At Brown Chiropractic, we treat Division I athletes, crossfitters, competitive runners, aging golfers, weekend warriors, and everything in between. Whether you’re a professional athlete or just starting to train for your first 5K, our team of experienced chiropractors is here to help you optimize your performance, prevent injuries, and enhance recovery. We work closely with athletes to understand their specific needs, address any existing issues, and develop personalized treatment plans that promote their overall well-being.
Athletes of all calibers increasingly recognize the benefits of chiropractic care to enhance their athletic prowess. This trend is exemplified by the growing number of professional athletes turning to chiropractors to optimize their performance and overall bodily function. The significance of chiropractic care has become so prominent that it’s now a staple within professional sports teams, with each team boasting a dedicated chiropractor on staff. Athletes often push their bodies to the limit, demanding peak performance and resilience. Chiropractic care offers a holistic approach to support their physical well-being. It revolves around the idea that an athlete is not just a performer but an individual with specific anatomical needs.
The crux of chiropractic care lies in restoring function to the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. This intricate network is responsible for coordinating every physical action we undertake. Chiropractic adjustments correct restrictions in the spine, ensuring proper communication between the brain and the body and enhancing self-awareness. As a result, an athlete’s movements become more efficient, leading to improved performance.
An optimized nervous system fine-tunes athletic performance and expedites healing and recovery times. Athletes often subject their bodies to intense training sessions, making recovery an indispensable aspect of their routine. Chiropractic care reduces downtime after injuries by promoting efficient nerve communication, thus accelerating the body’s natural healing processes. Beyond performance enhancement and speedy recovery, chiropractic care is pivotal in injury prevention and overall wellness. By maintaining spinal alignment, athletes can reduce the risk of common sports injuries caused by imbalances and overexertion.
$25 New Patient Athlete Health Screening
$25 for a complete chiropractic health screening including a consultation, exam, X-rays if necessary, a report of findings, and a plan of action.
The relationship between athletes and chiropractic care underscores a shared pursuit of excellence and optimal function. From young sports enthusiasts to seasoned Olympians, athletes recognize the importance of maintaining a well-aligned spine and a smoothly functioning nervous system. As this symbiotic partnership continues to flourish, the world of sports is set to witness even greater achievements and feats of human performance.
How Our Athlete Care Plan Works
At Brown Chiropractic, we treat people, not conditions. Our first priority is to get to know our patients, their lifestyles, and their goals for care. This allows us to partner with them and together create a care plan that is both individualized and specific to their needs.
Our comprehensive evaluation process not only identifies painful tissues but also the root cause of the condition. This allows us to take our patients through a step-by-step plan that gets them out of pain quickly and with lasting results.
Patients often find they not only get out of pain but feel better than they ever could have imagined. This allows them to perform at a higher level in all aspects of their life.
How We Treat Athletes in Yarmouth, ME
Comprehensive Consultation and Exam
Identifying the root cause of the problem
The first step to treating anyone is our consultation. We’ll get to know you and understand your concerns, their effect on your life, your injury history, and your goals for care. We then perform a comprehensive evaluation, including orthopedic and neurological testing, to rule out any significant orthopedic conditions affecting your athletic performance. A chiropractic spinal and extremity analysis identifies restrictions and malalignments of joints. Lastly, a functional movement screen determines abnormal postures, muscle imbalances, and dysfunctional movements that can impede performance and put you at risk for injury.
Specific Chiropractic Adjustment in Yarmouth, ME
Restore joint function to optimize the kinetic chain
The first goal of care is to address any pain you may have. Pain causes our brain and nervous system to activate protective strategies. When you perform, your body can override these to some degree, but you may still have some detectable or undetectable inhibitions. It’s like trying to hit the gas in your car while simultaneously hitting the brakes.
Joint restrictions in the absence of pain can still disrupt muscle firing patterns and create inefficiencies in the kinetic chain. If you imagine trying to do a squat with one hip joint 50% restricted, there would be obvious disruptions to your performance and compensations in the kinetic chain, putting you at risk of injury and slowing your recovery.
While most joint restrictions are more subtle, they still affect the kinetic chain. Our chiropractors are trained to adjust and mobilize the spine and extremities. These treatments allow you to train without these inhibitions or protective patterns, effectively allowing you to reset your neuromusculoskeletal system so it can perform at its best. Once normal joint function is restored, it is essential to maintain it, especially for someone under the rigors of athletic participation.
Manual Therapy and Myofascial Release
Reduce muscle tension and imbalances
At Brown Chiropractic, our approach to effectively treating athletes relies on the skillful application of myofascial and manual therapies. Like joint restrictions, myofascial adhesions and scar tissues from old injuries can wreak havoc on the kinetic chain. Treating dysfunction within the myofascial system creates a window of opportunity to train without inhabitation, allowing therapeutic exercises to be more effective in resetting faulty movement patterns.
Our chiropractic physicians employ various techniques and approaches based on your needs. These include trigger point and myofascial releases to ease muscle tension. Pin and stretch techniques to break up myofascial adhesions and functionally lengthen muscles. Tool-assisted soft tissue scraping and release techniques, including the Graston technique, break up scar tissue and myofascial adhesions while stimulating collagen synthesis and alignment to improve healing. Whatever your touch preference or tissue need, we will have the soft tissue options that will work for you.
Trigger Point Therapy
A trigger point is a small, highly irritable knot or nodule within a muscle that can cause pain and referred discomfort when compressed. These localized areas of muscle tightness are associated with muscle overuse, trauma, or stress and can restrict the range of motion and contribute to chronic pain conditions.
Trigger point relief involves deep direct pressure to the area for 30 to 90 seconds until a relaxation or reduction in pain occurs. Muscles often harbor multiple trigger points, so you can repeat this process several times on a single muscle group and within the region. Reduction of trigger points helps alleviate muscle tension and discomfort, promoting pain relief and improved muscle function.
“Scar tissue” is the fibrous tissue that forms as part of the body’s natural healing process after an injury. It’s composed of collagen fibers that help repair damaged tissues. “Adhesions” are areas where scar tissue binds adjacent tissues together, often causing them to stick or limit their movement. Both scar tissue and adhesions can result from repetitive strain, overuse, or trauma. Scar tissue and adhesions can significantly impact athletic performance. They can restrict the mobility of muscles, tendons, and joints, leading to decreased range of motion and flexibility. This restricted movement can hinder an athlete’s ability to perform at their best, potentially reducing their efficiency, power, and overall athletic prowess.
Graston Technique is a manual therapy approach using specialized metal instruments to detect and treat scar tissue, tendonitis, and adhesions. We apply the instruments to the skin’s surface and perform specific movements gliding across the skin to target and break down the scar tissue. This process also helps stimulate blood flow, remodel the affected tissue, and encourage the body’s natural healing response. It is very effective for treating chronic tendon pain.
Pin and Stretch Techniques
Pin and stretch is a manual therapy approach for soft tissue injuries. It involves a practitioner using their hands to evaluate the texture, tightness, and movement of muscles, ligaments, tendons, and fascia. The therapy is applied by pining a muscle short and then stretching it long to break up adhesion while creating length in the muscle. This process aims to restore proper tissue function, flexibility, and blood flow. This, in turn, can lead to improved range of motion, reduced pain, and increased overall functional performance. Moreover, the increased blood flow promotes faster healing and tissue repair, allowing athletes to recover more swiftly from injuries.
Custom Therapeutic Exercise Plan
Faster recovery and long-term resilience
During your movement screen, we will identify abnormal postures, muscle imbalances, and movement dysfunction. Each patient receives a customized program designed around their specific needs and goals for care, including mobility work, core strengthening, and postural correction. Once mastering those fundamental movement principles, care focuses on functional movements that mimic the painful or inefficient activity or sport. This usually includes targeting the body as a whole kinetic chain to improve energy transfer, resulting in improved performance while reducing the chance of injury.
Pain management and faster healing
Rapid recovery times are essential for athletes to adhere to their training schedules and competitive commitments. We employ state-of-the-art technology to expedite the recovery process for athletes. Deep Tissue Laser delivers concentrated light energy to targeted areas of the body. This energy penetrates deep into the tissues, stimulating cellular activity. This stimulation enhances circulation, reduces inflammation, and accelerates the body’s natural healing processes. As a result, injured tissues heal more efficiently, promoting faster recovery.
During the Deep Tissue Laser procedure, athletes typically experience a warm and soothing sensation at the treatment site. Many describe it as a gentle, comfortable sensation akin to a mild warming or tingling sensation on the skin. The process is non-invasive and generally well-tolerated, allowing athletes to relax during treatment. The session’s duration varies based on the targeted area and the specific condition but is often relatively quick, aligning with the need for athletes to return to their training routines promptly.
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Types of Athletes We Help in Yarmouth, ME
Runners and Running-Based Sports
Engaging in running offers immense benefits to the entire body. It strengthens cardiovascular health, aids in weight management, improves mental well-being, and enhances overall physical endurance. Running, while beneficial, can pose challenges to the body. The repetitive impact of running can lead to spinal misalignments, muscle imbalances, and joint wear and tear, which can impact musculoskeletal health. These misalignments and imbalances can inhibit recovery and allow the accumulation of stressors on tissue, resulting in overuse injuries such as stress fractures, runner’s knee, and plantar fasciitis, to name a few. Prolonged running with an unbalanced system can also contribute to degenerative joint changes.
Brown Chiropractic’s comprehensive approach addresses the specific needs of runners, whether they are training for competition or simply enjoying running for leisure. Adjustments of the spine and extremities combined with myofascial work can reset biomechanics, keeping the kinetic chain optimally functioning and recovering faster. Customized therapeutic exercise protocols address chronic muscular imbalances and poor movement patterns. Common issues we address are poor foot, hip, core stability, and pelvic imbalances. Often, we improve the basics of balance and address hip–knee–foot biomechanics.
Common Running Injuries We Treat
- Runner’s Knee (Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome): A condition characterized by pain around the kneecap, often caused by overuse, muscle imbalances, or improper running techniques.
- Shin Splints: Pain along the shinbone (tibia) due to inflammation of the insertion of the tibialis posterior muscles related to overuse, under-conditioning, poor foot and hip biomechanics or footwear.
Achilles Tendinitis: Inflammation of the Achilles tendon, which connects the calf muscles to the heel bone, often resulting from overtraining or improper footwear.
- Plantar Fasciitis: Pain in the heel or arch of the foot due to inflammation of the plantar fascia, a band of tissue supporting the foot’s arch, related to weak foot muscles and poor biomechanics.
IT Band Syndrome: Pain on the outer side of the knee, caused by inflammation of the iliotibial band caused by weakness in hip external rotation and foot hyperpronation.
- Stress Fractures: Small cracks in the bone, often occurring in the feet, shins, or hips, caused by repetitive stress on the bone without adequate rest. Usually related to nutrition, poor biomechanics, or muscle deconditioning and most associated with overuse.
- Hamstring Strain: Injuries to the muscles at the back of the thigh, often caused by overstretching, are more associated with sprinting.
Golf is a sport that attracts diverse participants due to its accessibility and leisurely nature. However, the golf swing is a complex movement that involves all the major joints and muscles of the body with coordination. The repetitive motion and the need for precise mechanics with power can make golfers susceptible to various injuries.
Chiropractic adjustments can significantly enhance the efficiency and power of a golfer’s swing. By aligning the spine and addressing joint restrictions, chiropractors help optimize the golfer’s biomechanics. This improved alignment can lead to better weight transfer, rotation, and follow-through in the golf swing. As a result, golfers can achieve more accurate shots and increased swing speed. Chiropractors may provide golf-specific exercises that target key mobility issues in hips and shoulders that limit swing path and core stability issues that result in low back pain.
Common Golf-Specific Injuries We Treat:
- Golfer’s Elbow (Medial Epicondylitis): This overuse injury affects the tendons on the inside of the elbow. It causes pain and tenderness around the bony bump on the inner side of the elbow.
- Tennis Elbow (Lateral Epicondylitis): Despite its name, tennis elbow can also affect golfers. It involves pain and inflammation around the outer side of the elbow, affecting the tendons that connect to the forearm muscles.
- Shoulder Injuries: The repetitive nature of the golf swing can lead to various shoulder injuries, including rotator cuff strains, impingement, and labral tears.
- Wrist Injuries: The wrists are highly stressed during a golf swing. Golfers can develop injuries like sprains, strains, and even fractures in the wrists.
- Knee Injuries: The twisting and pivoting motions during the golf swing can stress the knees, potentially causing strains, ligament injuries, or meniscus tears.
- Hip Injuries: The hip joints play a significant role in generating power during the swing. Overuse can lead to hip pain, bursitis, or even labral tears.
Football, Hockey, and Other Contact Sports
Chiropractic care offers contact sports players a range of benefits for injury prevention and performance enhancement. Chiropractors can help manage and prevent musculoskeletal injuries common in the sport by addressing joint mobility and biomechanics issues. They are crucial in improving players’ range of motion, flexibility, and overall physical condition, which can help reduce injuries and speed up recovery. In addition, chiropractic care supports injury rehabilitation and provides pre-game preparations, ensuring players are in optimal physical condition. It’s a non-invasive, drug-free approach to pain management, improving overall well-being, and promoting athletic performance.
Chiropractic care can be a complementary approach for managing concussions, particularly for addressing associated symptoms such as neck pain, headaches, dizziness, and balance issues. Cervical manipulation and soft tissue therapies can address many of the symptoms related to concussions. Strengthening the deep neck muscles helps facilitate recovery and protects against future concussions. While chiropractic can significantly affect concussion management, your athletic trainer or physician should oversee care that includes rest and structured return-to-play protocols.
Baseball, Tennis, and Other Overhand Athletes
Baseball and tennis are sports that demand a wide range of complex movement patterns, including a series of explosive, high-velocity movements throughout the body. The repetitive one-way nature of swinging and throwing leaves overhand athletes prone to muscle imbalances and repetitive overuse injuries, especially in the back, hips, shoulders, and elbows.
Chiropractors specializing in sports-related care can assess a player’s spine, pelvis, and extremities to ensure proper alignment and mobility. They may use adjustments and soft tissue techniques to correct imbalances, reduce muscle tension, and improve joint function. In a pitcher or tennis player, this can enhance range of motion, flexibility, and overall biomechanics, potentially leading to better control and reduced strain on hips, shoulders, and elbows, reducing overuse injuries.
Chiropractic adjustments are a great “reset” after accumulating muscle tension and stress from participation in these sports, allowing faster recovery from sessions. Lastly, when injuries occur, we have the tools and expertise to not only treat that condition but also find and treat any leaks in the kinetic chain to prevent future injury.
Common Sports Injuries We Treat in Yarmouth, ME
Plantar fasciitis is a common foot condition characterized by inflammation and irritation of the plantar fascia, a thick band of tissue connecting the heel bone to the toes. This condition leads to sharp, stabbing pain in the heel, particularly during the first steps in the morning or after extended periods of rest, often escalating to a dull ache or burning sensation. Athletes who engage in repetitive high-impact activities, such as running, dancing, and basketball, are particularly vulnerable to this condition. Poor lower leg or foot conditioning and poor foot biomechanics, such as hyperpronation or limited ankle mobility, can cause plantar fasciitis.
Treatment for plantar fasciitis typically includes a combination of conservative measures, such as stretching and strengthening exercises, orthotics, and appropriate footwear to alleviate pain and promote healing. Icing, deep tissue laser therapy, and Graston Technique can help with inflammation management, and chiropractic adjustments can address the underlying biomechanical issues contributing to the condition. Night splints can be helpful as well.
As a last resort, corticosteroid injections may be considered to reduce inflammation and pain. Regardless, early intervention and a comprehensive approach to care are crucial for a successful recovery and a swift return to athletic performance.
Concussions are a significant concern in sports, with a higher likelihood of occurrence in contact sports like football, rugby, hockey, and boxing. Even sports such as soccer and basketball, which involve frequent head impacts, can pose a risk of concussions. A concussion is a traumatic brain injury resulting from a direct blow to the head or a force transmitted to the head. This impact can cause the brain to move rapidly inside the skull, leading to chemical changes and potential damage to brain cells. Recognizable symptoms of concussions include headache, dizziness, confusion, nausea, memory problems, sensitivity to light or noise, slurred speech, mood changes, and more. Managing concussions is crucial because untreated or mismanaged concussions can lead to long-term cognitive and neurological problems.
Although chiropractors may not be the primary managers of a concussion, they can offer valuable support in the overall care plan. Chiropractors can evaluate the musculoskeletal system, especially the neck and spine, as neck injuries are often associated with concussions. Identifying and addressing any misalignments or subluxations is part of their approach. Chiropractors can also help manage symptoms through spinal adjustments and soft tissue therapies, alleviating headaches and neck pain. They coordinate with other healthcare professionals, such as neurologists and sports medicine specialists, to ensure comprehensive care.
Additionally, chiropractors may offer rehabilitation exercises and nutritional recommendations to aid the healing process, including exercises to improve balance and coordination, which are essential for concussion recovery. They may also recommend neck strengthening to prevent future episodes.
A muscle strain, commonly called a pulled muscle, occurs when muscle fibers are stretched or torn due to overuse, sudden movements, or excessive stress. This injury can occur during physical activities, sports, or everyday movements.
Muscle strains often result from biomechanical imbalances in the musculoskeletal system. They can lead to symptoms such as pain, reduced flexibility, and, in severe cases, fibrous adhesions or scar tissue formation. These adhesions may further limit muscle movement and lead to discomfort.
Chiropractors address muscle strains through various therapies, including spinal adjustments, myofascial release, electrotherapy, targeted exercises, and more, to restore proper muscle function and prevent future injuries.
Tendinopathies – Tendonitis (inflammation) and Tendinosis (degeneration)
Tendonitis is a common condition characterized by the inflammation, irritation, or swelling of a tendon, the thick and flexible band of tissue that connects our muscles to our bones. Tendonitis typically results from repetitive movements, overuse, or acute injuries. It can be particularly prevalent in athletes due to the repetitive stress on tendons during sports activities.
Tendinosis is a chronic and degenerative condition affecting tendons. Unlike tendonitis, which is characterized by inflammation, tendinosis is a structural change, mainly a breakdown of collagen, the primary structural protein in tendons. This leads to microtears, thickening, and reduced blood flow. This condition often results in persistent pain, reduced range of motion, and functional limitations. Common sites for tendinopathies include the elbows (as in lateral epicondylitis or “tennis elbow”), the Achilles tendon, the patellar tendon, and other tendons subject to repetitive strain.
In both tendonitis and tendinosis, there is usually an issue with the kinetic chain characterized by abnormal joint or muscle function, placing abnormal stress on the tendon. Chiropractic adjustments correct joint misalignments, normalizing biomechanical problems contributing to tendon stress. This realignment can help alleviate pressure on the tendons and support the body’s natural healing mechanisms.
In the case of tendonitis, care focuses on reducing inflammation with modalities like ice, rest, and cold laser. Sometimes, manual therapy can relieve tension in a tendon as well. In the case of tendinosis, the goal is to re-activate the inflammatory process to start healing the degenerative tendon. This is accomplished with cross-friction massage by hand or with a metal tool. Additionally, strengthening the tendon and muscle with isometric and eccentric exercises can facilitate the laying down of healthy collagen. Kinesiotaping and nutritional or supplement advice can optimize the treatment of tendinopathies.
Back and Neck Pain
Back and neck pain are common issues that athletes encounter due to the intense physical demands of their sports. Chiropractic care offers athletes a holistic approach to managing and preventing these problems. Chiropractors focus on optimizing spinal alignment, which, in turn, enhances nervous system function and muscle coordination. They employ spinal adjustments and soft tissue therapies to alleviate pain and improve mobility. Additionally, chiropractors provide guidance on exercises and stretches tailored to the athlete’s specific needs, addressing underlying biomechanical issues contributing to pain. This comprehensive approach not only aids in injury recovery but also enhances athletic performance and reduces the risk of injuries. Chiropractic care is essential to many athletes’ healthcare routines to keep their backs and necks in peak condition.
Frequently Asked Questions
When should an athlete see a chiropractor?
Chiropractic can benefit athletes for performance, rehabilitation, or injury prevention.
Do professional athletes use chiropractors?
Professional athletes often push their bodies to the limit, making them more susceptible to injuries. Chiropractors can help identify and address imbalances, joint restrictions, and muscle tension that could contribute to injury risk. Every professional football and baseball team has a team chiropractor. Notable athletes who swear by chiropractic are Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, and Michael Jordan, to name a few.
Can chiropractic help reduce pain related to sports participation?
People often choose chiropractic care for natural pain relief. Athletes may experience chronic pain due to the demands of their sport, and chiropractic adjustments can relieve conditions like back pain, neck pain, and joint pain.
Can chiropractic enhance my performance?
Proper alignment of the spine and musculoskeletal system enhances nervous system function, which can contribute to improved balance, coordination, and overall athletic performance.
Can chiropractic help me recover faster from an injury?
Chiropractors work with athletes to aid in the recovery process after injuries. They can help athletes regain mobility, reduce pain, and return to their sport more quickly.
What else can chiropractors do for athletes?
Chiropractors often take a holistic approach to care, considering an athlete’s overall well-being. This can include dietary and lifestyle advice, exercise prescription, biomechanical advice regarding sport-specific activities, and physical adjustments.