Sports specialization and an aging and active population are just a few reasons why the popularity of chiropractic sports medicine continues to grow
After family chiropractic, sports chiropractic is the area that DCs most often specialize in. This emerges from data published in Chiropractic Economics’ 22nd Annual Salary and Expense Survey.
With 12.6% of all DCs surveyed, they said they mainly focus on the treatment of athletes and other active individuals, which puts this service area together across nutrition, pediatrics and all other specialties.
What makes athletic chiropractic the most popular specialization for this group of practitioners?
Sports injuries on the rise
According to the latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, approximately 8.6 million injuries are reported each year from sports and recreational activities. In addition, men, children between the ages of 5 and 14, and non-Hispanic whites are most likely to suffer from such injuries.
However, new research shows that there are more factors that put today’s athletes at higher risk of injury and add to the popularity of chiropractic sports medicine. One of them is sports specialization.
In September 2019, the Orthopedic Journal of Sports Medicine published a study of 10,138 adolescents that found that women who specialize in just one sport were at higher risk of injury. The researchers also indicated that the greater the overall activity of these girls, this risk increased.
Exercise chiropractors can work with patients in these type of high-risk groups, reducing their risk of injury by ensuring a healthy structural foundation, and teaching them how to avoid some of the most common problems faced by those in their population.
Athletes are motivated patients
It can be extremely frustrating to spend a lot of time with a patient explaining how they can proactively support their own health and wellbeing, only to know that they won’t listen to a word you say. You may nod your head in agreement as you speak, but you know deep down that the moment you walk out that door, the moment you walk out that door, you will forget everything you just explained and continue doing what they did always have done.
This can certainly happen to athletes as well, but those who are serious about staying active and standing out in their sport are also more willing to listen to your advice and take it to heart. They have a natural appreciation for improving their overall health and will do their part to achieve that goal.
Working with motivated patients can make your days easier and happier. It puts the doctor and the patient on an equal footing, as both are working toward the same goal: to help the athlete achieve their maximum performance.
Chiropractic Sports Medicine Popularity and Rewards
One thing that sets athletes apart is their constant drive to achieve new goals. They strive to continue breaking their own personal records in the sport of their choice, and sometimes breaking the records others have set in the process.
As an exercise chiropractor, helping athletes reach these new heights can be extremely rewarding. Heights that continue to increase even when we believe that the human body has reached the peak of its performance.
Penn State University states that the reason that sports records continue to be broken is in part because of advances in technology to improve athletic performance. But it is also possible that we have not yet reached the maximum athletic ability of the body.
Chiropractic can be helpful in this regard, as research has shown that athletes can often perform better after treatment. For example, a case study published in the Chiropractic Journal of Australia involved a 50-year-old man who trained as an elite racewalker for the World Masters Athletic Championships. Four days after manipulative spine therapy and tibiofemoral adjustments, he had exceeded his personal record by 2.5 minutes. And this was a current state record that he had set the year before.
There are many reasons a chiropractor might choose to specialize in chiropractic sports medicine. Statistics suggests that its popularity will continue to grow due to a rapidly aging and increasingly active US population.