments or less. Chiropractic care can ease discomfort in 50% of tennis players that suffer from tennis elbow. Soccer players with groin strains or pulls see relief in only 8 weeks or less with chiropractic care. 100% of runners with join problems said that chiropractic care reduced their pain and symptoms, allowing them to maintain or increase their mileage and keep training.
Even Olympians love chiropractic care, as the U.S. team in Rio De Janeiro this summer brought plenty of chiropractors along, boosting their performance and helping them manage injuries on the way to a record Gold Medal winning performance. In fact, chiropractors have been a mainstay at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, where U.S. exercise physiologist Sean Atkins estimates that at least 90% of top athletes utilize chiropractic on a regular basis.
If you have a child playing organized sports, a high schooler excelling at competitive sports, or even if you’re the proud parent of a college athlete, the best advantage you could give them is access to regular chiropractic treatments and care. Feel free to contact us for a simple evaluation!