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Back to school season is here again, and kids of all ages are returning not only to their desks but to the field or court. Some kids may have engaged in summer sports and are now getting ready for fall and winter activities. Involvement in sports has many benefits for students. It helps them stay fit, teaches them discipline, and promotes teamwork. Unfortunately, they may also be more prone to injury and spinal subluxations. Spinal subluxations occur when a vertebra in the spine moves slightly out of alignment. This can happen due to normal activities, especially if a person doesn’t have good posture. Demanding sports like football, wrestling, gymnastics, and dance can cause more frequent subluxations.

Here are five benefits of chiropractic care for student-athletes:

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1. Prevent Injuries

Sometimes broken ankles or muscle strains happen. But athletes who receive chiropractic care get injured less often than those that don’t. This is true for two reasons. Chiropractic care can correct subluxations and prevent further injury, and correcting these subluxations improves coordination and flexibility. Better range of movement and coordination make a person less likely to get injured.

Often kids and parents wait until pain strikes before taking action. Preventative chiropractic care can prevent pain and injury and keep minor injuries from getting worse. Signs of a spinal subluxation include:

  • Dizziness
  • Balance problems
  • Tingling in the arms, legs, feet, or hands
  • Reduced range of motion in the neck, back, or legs
  • Nausea

If your child is experiencing these issues but doesn’t show other signs of being sick (such as a fever), there’s a good chance their spine is to blame. Sometimes there will be only one symptom, such as persistent headaches or stiffness. Taking these signs seriously and seeking treatment right away will prevent more serious problems. Regular chiropractic appointments can catch subluxations before they start causing symptoms. The old cliché, “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure,” rings true when it comes to spinal health.

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2. Safe Pain Relief

If your child has been injured during a game or practice, you may feel hesitant to give them pain medication. This is a good instinct, as prescription opioids and muscle relaxants are addictive and cause other serious side effects. Chiropractic care provides safe, effective pain relief. Even better, it promotes healing instead of just being a band-aid solution. Gentle spinal manipulation, physiotherapy, and spinal decompression can reduce pain quickly and help your child heal faster. Chiropractors also recommend home care like hot and cold therapy and stretches to keep pain manageable and facilitate healing.

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3. Give Them a Competitive Edge

Professional sports teams retain chiropractors to work on their players for several reasons. One of these is that chiropractic care has been proven to improve performance. The spinal cord–the highway of your nervous system– runs through the spine. When spinal subluxations happen, they can impair nervous system function. This affects all kinds of other systems in your body including those responsible for balance and coordination.

It can be hard to score the winning goal or catch the pass when these systems are not functioning optimally. Kids today face a big pool of competition and often need every edge they can get. Studies have shown that professional athletes who receive chiropractic care preform better than those who don’t. Your child doesn’t have to be a pro to receive this benefit. Chiropractic maintenance can help your child play at their best so they can stand out from the crowd.

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4. Shorten Recovery Time

Injured student-athletes are often eager to get off the sidelines and back into the game. Going back before they are fully healed can lead to further injury and more time out. The healing process always has to be approached with patience, but chiropractic care can help shorten recovery times.

At Vanguard Spine & Sport, we offer an array of services for athletes, including physiotherapy, injections, cryotherapy, and state-of-the-art compression therapy. The goal is to decrease inflammation and help the body’s natural healing processes work at their best. A student-athlete who has already been receiving regular adjustments may also heal faster because their immune system and nervous system will be in tip-top shape.

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5. Provide Treatment for Stage of Life Concerns

Kids, even teens, are still growing and developing. Their bodies need extra support during this time to prevent minor problems from becoming more serious or permanent as they get older. In addition to the rigors of sports, your student’s back endures heavy backpacks and sitting at a desk all day. They also experience stress that puts their muscles and immune systems under strain. Many kids are screened in elementary school for scoliosis, but some are not.

Regular chiropractic appointments can help correct problems caused by heavy backpacks or slouching at a desk before they start to cause pain or interfere with other activities. Your chiropractor will also give posture advice and ensure your child understands how to wear their backpack correctly to prevent injury. Several studies have shown that chiropractic care reduces stress and boosts the immune system in both children and adults. Fewer sick days and less stress make it easier for a child to perform well in the classroom and on the field. Your chiropractor can also screen for scoliosis and other developmental problems and begin treatment before they progress too far.

Chiropractic care was viewed with skepticism in the past, but now it is considered a valid and effective medical treatment. Chiropractors can work with your pediatrician and other providers to maintain your child’s health and wellness.

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Chiropractic Care for Student-Athletes in Houston

A chiropractic appointment should be part of every student-athlete’s back-to-school checklist. Regular preventative care can improve performance and prevent injury. If your child becomes injured, it’s important to have a chiropractor who specializes in sports medicine in your corner. At Vanguard Spine & Sport, we treat athletes of all ages.

Remember, if your child experiences muscle pain, reduced range of motion, unexplained headaches, or dizziness, don’t hesitate to bring them to our office. The sooner spinal problems are addressed, the sooner your child can get back to playing sports pain-free. Schedule a consultation today to learn more about how chiropractic care can improve your child’s health and athletic performance.