Participating in a sport helps teach your child discipline, respect, and the importance of time management. Your student athlete may also develop leadership skills, problem-solving techniques, and a misaligned spine. In some cases, spinal issues may even outweigh the positive perks of youth athletics as your child stumbles around in pain. Luckily, your student athlete may benefit from chiropractic care at Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine.
We've compiled seven reasons chiropractic care may help your student athlete, whether you're raising a flip-turning gymnast or a body-slamming wrestler. If you're the parent of a child who plays a less demanding sport, you're still in the right place. Even low-impact athletic activities, such as bowling or ping pong, can leave your child with aches and pains. Keep scrolling to find out how visiting a chiropractor can help your young athlete address sports-related pain.
1. Prevent Injuries Before They Occur With Chiropractic Care
Many people wait until an injury occurs to visit our office, but the truth is that you can, and should, seek chiropractic care before pain strikes. In fact, visiting a chiropractor may even help your athlete prevent injuries from happening in the first place.
When your child's spine is misaligned, it may create symptoms that impact their performance during sports, such as:
- Balance issues
- Limited range of motion in the neck, back, or legs
- Tingling in the feet, arms, or hands
You and your child may not immediately link these symptoms to spinal issues, but sometimes they stem from bulging discs in the neck or a herniated back. Left untreated, these symptoms may progress, making them more difficult to manage.
Even if your child isn't experiencing symptoms yet, they may still benefit from a spinal adjustment. Our chiropractic team performs a thorough exam, which may include X-rays or other diagnostic tests, prior to administering treatment on new patients.
2. Provide Pain Relief for Your Student Athlete
As a parent, you may feel uncomfortable at the thought of administering prescription pain medication to a young athlete. This is an understandable concern, and it's one reason why some parents seek chiropractic care for their kids. Chiropractic care helps young athletes manage pain by addressing the direct cause without medication.
For example, an athlete with neck pain may need laser therapy on the upper body and gentle spinal manipulation. A child with sharp pain from the lower back all the way to the feet may have sciatica, a hard-to-treat condition that can improve with chiropractic adjustments. We find the source of your child's pain and then treat it directly, providing medication-free pain relief as the body heals.
3. Discover the Source and Severity of Injuries
Like adults, many student athletes continue participating in sports even when they know something is wrong. This is dangerous, as a child may mistake a serious injury for a simple sprain or strain and cause further damage. Your child may also assume headaches are caused by dehydration or the stress of a heavy workload at school when the culprit is actually a misaligned neck. We've even seen student athletes continue playing with serious head injuries because they think a concussion is just a headache.
Don't let your child blame body pain on a tough workout or intense game unless you're positive that's what caused their aches. Bring them to our office for a consultation so we can figure out what happened and let you know how to prevent symptoms from getting worse.
4. Spinal Manipulation May Provide Improved Range of Motion
Sports often require constant movement, but it's difficult to score the winning goal or intercept a pass if your body has a limited range of motion. With regular chiropractic care, your athlete may notice increased flexibility and reduced muscle stiffness. This helps your child's body meet the demands of youth sports, and it also helps decrease the risk of injuries from pulled muscles. Your child can stretch their muscles more easily when their body isn't tight or sore, which may help them run faster or catch balls easier.
5. Shorten Recovery Time for Student Athletes
When a child becomes injured during an athletic activity, they often want to return to their beloved sport quickly. Unfortunately, this can be dangerous and may result in additional injuries. Our chiropractic team understands this, so we develop a treatment plan that helps your athlete get back in the game as soon as it's safe to do so.
Chiropractic adjustments help your child's body recover from sports-related injuries, and we also offer cold laser therapy, heat therapy, ice packs, massage therapy, spinal decompression therapy, and other recovery-related techniques. These treatments help reduce swelling and inflammation in your young athlete's body so it can heal quickly and completely. Chiropractic care also helps promote healthy blood flow throughout the body, which may speed up recovery.
6. Stay Ready for Competitions or Games
Approximately 8 million students play high school sports, and millions of younger kids participate in sports before they turn 13. When you're sharing the spotlight with so many other young players, it's important for your child to stay game-ready. This can help if your athlete is hoping to get a college scholarship or land a place on a competitive team with minimal spots available.
Chiropractic care helps keep your child ready to compete by reducing or eliminating pain. It also helps align your athlete's spine, making it easier for them to perform their best. When your child's body is in top-notch shape, it helps them focus on leading their team to victory because they're not distracted by sore muscles or back spasms.
7. Chiropractors Can Coordinate Care With Other Medical Professionals
Before people understood the benefits of chiropractic care, they were hesitant to request spinal adjustments and equally nervous about discussing them with other medical providers. These days, more than 35 million Americans visit chiropractors, and you can find patients of all ages at our New Jersey offices. We work closely with pediatricians, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, and other medical specialists to maintain a treatment plan that enhances your child's health — on and off the field.
Chiropractors even handle concussion care and can coordinate a care plan with your child's neurologist or head injury specialist. Talk to a chiropractor about the potential benefits of care, whether your child has minor neck pain or a serious fracture.
Request Chiropractic Care for Student Athletes in New Jersey
If you're wondering whether your child may benefit from chiropractic treatment, remember, sometimes spinal issues don't result in immediate symptoms. However, you may notice your child has some, or all, of these issues:
- Neck or shoulder pain
- Back pain
- Knee or leg pain
- Tingling in upper or lower extremities
- Headaches or tension in the scalp
- Trouble bending or stretching
- Muscle aches
These are all symptoms that may benefit from chiropractic care, but this isn't a full list of concerns. Your child may experience additional symptoms that aren't listed above.
Don't wait until an injury keeps your child from playing their favorite sport to seek chiropractic care. Our New Jersey team has experienced chiropractors at locations scattered throughout Ocean County, Gloucester County, and Monmouth County who are ready to help your athlete reach their full potential. We also offer sports medicine and physical therapy, two services popular with youth athletes. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how Northeast Spine and Sports Medicine can help improve your child's health — and game day performance.