What is Sports Chiropractic?
Traditional chiropractic focuses on diagnosing and treating neuromuscular disorders. The traditional chiropractor’s overall goal is to reduce pain and restore function to the nervous system by manually adjusting or manipulating the spine.
Though this form of chiropractic offers numerous health benefits to patients, it is often not quite enough for those who participate in sports or regular to intense physical activity. A sports chiropractor specializes in treating injured athletes and those who want to improve performance. An appointment to address sports related injuries or to improve athletic performance may involve several types of therapies including, myofascial release, percussion therapy, and stretching along with adjustments. These types of appointments traditionally take between 20-30 minutes and will be a bit more involved.
What is Myofascial Release?
Myofascial release is a manual therapy technique that focuses on pain believed to arise from myofascial tissues (the tough membranes that wrap, connect, and support your muscles).
Theoretically, myofascial pain differs from other types of pain because it originates in "trigger points," which are related to stiff, anchored areas within the myofascial tissue. The pain that a trigger point causes is often difficult to localize, though. During myofascial release therapy, we locate areas that feel stiff and fixed instead of elastic and movable under light manual pressure. These areas, though not always near what feels like the source of pain, are thought to restrict muscle and joint movements, which contributes to widespread muscle pain. The focused manual pressure and stretching used in myofascial release therapy loosens up restricted movement, leading indirectly to reduced pain.
Percussion therapy shocks muscle fibers surrounding sore muscle tissues. The pulsing effect from the vibrations reaches places hands cannot even with deep tissue massage techniques. The benefits of percussion therapy are numerous:
1. Helps Sore Muscles Heal Faster
Percussive massage therapy helps sore muscles heal faster after a strenuous workout by improving blood circulation. Because blood can move more efficiently through the vascular system, oxygen can too. Increased oxygen flow helps lessen muscle cramps which aid in healing and recovery so you can get back to the gym quicker without injury.
2. Improved Drainage of the Lymphatic System
Similar to the way oxygen moves through the vascular system, lymphatic fluid travels through the muscular system. Proper drainage of lymph is important because it allows the body to rid itself of toxins and waste. When the body can excrete these tainted materials, organs function normally and your immune system improves. A healthier immune system means a healthier you.
3. Enhanced Flexibility
That’s right percussion therapy can give you greater flexibility. The percussive tapping given off by this type of treatment gently stretches the muscles. When your muscles are flexible you are less likely to injure yourself during a workout or other strenuous activities. It also helps reduce aches and pains in general because your muscles are loose and less tense. Other advantages to a more flexible body include improved posture and balance, a more positive outlook and increased strength.
4. Relaxes Thickened Connective Tissues
Connective tissue, or fascia, envelops everything in your body: arteries, bones, nerves organs, muscles. Everything. When this connective tissue tightens, there are aches and pains. Fascia cushions what it surrounds and helps keep it safe. When there is an injury, facia helps in repair by creating scar tissue and building an environment that promotes healing. Keeping your connective tissues healthy reduces pain in secondary areas if you sustain an injury as well.
5. Helps Breakdown Adhesions and Internal Scarring from Working Out
Muscle adhesions usually develop after an injury or surgery. The adhesions are fibrous tissues that form between soft tissues like muscles and organs. Wherever they develop, they cause the surrounding soft tissues to stick together, hence the name. When muscles get glued together like this, the tissues are no longer able to move independently. As you can imagine, this limits your range of movement and causes a lot of pain. Percussion therapy helps dissipate adhesions and other internal scars to improve your range of motion after surgeries, injuries, or years of workouts.
At Come to Life Chiropractic, we strive to have you performing your best! Call now to book your sport specific appointment today!