Return To Spring Sports – The Right Way!
You know the phrase “April showers bring May flowers.” Unfortunately, spring can also be a time for sports injuries if you don’t ease into those new outdoor activities after taking the winter off.
If you’ve been hibernating all winter without significant physical activity, make sure that your body is prepared for the onslaught.
How A Chiropractor Can Help
A chiropractic adjustment can restore joint range of motion after your long winter nap. Not only does the adjustment joint mobility, it also improves the function of the nervous system function; both of these contribute to optimal function of your tendons and muscles. Increased range of motion can prevent joint injuries that occur when running, pivoting or abruptly stopping.
Ideally, you should be getting regular chiropractic adjustments regardless of the time of year, but if you don’t have a consistent schedule for adjustments, that’s ok. At least get started, then try to see your chiropractor regularly.
Time Heals All Wounds
You absolutely have to give yourself sufficient time to shift into high gear when it comes to physical activity. Work your way up. At first, get out and get moving a bit. If you are on a sports team or league, you should ideally spend at least a month being increasingly physically active before the first big meet or game.
If you didn’t give yourself enough time, and therefore suffered an injury, take it easy to give your body time to heal. We have lots of patients who come in for adjustments, giving the “I’ve overdone it” reason. We adjust them and they jump right back into their full swing sport. Don’t rush it. Ease back into your sport.
Yes, Always Warm Up
Athlete or not, you should always warm up for approximately 15-20 minutes prior to each practice and game. You might focus on a lower body warm-up for soccer, and an upper body strengthening activity for baseball or softball. Just remember, there are tried-and-true warm-ups you can do for either upper or lower body, such as light jogging or walking at a brisk pace.
Cool Down and Stretch
When the game or practice is done, you are not. Take the time to do a cool down. Try not to abruptly just stop all activity. After all, your body has been performing at high levels during the game. It is only natural to take a few minutes to cool down and give your body a break. Many people use their warm-up exercises as the cool down exercises too; it is less to remember to feel the benefit.
Our chiropractor recommends a minimum of 10 minutes of post-workout stretching to make sure the major muscle groups are properly functioning. Make sure you have stretches for the quadriceps and hamstrings, pectoral chest muscles, and trapezius muscles. If you’re too tired immediately after the game, remember to perform the stretches later that day.
In summary, don’t go into a new spring sport unprepared. Your body needs time to ramp up to a higher level of physical activity, and remember that your chiropractor can help.
Reach out to us on Facebook for information or to make an appointment. We will help guide you through your spring sport by optimizing your joint function and your nervous system. What are you waiting for? Be the best possible athlete with a little help from the team at Access To Health Chiropractic.