Chiropractors can help improve sports performance and help prevent sports injuries by removing misalignments in the spine. A healthy spine provides the foundation for proper body function including good posture and coordination which are essential for athletes.
Starting with the basics, for an athlete who has never been to a chiropractor, what does a chiropractic exam include and how do you determine if someone has a healthy spine?
Dr. Chris Serafini: This is a great question and a lot of people might not know the answer to this. We really start out with a detailed history. We want to know what that patient has done, what other treatments have they tried, what has worked, what hasn’t. We also do an exam. That exam is going to consist of orthopedic testing, neurological testing, muscle testing, range of motion, posture analysis. A lot of patients that walk through our door, they traditionally and commonly, they comment on how extensive and detailed our exams are.
And also an X-ray, I think there’s a big difference with a lot of offices out there. They may or may not take an X-ray. I really found that, you know, when you are a professional of the spine, you really need to see a detailed picture of it and I think that sets us apart. If you really know what you’re looking at, when you analyze an X-ray, it really can make a difference with the patient’s results.
We know kids are playing more competitive sports at younger ages, so can chiropractic care help prepare these younger athletes?
Dr. Chris Serafini: Absolutely. Chiropractic for active kids is critical to ensuring there is no long-term damage for many a physical trauma related to sports or the activities that they are in. A lot of times, we’ll see pretty significant misalignments in really active children and you have to remember, it’s just like anything. If you are using your body a lot in a physical nature, you are going to have misalignments that occur. It is just a part of doing the activity and chiropractic is exceptionally great with kids just because kids haven’t had their misalignments that long so they’re usually easier to fix than adults.
Many athletes who specialize in one sport suffer from repetitive movement injuries. How does chiropractic care help treat these injuries and even help prevent them?
Dr. Chris Serafini: This is a great question. I think when you detail it and give it a detailed answer, it kind of sheds some light on it. Repetitive motion is going to create asymmetry in the body so whatever that repetitive movement, motion or activity is, it is going to create some sort of asymmetry that if you don’t do anything to counterbalance that, you’re going to go, you know, forward moving with that asymmetry. The body always wants to be symmetrical. Your body is going to strive to be symmetrical. So that’s really what chiropractors are doing; we’re going to locate those asymmetric misalignments and we are going to adjust them accordingly to create symmetry.
For the athlete trying to improve their game, how can chiropractic care help them get faster, stronger or better?
Dr. Chris Serafini: It’s a great question. I want to use a couple of references. One, I would reference a PhD Exercise Physiologist. His name is Sean Atkins. He says he estimates that at least 90% of the world-class athletes use chiropractic on a regular basis to prevent injuries and to improve their athletic performance. In addition to that, athletes have been benefiting from chiropractic for many, many years. Athletes of all types. From weekend warriors to world-class athletes utilize chiropractic because it is a natural method to better health and performance.
In addition, you know, athletes are under a tremendous amount of stress to perform and excel in sports and chiropractic helps the body to adapt and respond quickly to any changes in the environment.
In what other ways do chiropractors help athletes without surgery and prescription drugs?
Dr. Chris Serafini: When the spine is in its optimal structural position, the nerves are protected and ultimately, communication exists between the central nervous system and the rest of the body. You know, anyone who engages in athletics can benefit from regular chiropractic check-ups to ensure that their spine is balanced and free from structural stress and subluxation and misalignments.
When the spinal column is brought into balance and alignment, the body’s nervous system and body bio-mechanics are really maximized at that point. In addition to that, postural strength and coordination are essential for injury prevention and sports performance.
If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Chris Serafini, visit www.thescottsdalechiropractor.com or call 480-443-7678 to schedule an appointment.