The first way that chiropractic can help young athletes is by making sure that the spine is in proper alignment. When your spine is in good alignment, it is going to function properly, it is going to bend and twist and turn smoothly and with ease. The better and more flexible your spine functions, the less likely an athlete is going get injured. Again, the better everything is lined up, the more flexible the spine is, the less prone it is to having any injuries. If you are playing a contact sport like football or hockey, any of those sports where there is a lot of contact, it is very important to make sure your spine is in good alignment.
Which brings me to number two, which is that chiropractic can improve performance. In contact sports, athletes can get injured. Sometimes you can get tackled in football, create a misalignment in the spine, and you might not even know about it. These are things that are extremely important. When athletes are early in their careers and they are starting to develop back pain and neck pain, chiropractic can certainly extend the life of a career and improve their overall performance. I talked briefly about a conversation with you before about how Joe Montana would never take the field to go out and play football when he was playing for the 49ers until he got adjusted. The last thing he did before he put on his uniform was see the team chiropractor. He realized that it enhanced his performance and helped his overall career. So, he credits his chiropractor with a lot of his performance gains and manifestations.
The third thing with chiropractic is that it is really helping your nervous system function at a higher level. When you need to coordinate things, it is all coordinated through your nerve system. When you think about how your nerve system works in an athlete, or in anyone, messages go from the brain down to the rest of the body, and the body executes the commands. Well, if there is any interference or static in the line going from the brain to the rest of the body, those commands might be executed more slowly or not completely. If you are trying to coordinate something such as juggling, there is a bio-mechanical pattern that your body needs to learn and adjust to. When you first start juggling it is hard and then it gets easier and easier as your brain learns the pathways and speeds things up. The speed at which the body communicates and the function of the nerve system is very closely tied to athletic performance.
Enhancing performance, preventing injuries, and helping people rehab from injuries I would say were the top three things that chiropractic helps in young athletes, or any athlete, for that matter.
Dr. Gregg D. Rubinstein, D.C., is a midtown Manhattan chiropractor with over 20 years of experience providing customized chiropractic treatment services to a wide range of clients in the Midtown Manhattan/West New York City area. Dr. Gregg Rubinstein and 57th Street Chiropractic can be reached at (917) 534-6484 and is located at 119 West 57th St. in New York, NY.