The first answer is very easy, and that is to help the get over injury more easily and swiftly without using drugs or surgery. Most people have an idea about that aspect of chiropractors helping athletes. However, they can help in another way that is a bit more subtle than just pain.
Athletes are a finely tuned machine that runs on a basic set of principles. Gravity should be mentioned, because it is the constant in the equation. However, it needs to be mentioned for the fact that this is the first trigger in a movement of an athlete. This constant force is being applied on joint receptors in all of the athlete’s joints. This information travels through peripheral nerves to the brain, and particularly the cerebellum. This is the part of the brain that processes balance, space, and vision with input from the vestibular system and many other sources. This information is then put through the brainstem to further process the information. From here the information goes to the cortex. This is where the athlete’s consciousness is located. This is where the athlete makes his or her decision to move the way they would like to. Then the transmission is filtered back through the system to fire the muscles in the appropriate manner to grab a ball, kick a ball, jump, or whatever the cortex decided to do with the proper amount of muscle contraction.
That is a long, but simplified, version of what is going on when an athlete is competing. How can a chiropractor help this process? That first part of the process has to do with how the joint is moving is space with constant input from gravity. If that mechanism is not working properly, then the system is not working at its optimal level. The athlete is not doing the best that he or she can do. Chiropractors are uniquely qualified to make sure that those joints are working in the proper fashion, so that the feedback to the central nervous system is the best it can be.
That is not the only thing that certain chiropractors can do. Some of them can check to make sure that the cerebellum is working optimally. Remember that this is the part of the brain that regulates how the muscle is fired on an unconscious level. Athletes need this process working optimally, so they can be efficient with their energy.
When this process is off there is potential for injury. Let’s say that the athlete is running at high speed, and the system described tells the muscles that the ground is 2.5 inches away. However, the ground is actually 3 inches away, because there is a problem in the system. This can definitely lead to a potential for injury.
Having this system in check can really be the difference between an athlete having a good game, and an athlete having a great game. It can also be the difference between a game with an injury, and a game without an injury.
If you are an athlete that wants to see if they can benefit from chiropractic care, then call Cannon Pointe Chiropractic for a free consultation with mention of this blog (507-645-8000).