When Should You Call A Sports Chiropractor?

Sports Chiropractor focuses on patients who have sustained injuries to their musculoskeletal system. They train for years to identify the unique signs and symptoms of musculoskeletal damage.

They are trained to evaluate and diagnose using multiple imaging modalities like X-ray, CT, MRI, and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. They also assess muscle imbalances and offer techniques that improve range of motion.

When you’re a dedicated athlete, it’s almost a guarantee that you’ll experience some sports injuries at one point or another. While some of the injuries you may experience are a result of accidents that happen while playing your sport, there are many more that are a result of overuse and improper training regimens. These are exactly the kinds of injuries that a sports chiropractor is trained to treat.

A certified sports chiropractor have received the same training as traditional chiropractic doctors, but they’ve gone a step further in studying how athletes move and identifying structural shifts that can lead to injuries. They can help prevent the kinds of injuries that can halt an athlete’s career before it even starts.

The knee is especially vulnerable to sports injury, as it houses some of the most important ligaments in the body. These ligaments can be damaged through sudden movements or overuse, and if they are not treated immediately, it can result in a significant amount of pain and limited mobility. A qualified sports chiropractor can provide adjustments to the knee and other joints to improve the alignment and help the body heal.

To achieve the highest level of performance, your muscles and tendons must be able to move freely. This allows for a proper flow of the synovial fluid, which provides lubrication and helps nutrients get to all areas of the joint. When you are battling an injury, the last thing you want is for the synovial fluid to get choked off or blocked. A qualified sports chiropractor can make the necessary adjustments to ensure that the fluid flows properly so that you can keep up with your workouts and training regimen without suffering any aches and pains.

The frequency with which you visit a sports chiropractor is going to vary depending on the type of sport that you play, the intensity of your training, and the physical demands of the game. A professional or elite athlete will likely need to see a sports chiropractor more frequently than a casual or recreational player, but this can be determined through consultation with the doctor.


As any athlete knows, injury is a common part of being active. Pulls, sprains, and strains happen all the time. While many injuries heal on their own, a sports chiropractor can treat the underlying issues that are leading to discomfort and slowing down recovery. They can also prevent future injuries by strengthening the weak areas and improving balance.

A sports chiropractor will take a detailed history and perform a complete spine and joint orthopedic examination. They are trained to use various imaging modalities such as X-ray, MRI, and Musculoskeletal Ultrasound. They can provide appropriate referrals for physiotherapy, orthopedists, neurologists, rheumatologists, and other specialists to help manage a patient’s condition.

In addition to the spine, a sports chiropractor is well-versed in the treatment of other parts of the body including hands, elbows, shoulders, knees, and feet. They can manage injuries and problems associated with overuse as well as sudden trauma. These can include tennis players who have shoulder or upper extremity problems, runner’s knee or hip pain, golfers who have back or neck issues, and even baseball players with knee injuries.

As an adjunct to treating a sports injury, a sports chiropractor can recommend specific exercises and stretches to improve flexibility, strength, and range of motion. They can also suggest dietary strategies and nutritional supplements that support healing and performance optimization.

If you’re a professional or recreational athlete, a visit to a sports chiropractor can keep you on the field and reduce your risk of injury. They can treat acute and chronic problems, as well as provide preventative care to prevent injuries in the first place. When you do get injured, they can help speed up the healing process and help you avoid complications like scarring, swelling, or re-injury. They can also advise you on proper footwear, equipment, and techniques to maximize your performance. A sports chiropractor is a valuable asset to any sporting team! Just like you go to your dentist for teeth, a dermatologist for skin, or your regular chiropractor for back problems, a sports chiropractor can help you with the aches and pains that come with being active.

Preventive Care

Besides treating injuries, a sports chiropractor offers preventive care for a variety of problems. The goal is to reduce the risk of injury and boost overall performance for athletes at all levels. They will assess your musculoskeletal system, particularly the joints of your knees, ankles, wrists, elbows, and shoulders to make sure that you are moving in a way that allows your body to move without restriction or pain.

They may also have you run on a treadmill or perform other tests to see how your movement is working. For instance, do your legs extend as far back on both sides during a running stride? Does one side or the other have an imbalance that causes a higher susceptibility to injury? These and other tests allow the chiropractor to spot problems that would be difficult to detect by observation alone.

Most sports chiropractors are athletes themselves and understand the importance of balancing training, recovery, and nutrition to achieve their goals. They are also skilled in the use of multiple imaging modalities to evaluate and treat common, overuse injuries like a runner’s knee, shin splints, tennis elbow, shoulder, and upper extremity problems.

In addition to helping you recover from your current injuries, they can help you prevent future problems by analyzing your form and suggesting modifications that will reduce the chance of injury. They are also adept at evaluating and managing the training programs of athletes to optimize their performance.

As a bonus, a sports chiropractor can be invaluable in assisting with the coordination of your overall training program with your primary care provider (physician or nurse practitioner) and/or surgical specialist. Typically, this team approach is utilized when an athlete has been injured and needs to return to training as quickly as possible.

Although a sports chiropractor can be beneficial for all types of injuries and ailments, they are specifically helpful for those who are trying to get back into their training routine quickly following an injury or surgery. They can often spot issues that might otherwise be missed by other providers and get you on the path to recovery and a PR sooner.


If you’re injured playing your sport of choice, a sports chiropractor can provide you with an assessment and treatment. They can also help you prevent injury and improve your game through strength and conditioning training programs and techniques.

They have extensive training and knowledge in the fundamental biomechanics of the sports you play, which allows them to better understand how your body is put through the physical demands of your sport. This in-depth understanding helps to make the diagnosis of musculoskeletal injuries more accurate and efficient. A good sports chiropractor will also be able to create a rehabilitation plan to help you get back to your sport sooner rather than later.

In addition to chiropractic spinal manipulation, a sports chiropractor may use other soft tissue techniques that require special training and certification. These are advanced methods of massage that break down adhesions, or scar tissue, within muscles. This can help to decrease pain by decreasing nerve stimulation to over-active muscle groups, restoring proper function and balance in the muscle. This type of therapy is common among professional and Olympic athletes because it reduces re-injury and helps to boost performance.

Sports chiropractors are also trained to evaluate and correct any imbalances in the skeletal system of the athlete that may lead to future injuries. They can also help to improve side-to-side balance, which is a frequent cause of injury in many sports.

While a sports chiropractor can assist in the diagnosis and treatment of many different types of injuries, they are specifically trained to treat overuse injuries. Overuse injuries are very common in sports and can be quite serious if not addressed properly and quickly. They can also include exercises to prevent further injury or re-injury and promote healing from the inside out, instead of masking pain with chemical medications that can be habit-forming. They are also trained to incorporate interdisciplinary care with other sports medicine providers, including orthopedic doctors and physical therapists. This collaborative approach to sports injury rehabilitation is essential for a comprehensive recovery.