Where Chicago's Athletes Get Adjusted
Schedule your initial consultation today!   773.868.0347

5 Common Chiropractic Care Myths

Chiropractic Care in Chicago - Spinal Decompression & Adjustments

Chiropractic Care & Treatment – 5 Common Myths

Chiropractic care is a safe & natural option for treating pain, and it provides an excellent approach for supporting and maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you’re skeptical about visiting a chiropractor, take a moment to dive deeper into these five common myths surrounding chiropractic care and instead learn the truth about the benefits of Chiropractic Adjustments and spinal manipulation.

 

Myth 1: Chiropractors Aren’t ‘Real’ Doctors

Chiropractic school is not only rigorous, but it is also virtually identical to medical school.

The premedical prerequisites to get into chiropractic school are the same as medical school, which involves a full year of biology, chemistry, physics, calculus, organic chemistry, as well as a year of labs. As a result, most chiropractors have a four-year undergraduate degree in a science field before entering chiropractic school.

Attending traditional medical school and chiropractic school is also very similar, with the primary difference being that medical students will complete residency programs while chiropractors enter internship programs.

After completing undergrad, chiropractic school entails two additional years of classroom study followed by a third year consisting of both classroom study and clinical experience. The fourth and final year is all clinical.

Once students graduate from chiropractic school, they must pass four sets of national board exams which are heavily weighted on diagnostic and practical skills, as well as state board exams in the states where they wish to practice.

While it is true that a chiropractor doesn’t prescribe medication or perform surgery, it certainly doesn’t disqualify them as a “real” doctor. Chiropractors are officially known as Doctors of Chiropractic, and are without question experts in their field.

When it comes to neurology, alignment, and musculoskeletal disorders, Doctors of Chiropractic are more thoroughly trained than any of those other “real doctors.” Chiropractors spend years extensively learning about one thing and one thing only—musculoskeletal pain and dysfunction—making them the ideal portal-of-entry provider for musculoskeletal disorders.

Myth 2: Chiropractors “Crack” Backs

Many people fear chiropractic because they imagine horrible cracking movements that occur from a sudden and unexpected blow. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

The word crack itself implies breakage. A chiropractor isn’t cracking anything.  Chiropractors are adjusting, aligning and manipulating, and a good chiropractor will communicate each step with you before the adjustment and as the adjustment occurs.

About 60 percent of the time, patients will hear a cavitation, a popping or clicking sound, which is simply a release of gas from the joint spaces. The cavitation is not the adjustment itself, but rather a byproduct of the alignment.

There are a variety of techniques utilized for adjustments, varying from gentle touch to hand manipulation to the use of retracting tables. Not every type is right for every patient, which is why a skilled chiropractor will take the time to listen to your concerns, understand the root of your problem, and develop an individualized course of treatment that is best suited for you.

Myth 3: Chiropractors Only Help with Back Pain

Your spine is without doubt one of the most important parts of your body, but chiropractic care extends further than the spine alone.

The doctor may employ a variety of specific techniques to adjust and manipulate other joints such as the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, and knees. Some conditions that affect the extremities that can be treated with chiropractic include plantar fasciitis, tennis elbow, impingement syndromes, and TMJ.

It is also important to remember that the nerves originate in the brain and innervate through the spine. This means that if there is pressure on the spine, and consequently, the nerves, the symptoms can present elsewhere in the body.

For example, if you suffer from headaches, chiropractors will take care to examine the top cervical vertebra (called the atlas) to make sure it is positioned properly. If this particular vertebra is not aligned properly, it could create or increase the likelihood of these chronic headaches.

This is why chiropractors do all the necessary tests, exams, and imaging to first determine where the pain is actually originating from and then design treatment plans to address them.

Myth 4: Chiropractic Adjustments Are Dangerous

A common myth of chiropractic adjustment is that it can cause a stroke. According to one study, the odds of a hemorrhagic of stroke in the normal population, chiropractic patient or not, is 1 in 5.85 million people.[1]

The truth is, neck adjustments cause no more stress to the arteries in the neck than any normal range of motion exercise. When performed by licensed and experienced Doctors of Chiropractic, spinal manipulation and adjustments are safe practices that help to restore your body to its natural flexibility and mobility while relieving pain, soreness, and stiffness in the joints and muscles. In addition, because adjustments and manipulations are a natural, alternative approach to a problem, chiropractic is much safer than surgery or the use of opioids. Surgery is rarely effective for musculoskeletal problems, while painkillers only mask the pain as opposed to solving the root of the problem.

Myth 5: Once you start chiropractic care, you’ll have to continue to go for the rest of your life

Chiropractors do hope you continue to return, but it’s not for their benefit. Better health is a holistic lifestyle, and chiropractic is a part of that.

When you wait to visit a chiropractor when you are in severe pain, there is already a problem. The chiropractor will then work to treat not just the symptom, but to discover the underlying cause. The number of visits per month needed will depend on your unique case—it could be once a week, whereas others might need as frequent as twice a week. Once the underlying problem is fixed and you start to feel better, this is not where chiropractic visits should end.

Future visits are in place to continue to strengthen and support your body, so you are able to maintain that “feel good” phase without slipping back into the same habits and routines that landed you in pain in the first place.

Just as you would jog a few times a week to maintain cardiovascular health or schedule routine dental visits to protect your teeth, chiropractic care is one more piece of the puzzle for maintaining a healthy body and healthy lifestyle.

Dispelling Chiropractic Care Doubts

Millions of Americans have experienced meaningful pain relief and wellness benefits from chiropractic care.

If you think you could potentially benefit from chiropractic care, it is important to take the time and effort to choose the right chiropractor, just as you would for any healthcare professional. To learn more about our unique and holistic approach to chiropractic treatment at Advanced Spine and Sports Care, as well as what to expect during your first visit, click here. We’re here to help.

 

Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Chiropractic Care

[1]E.W. Church et al., “Systematic review and meta-analysis of chiropractic care and cervical artery dissection: no evidence for causation,” Cureus 8, no. 2 (February 16, 2016): https://doi.org/10.7759/cureus.498.

 

Surgical vs Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy

Spinal Decompression Therapy in Chicago - Xray Services

Surgical Vs Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy in Chicago

Living with back pain can be very difficult, despite how often it occurs in adults of all ages. Issues with your back can leave you unable to work or pursue your hobbies, as well as making everyday tasks very painful or impossible to complete. To seek relief from common back problems, spinal decompression has become a very popular treatment option.

Spinal Decompression Therapy in Chicago can either be a surgical or non-surgical treatment, with some key differences in the procedure, recovery times, and results between the two. If you or a loved one is experiencing persistent or chronic back pain, then read on to learn everything you need to know about the differences between surgical and non-surgical spinal decompression therapy, conditions the therapy can treat, and who the ideal candidates are.

What Is Spinal Decompression Therapy?

Spinal decompression therapy has the primary goal of reducing or eliminating pain that’s associated with compression on the spine. The spine is comprised of 24 vertebrae, which are small bones that are stacked to create the spinal column. Between each of these vertebrae is a disc, which is formed from tissue and provides a cushioning effect when you move. When a person experiences a compression-related problem on the spine, it can cause serious and prolonged pain in the back.

In the majority of cases, the focus of spinal decompression will be to relieve pressure on the spinal discs, which in turn can reduce pressure on the nerves in the lower spine – a common cause of back pain, stiffness, and even cognitive problems. By achieving a reduction in pressure, pain in the back can be reduced, circulation enhanced, and function of the spine restored, improving quality of life.

How Does Spinal Decompression Therapy Work?

Depending on the decision to pursue surgical or non-surgical spinal decompression, the procedure for decompression will vary greatly. For non-surgical treatment, relief from back pain is generally achieved through the use of a spinal decompression system, and the treatment can be performed by a trained chiropractor.

Spinal decompression systems use motorized traction tables to reduce pressure on the spine by stretching and releasing the spine and separating the joints and bones in the back, as well as the discs. The capabilities of spinal traction include the ability to change the position of the disc material and retract it, reducing pain and promoting healing in the process. The computerized system gives the chiropractor the ability to make careful adjustments to traction angle and force, to achieve negative pressure.

Surgical spinal decompression involves a very different treatment process and can be used to treat much more severe cases of back pain, such as bony growths on the spine. To reduce spinal pressure, one of many spinal decompression surgeries may be suggested, such as:

  • Laminectomy – During a laminectomy, a small portion of bone in the vertebra is removed, which reduces pressure by increasing the spinal canal size.
  • Discectomy – During a discectomy, damaged discs are removed to reduce pain, this can be achieved through a standard discectomy procedure, or via a microdiscectomy, which is less invasive.
  • Spinal Fusion – Occasionally a spinal fusion may be required. The purpose of a spinal fusion is to stabilize the spine by joining two or more vertebra together.

What Does It Do for the Spine and Overall Health?

Perhaps the biggest benefit of spinal decompression is the relief it can bring to people who are suffering from back pain. By relieving pressure on the spine, a considerable or complete reduction of pain can sometimes be achieved. Instead of suffering from severe back pain, patients can return to living a pain-free lifestyle and enjoy their hobbies; this can improve both physical and mental health.

Spinal decompression can also improve the health of the spine. Improved circulation is a key benefit of spinal decompression; without pressure, it’s possible for oxygen, water, and nutrients to move freely in the spine, promoting healing in the discs as they begin to re-hydrate, and maintaining good spine function. With rehabilitation treatment after spinal decompression therapy, patients can enjoy a greater level of mobility, strengthen the spine and muscles, and gain more flexibility.

Non-Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy

Non-surgical therapy is often the first form of spinal decompression treatment advised for patients suffering from compression on the spine. Unlike surgical treatment, non-surgical spinal decompression is non-invasive, there’s no recovery time, and the treatment can be performed in the comfort of your local chiropractor clinic.

Non-surgical treatments will likely need to be ongoing for a period of around 2 months, with a number of treatments scheduled during that time. Your progress will be monitored by your chiropractor to determine how long treatments will need to continue for. Each treatment should last no more than an hour, with sessions commonly being around 45 minutes long.

During a non-surgical spinal decompression treatment session in Chicago, you’ll be positioned on the computerized traction table, and fitted carefully with a harness. As the session begins, your spine will be gently stretched to begin relieving the pressure.

Surgical Spinal Decompression Therapy

Surgical decompression therapy is almost the opposite of non-surgical treatment, in that it’s invasive, must be performed by a surgeon, and can have a long recovery time of up to around 6 weeks. Due to this, surgical treatment is normally only suggested as a last resort for spinal compression problems, after alternative treatments have not had the desired effect, or when the problems are very severe, and surgery is the only option.

Instead of adjusting the discs in your spine to relieve pressure, most surgical spinal decompression treatments are directed towards removal in order to achieve a reduction in pressure. Often in cases of severe nerve compression, surgery can be an effective option, although like any surgical treatment, there are some risks, such as infection, damage to the spinal cord, and blood clots.

Spinal Decompression Exercises

Another option for alleviating spinal pressure is spinal decompression exercises. These exercises can often be completed at home, independently, or as part of a treatment plan established by your chiropractor. It’s always best to consult a professional before beginning spinal decompression exercises, to be sure that the exercises you use will be beneficial to your spinal health.

Spinal decompression exercises take on many forms, such as the back arch, where you lay on your back and hold your knees to your chest; and the child’s pose, where you move from a resting position on your knees, place your arms outstretched along your side, and bring your head slowly to the floor before pulling your body forwards. Completing these exercises can help to stretch the spine and gain relief from pressure.

Who Are the Ideal Candidates for Spinal Decompression Therapy in Chicago?

The ideal candidate for spinal decompression therapy in Chicago is anyone in the Chicagoland area who is suffering from a bulging or herniated disc, or degenerative disc disease. Other common problems, such as back pain, spinal stenosis, and sciatica are also often treated with spinal decompression therapy. In some rare cases, such as where the patient also has a fracture, spine implants, or tumors, non-surgical decompression won’t be advised. The treatment also isn’t suitable during pregnancy.

If you’re experiencing severe back pain, numbness, or weakness, then having a professional examination to diagnose the problem should be a top priority. Getting your condition diagnosed and beginning treatment as soon as possible will help to lessen pain and start your recovery.

Healthy Ways to Reduce Tension & Stress

Exercise for stress relief - healthy tips - blog

 

Experiencing a small amount of stress on a regular basis can be very beneficial for the mind and body. Healthy doses of stress can help you to be more productive, reach optimum levels of performance, increase your memory, and trigger the fight-or-flight response in dangerous situations. Stress isn’t always bad, but there’s a big difference between good stress & harmful stress.

Harmful stress can impact your thoughts, alter the way you behave, and negatively affect your body. Too much stress or the wrong kinds of stress can also lead to numerous health problems, such as depression, heart disease, and lack of energy. Experiencing regular or high levels of stress can impact your life day-to-day, especially if you’re also feeling tension.

Tension can produce feelings of mental and emotional strain, with stress & anxiety often being common symptoms in people who feel tense on a regular basis. Experiencing tension can lead to muscle aches, lack of productivity, poor cognitive ability & pain. Like stress, it’s important to treat tension quickly to make sure that it doesn’t continue to negatively impact your life.

If you’re experiencing tension or stress on a regular basis, then there are a number of effective treatments that you can consider. Here are four examples of common and healthy ways to reduce stress and tension in your life:

 

Meditation

meditation for stress relief - healthy ways to reduce stress - blog

Meditation is a prehistoric practice that people have used for thousands of years, historically in a religious context, but today it’s most commonly used for relaxation and stress relief. It’s believed that meditation can relax the mind and restore a feeling of calmness and peace that can reduce the stress of everyday life and promote excellent emotional and mental well-being.

The benefits of meditation come in many forms, often surrounding a reduction of stress, anxiety, tension, and emotional over-stimulation. Practicing meditation improves self-awareness, gives you a refreshed perspective on sources of stress and helps you to manage stress in a more productive manner. In some instances, meditation can also help people to manage health conditions, such as depression, heart disease, tension headaches and anxiety.

There’s no single form of meditation; you can be still during meditation or active. The Chinese martial art, Tai Chi, is an active form of meditation where you practice deep breathing and perform different postures at your own pace. Mantra meditation, on the other hand, requires the participant to mentally repeat a meaningful word and ignore other distracting thoughts. Meditation is very unique to the individual and attending meditation workshops can be a beneficial way to learn how to meditate effectively to reduce stress and tension.

Exercise

reduce stress and tension with exercise

Exercise is an important part of leading a healthy lifestyle and maintaining a healthy body, but it also plays an essential role in establishing a healthy mind. Different exercises can be used as a technique to cope with and manage tension, as well as situations or events that cause stress. In much the same way that stress can impact the body, the physical benefits of exercise that improve the body, can at the same time improve the mind.

Exercising produces a reaction within the body that chemically reduces levels of stress. When you exercise, endorphins are released in the body; these can improve your mood and even reduce pain. At the same time, levels of stress-related hormones in the body, like cortisol and adrenaline, are reduced. These short-term benefits of exercise and stress reduction are great for reducing stress, but the positive benefits of weight loss and improved performance can also provide long-term stress relief.

Creating a custom exercise plan is a great way to ease into regular exercise and partake in the exercises that are most beneficial for your mind and body. Combining a regular exercise routine with healthy back, neck, and spinal alignment exercises could also help you to relieve other forms of stress and tension throughout your body.

Massage Therapy

massage therapy events in chicago - licensed massage therapy

Muscles stiffness, aches and pains can very often be a result of regular stress and tension. To ease the pain that stress can cause, massage therapy is an effective and remarkably successful treatment option. Massage targets body aches and pains but it also lifts your mood and relieves emotional strain.

It’s thought that massage can reduce the levels of cortisol in the body, which is a key stress hormone. Massage can also increase parasympathetic nervous system activity, another way to reduce stress and create a feeling of calmness.

Massaging the body can have wonderful benefits for the mind and overall emotional and mental well-being. During a massage therapy session, a number of techniques are used to reduce tension in the body and create a feeling of whole-body relaxation. By relaxing the mind and body, everyday stresses can be reduced, and a greater level of control can be gained over managing and coping with stress.

 

Regular Chiropractor Treatments in Chicago

Stress can very easily take over the body, causing mental strain to turn into physical aches and pains, and impact important parts of a healthy lifestyle, such as sleep, energy, and nutrition. The mental pressure of stress and the emotional strain of tension can both be treated through regular chiropractic treatments. Chiropractic care can relieve stress in a number of ways, sometimes through physical treatments designed to resolve the root cause of pain, and other times through ongoing treatment plans and lifestyle changes.

For common problems associated with stress and tension, like tension in the muscles, spinal adjustment and other chiropractic treatments can be highly effective. Spinal misalignment can cause problems with the nervous system, which affects how the body communicates – an unhealthy spine can cause the nervous system to have trouble coping with stress. Poor blood circulation and muscle tension can also cause other stress-related problems. Chiropractic treatments can improve blood circulation, adjust the spine, and reduce body tension to restore energy and improve health of the whole body.

Professional chiropractic treatment plans can extent from treatments designed to reduce pain, to nutrition plans, massage, exercise routines, and even help learning how to meditate effectively. By attending regular chiropractor treatments, you can address the problems associated with stress and improve your body’s natural ability to handle stress, whether it’s through learning new relaxation techniques, understanding the correct posture to reduce stress, or improving spine health for better overall health.

Stress and tension can negatively impact your life every day, but with so many treatment options out there, it’s never been easier to treat stress and the large number of symptoms.

What Is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain?

What is the Best Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain in Chicago | Chiropractic

Sciatic nerve pain or sciatica, is an incredibly common type of pain that experts estimate 40% of people experience at some point in their lives. This pain can be very disabling and leave one of your legs feeling weak or numb, possibly with a burning or stabbing sensation.

If you have sciatic nerve pain or you think that you may be experiencing the symptoms of sciatica, then seeking treatment is one of the best things that you can do to relieve the pain sooner rather than later.

Never heard of sciatic nerve pain or want to learn more about this unique condition? Read on to discover more about the causes and the best treatment for sciatica…

What Is Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is the name of a specific type of pain that you experience when there’s irritation to the sciatic nerve. The sciatic nerve is located between the hips and feet and runs down the back of each leg. The location of the nerve explains why the symptoms of sciatica can involve experiencing pain in the lower back, hips, and leg.

Sciatic nerve leg pain, and pain in the hips and back, can manifest itself in many ways, including:

  • Shooting pain
  • Constant stabbing pain
  • Burning pain
  • Numbness
  • Difficulty moving
  • Weakness
  • Tingling

The symptoms of sciatic nerve pain normally only occur on one side of the body, but the experience is very different from case to case. For some people, the pain will only last for a short duration (typically 4-6 weeks) and it will only cause slight irritation. For other people, the pain will last for much longer and can be quite severe.

What Are the Causes of Sciatic Nerve Pain?

Sciatica is generally caused by some form of pressure to the sciatic nerve; the type and location of this pressure can determine the location, severity, and duration of the pain. There’s a long list of causes of sciatic nerve pain, including:

  • Degenerative Disc Disease
  • Spondylolisthesis
  • Muscle Spasms
  • Pregnancy
  • Lumbar Spinal Stenosis
  • Lumbar Subluxation
  • Lumbar Disc Herniation
  • Tumors

Sometimes, other back injuries may also cause sciatic nerve pain. While not generally a cause, the pain experienced can be worse for people that are overweight or accentuated by additional problems, such as inadequate sleeping provisions.

Common Treatment for Sciatica

As you would imagine from the many possible sciatic nerve pain causes, there are a number of treatment options. The treatment advised will largely depend on the severity of the pain and root cause, although in certain cases, like with chiropractic care, some treatments can help with multiple severities of sciatica.

Here are four common treatment options for sciatic nerve pain:

1. Sciatic Nerve Pain At-Home Treatment

At-home treatments can be very effective in treating short-term sciatic nerve pain, as well helping with the recovery process in conjunction with other treatments. Treatments and care at home can include stretching the back regularly, using heat and ice packs, and gentle exercises. If at-home treatments don’t help to reduce the pain, more substantial treatment is often advised.

2. Over-the-Counter Sciatic Nerve Pain Medication

In many cases, an over-the-counter pain medication may be suggested to alleviate the pain. This can work in conjunction with at-home treatment to cope with the pain until it subsides.

3. Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain

Chiropractic Treatment for Sciatic Nerve Pain, along with other physiotherapy treatments, are a very common suggestion for cases of sciatic nerve pain. Unlike some at-home treatments and medication, the purpose of chiropractic treatment is to address the underlying cause of the pain. Chiropractic care can include a range of treatments, such as:

  • Spinal adjustments
  • Ice/cold therapy
  • Manual manipulation
  • Ultrasound therapy
  • Transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation
  • Physical therapy
  • Massage

4. Surgery

In the worst cases of sciatic nerve pain, where the pain is severe and prolonged, surgery may be an unavoidable requirement to treat the underlying cause of the pain. Surgical treatments vary but can include decompression or intervertebral disc removal.

Depending on the extent of sciatic nerve pain, further treatments may be suggested, such as:

  • Cognitive behavioral therapy
  • Epidural steroid injections
  • Acupuncture
  • Antidepressants
  • Anti-inflammatory medication
  • Lifestyle changes

What Is the Best Sciatica Treatment?

Each type of treatment has its own benefits, and in some cases, options like surgery may be unavoidable. Yet, for persistent sciatic nerve pain, the best sciatica treatment is often physiotherapy. In particular, chiropractic care is a highly effective physiotherapy treatment for sciatica.

A chiropractor can help at every stage of treatment, from the initial diagnosis, to relief from pain by targeting the cause of the pain, and afterwards with preventive advice. In general, chiropractic treatment is immensely well-suited to treating sciatica, as it’s focused on helping the body to heal itself through treatments that improve spinal movement.

As well as treating the cause of sciatica, a chiropractor will also be able to advise you on good practices that can prevent re-occurrences of sciatic nerve pain in the future, such as:

  • Which exercises to do at home to improve the muscles in your back
  • How to correct your posture when you’re sitting and standing
  • Which lifestyle changes to make for improved back health
  • How to properly support your back
  • How to improve your diet for optimum health

Chiropractic care is ideal for anyone seeking the best natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain, as it involves non-invasive procedures. The treatment plan will be customized to your exact needs and lifestyle, and you’ll receive ongoing support from a chiropractor that knows your unique medical history. As is the case with many types of back pain, and pain in other areas of the body, chiropractic care is often an effective and rewarding treatment for sciatica.

Sciatica Treatment Chicago

If you’re looking for chiropractic sciatica treatment in Chicago, then the experienced chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care can help. Our specialist chiropractic and physical therapy services are a natural treatment for sciatic nerve pain that can effectively reduce the pain you’re feeling and address the real cause of the problem.

Contact us today to talk with one of our excellent team about treatments for sciatica. We’ll make sure that your pain is diagnosed and treated. Also, we will support you going forwards for a healthier life now and in the future!

Lower Back Pain Treatment: Chiropractic Vs Back Surgery

Chicago Lower Back Pain Treatment Vs Back Surgery  - TreatLower Back Pain in Chicago - Lower Back Pain Treatment Options - Advanced Sport & Spine Chiropractic Blog

Lower Back Pain Treatment in Chicago

Instances of chronic lower back pain in America are on the rise. It’s estimated that 8 in 10 Americans will have first-hand experience with back pain. With 80% of Americans expected to experience the disabling consequences of back pain, it couldn’t be more important to understand where the best place to turn is if such a problem should occur. Two of the most popular treatment options for chronic, and sometimes moderate, back pain are chiropractic care and surgery. The treatment options are at two different ends of the spectrum of pain relief, with chiropractic care being non-invasive and surgery often being very invasive. However, in many instances, they both offer the same promise of less pain and potentially a permanent or long-term solution to back pain.

But which one is the best option for lower back pain?

Common Causes of Lower Back Pain

Lower Back Pain Treatment Options - Advanced Sport & Spine Chiropractic Blog

Understanding the cause of lower back pain is one of the best ways to determine which treatment type will be the most effective: surgery or chiropractic care. Different injuries can lead to short-term lower back pain, which may only last for a period of a few weeks to a few months, or chronic back pain which can last considerably longer.

It’s commonly the case that a sprain or a strain, caused by a sudden movement, heavy lifting or prolonged poor posture, is the underlying cause of short-term back pain. The damage to the muscles and ligaments in the back can be incredibly painful, but the pain is unlikely to last for more than a few months.

Long-term or chronic lower back pain is often brought about by a more severe injury, and as such, the pain can be more severe and much longer lasting, sometimes requiring more to heal than just time. The injury could cause a fracture, deformity, joint dysfunction or a disc problem, amongst many other underlying issues that can bring about lower back pain.

Depending on the injury, the treatment required to alleviate the pain, and potentially heal the injury completely, will change; but who should you turn to first, a chiropractor or a surgeon?

Surgery for Lower Back Pain

There are many different types of surgical treatment available to treat all manner of lower back pain injuries. Depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain, and the advised surgical treatment, the procedure could be slightly invasive or very invasive; this can impact the recovery time after surgery. Common lower back surgeries include disc replacement and decompression.

One of the main benefits of surgical treatment is that function can often be restored when ability is severely limited due to the back pain. However, back surgery is not normally advised if the pain felt in the lower back is only moderate or if there are no visible indications of the cause of the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment for Lower Back Pain

Chicago Lower Back Pain Treatment Options - Advanced Sport & Spine Blog Post

Chiropractic treatment is very different to surgical treatment, initially in the fact that chiropractic care is non-invasive. The option of chiropractic treatment is also available for people with minor or moderate lower back pain, as well as those with long-term chronic back pain.

Like surgery, there are a number of chiropractic treatment options available, which will differ depending on the injury that caused the lower back pain. These lower back pain treatments could include:

During a visit to a chiropractor, the pain in the lower back will be diagnosed and a specialized treatment plan will be formed that’ll help to determine the best way to relieve the pain. Unlike surgery, a chiropractic treatment plan will involve treatment that is ongoing in order to target the root cause of the problem causing the pain.

Chiropractic Treatment vs Back Surgery: Which Is Best?

When it comes to chiropractic treatment vs back surgery in Chicago, it’s difficult to determine which treatment option will be best, as both options are very different. However, in many cases, there’s a best treatment option to start with, and for a large number of people, it’s chiropractic care.

Chiropractic care can help to treat the underlining cause of lower back pain in many people, often without the further requirement to have invasive surgical treatment afterwards. As surgery is often deemed to be a last resort treatment, in part due to the longer recovery times and invasive procedures, chiropractic treatment can be the best place to start for a fast and healthy recovery.

In cases where chiropractic treatments are not effective after a pre-established treatment course, surgical alternatives can still be considered to provide a different solution to treating the condition.

Explore How Chiropractic Care in Chicago Can Help Treat Lower Back Pain

Best Chiropractor in Chicago, Illinois - Best Chiropractic Care in Chicago, IL

Any uncertainties over the best treatment to alleviate pain in the lower back can often be cleared up via a consultation and examination with one of the professional chiropractors at Advanced Spine & Sports Care. If chiropractic treatment is a viable option to reduce or eliminate back pain, then your local Chicago chiropractor will be able form a personalized treatment plan for you and help you to find the best way to reduce lower back pain and restore a full range of motion.

Sports Chiropractic Care – Ways Chiropractic Can Improve Athletic Performance

Sports Chiropractic Care Chicago

Athletic performance can be improved in a number of ways, from following a proper training regime to eating the right foods at the right times. The overall health of your body, as an athlete, will impact your performance, define your endurance, and improve your recovery times, but how can you make sure that your body is as healthy as it can be?

One way to make sure that your body is in peak condition to improve your athletic performance and excel at what you love is to visit a chiropractor. Sport Chiropractic care is a before and after treatment that can prepare your body to excel and help it to recover once you’ve put it through its paces.

Not sure whether sports chiropractic care is the answer that you’ve been looking for? Here are five ways it can give you the edge over your competition:

  • Preventive Care – Train Without Injury

Sports Chiropractic Care is not just something that’s helpful after an injury or before a competition; they are a range of treatments that can help to reduce the risk of sustaining an injury when you’re working out, competing, or just doing what you love.

By creating a treatment program with your chiropractor, you can help to target those areas that are most susceptible to injury, based on your medical history, your exercise regime, and your current level of athletic performance. Chiropractic care  for athletes is a personalized physical treatment that’s designed to prepare and improve your body by targeting areas like muscles and joints.

  • Peak Performance – Be the Best You Can Be

Injury prevention is an important part of chiropractic care, helping you to train more and test your limits with a lower risk of injury. Not only can this improve your performance, but there are other aspects of chiropractic care that can help as well.

The different chiropractic treatments can help you to further your range of motion, enhance your flexibility, and increase your overall strength. During a chiropractic treatment program, the entire function of your body will be examined, leaving no stone unturned and no injury unnoticed.

If your body is under any stress that’s limiting your athletic performance, a Sports Chiropractor can help!

  • Reduces Pain – Relax During Recovery

Ongoing pain is not conducive to a relaxing recovery. Chiropractic care targets the pain at the source, using treatment that’s directly targeted at eliminating the main problem, not just the symptoms of the problem.

The treatments available can help with a vast range of sports injuries and symptoms in an effective way, no matter the exact injury that you’ve sustained. Through spinal decompression therapy , Chiropractic adjustments,  professional massage, and the other highly beneficial chiropractic treatments, the pressure of your injury can be released and the pain relieved.

  • Optimize Recovery Time – Get Back to What You Love

From back pain and neck pain to headaches, Chiropractic treatments can be used to treat all manner of injuries and problems effectively, but not only does the treatment help to solve ailments, it can also reduce the recovery time after sports injuries.

Many Chiropractic treatments revolve around the nervous system, which plays a large role in recovery after an injury. If you’ve been injured, your chiropractor will make sure that your nerve signals are operating properly, your muscles are relaxed, and your blood is circulating correctly.

Chiropractic care for sports injuries is one of the best low-risk treatments to complement other medical treatment, speed-up your recovery, and reduce pain.

  • Less Medication – Natural Physical Recovery

One of the biggest benefits of Sports Chiropractic care is that it’s a medication-free option for treating a vast range of injuries that can impact athletic performance. This all-natural approach to healing reduces reliance on pain-relief and medications that can cause adverse effects.

Chiropractic care is also non-invasive, so puts less strain on your body. The results of treatments are often noticeable quickly and the lasting effects will benefit your performance for a long time to come.

Getting Access to Physical Therapists and Sports Chiropractic Doctors

When you’re ready to take your love of athletics to the next level, visiting a Sports Chiropractor certified in Physical Therapy, should be your next move.

  • Feeling the strain after a work-out?
  • Worried that you’re not ready to compete?
  • Want non-invasive treatment for your aches and pains?

Advanced Spine & Sports Care in Chicago, IL is the answer!

Advanced Spine & Sports Care is a specialist chiropractic care center that offers all the alternative health treatments that you need to keep your body healthy, boost your performance, and recover from injuries as quickly and safely as possible. If you live in the Chicagoland area, then you’re in luck when it comes to getting access to the best Sports Chiropractic care and Chicago physical therapist services around.

 

 

Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Pain

Physical Therapy & Chiropractic Treatment for Knee Pain

Experiencing pain in the knee can be highly disabling, and if the pain is present for prolonged periods of time it can change the way that you live day to day. Seeking professional treatment for knee pain is one of the best ways to achieve a faster, safer, and more effective recovery.

Many people choose to see a physical therapist or chiropractor after injuring their knee or to relieve long-term pain from an old sports injury or accident. Both forms of professional treatment can almost always successfully relieve knee pain, but did you know that the treatment methods can actually work brilliantly in conjunction with each other?

Whilst different treatment methods are used, the purpose of both physical therapy and chiropractic care is to reduce the amount of pain that a person feels after an injury and provide rehabilitation after an accident. The two treatment methods combined can have great results in cases of minor and severe knee pain.

There are many reasons why physical therapy and chiropractic treatment are great options for knee pain, starting with the benefit of customized treatment plans.

Customized Physical Therapy Treatment Plans

Knee pain can differ greatly, depending on what kind of accident or sports injury was the cause of the pain, where the injury is located, and the age and health of the patient. When you visit a chiropractic care center or physical therapy center for your knee pain, the treatment that’ll be provided is highly customized to your exact injury.

You’ll be provided with a personalized treatment plan which is based on the condition of your knee, what is required to regain a full range of movement, and what will help to relieve the pain in the quickest and safest way possible.

Alternatives to Surgery

In many cases, both chiropractic care and physical therapy can be alternative treatment methods to surgery. By relieving pain and strengthening joints, surgery can be prevented after some accidents through a customized treatment plan.

Even in an event where surgery is required to heal your knee, physical therapy and chiropractic care will ensure that you are stronger and healthier before having surgical treatment. Both treatment methods can also be used after surgery to help with a faster and more effective recovery.

Professional Expertise

A chiropractor is an expert in the nervous system and the musculoskeletal system, they provide hands-on mobilization and manipulation treatment that can get to the root cause of a knee injury, or any other injury to the joints in the body.

A physical therapist is an expert in rehabilitation using diagnosis, evaluation, and treatment to return movement, motion, and strength to injured parts of the body. Physical therapy treatment is designed to restore previous function and improve wellbeing.

Arranging for a joint treatment plan between a chiropractor and a physical therapist will offer you the best of both highly specialized treatment types – enabling you to treat your injury with twice the expertise.

Relieves Pain from Injuries

The manual techniques and exercises that are used by chiropractors and physical therapists can relieve or completely irradiate knee pain. Each specialist uses a range of techniques that are either designed to focus on the source of the pain or restore movement and motion to injured joints after a sports injury or accident.

Chiropractors commonly use techniques like massage, manipulation, and inflammation reduction to treat knee pain, whilst physical therapists use techniques like specially designed exercises, stretches, and electric stimulation.

Prevents Further Injuries

After a sports injury or accident, rehabilitation is essential to be able return to normal day to day activities and continue playing sports. Chiropractic care and physical therapy help to prevent further injuries from occurring, either due to proper treatment of the first injury or by focusing on the heath and ongoing wellbeing of the patient.

Chiropractors can provide counselling on wellbeing and exercises that help with the root cause of pain, improving overall health and function of the body. Physical therapy exercises can strength muscles, improve balance, and increase motion, which help to lower the risk of a further injury from occurring.

Treatment for the Cause and Symptoms

One of the best reasons to consult a physical therapist and chiropractor after a sports injury or accident is because the treatment provided will consider both the symptoms of the injury and the root cause of the pain that you’re feeling in your knee or other parts of your body.

The combination of both styles of effective treatment techniques will give you a strong chance of achieving a safe recovery that strengthens more than just the injury in your knee. Both areas of expertise can treat all manner of problems, not just knee pain. You can seek treatment for pain in any of the joints in your body and get advice on relief from the pain caused by diseases or headaches.

If you’ve recently had a sports injury in Chicago or you’ve been suffering from the pain of an old accident for a long time, then arranging for a appointment with a licensed physical therapist and chiropractor in Chicago is one of the best steps to take to alleviate the pain and start on the road towards a healthier recovery.

Simple Habits That Promote a Healthy Lifestyle

Healthy Lifestyle Tips - Chiro Chicago IL

Healthy Lifestyle Habits

Living a healthy lifestyle doesn’t have to mean completely overhauling your life, just a few changes to your daily routine and the adoption of a handful of simple healthy habits, can be all that’s needed to start feeling healthier and more positive. If you’ve found that you’re stuck in a rut and your energy levels are not what you’d like them to be, then it’s time for a fresh start with healthy habits that can lead to a healthier mind and body. Here are six of the best healthy habits that you can use to refresh your mind and start on the right path to a much healthier lifestyle.

Drink 48 Ounces of Water Every Day

Water is essential for life, and you should be drinking around 48 ounces a day to maintain a healthy body and mind. Water helps to keep your body fluids balanced, keeps your organs healthy, and provides you with energy. Drinking the right amount of water each day also helps to keep your skin looking and feeling healthy.

Sugary drinks and caffeine can be very bad for your body, especially when you drink them in excess. Switching your morning coffee or lunchtime can of soda to water, will make you feel refreshed and help to lower your caloric intake. Water can make you feel full, so if you’re drinking the right amount of water, you’ll feel less inclined to snack during the day. Remembering to drink enough water every day can be tough, so to turn this healthy practice into a habit that you’ll follow each day, it’s worth carrying water around with you and making sure that there is always a bottle of water within reach.

Get Enough Sleep Each Night

As you progress through life, your body will require less sleep; for a healthy adult the recommended number of hours of sleep each night is around 8. Many people don’t manage to consistently get 8 hours of sleep each night, which can be a detriment to health and wellbeing, as sleep is one of the best indicators of your health.

In the time you spend asleep, your body is repairing itself. Your blood vessels and heart undergo healing and your whole-body recharges. Not getting enough sleep can lead to poor brain function, hunger, and a bad immune system. For the energy you need to get through the day, it’s essential that you get a good night’s sleep! For a healthier lifestyle, make sure that you’re going to bed at the same time each night, and setting aside enough time to get around 8 hours of sleep – your body will certainly thank you for this healthy habit.

Follow a Healthy Exercise Regime

Exercise is an important component in weight loss, but the benefits of following a healthy exercise regime are not just centered around staying at your desired weight. Physical activity will help your body to stay healthy in many ways. Exercise will make you less prone to developing conditions like diabetes, strengthen your bones and muscles, and help to lower your blood pressure. Getting in a regular amount of exercise each week will give you more energy and help you to feel better within yourself, promoting a healthy body and mind. An essential healthy habit to adopt if you want to lead a better lifestyle is making time for around 30 minutes of exercise each day. This doesn’t have to be intense exercise, just enough to get your heart pumping.
If you work at a desk for long periods of time during the day, then one of the best healthy habits is to get up and get moving every now and again to break up your day and give your body a break from sitting.

Make Time for Meditation

alternative health blog - holistic meditatation - ChiropractorinChicago

For the health of your mind and your body, meditation is something that you should consider trying out at least once a day. Good meditation practices will help you to manage the feelings of stress and anxiety, leading to a much happier lifestyle. The feeling of calmness that meditation provides is almost immediate, and it can help you to get a restful night’s sleep and improve your memory. A mediation session can fit into even the busiest of schedules, all you need to do is put 2 or 3 minutes aside each day to start with, and just take the time to sit, relax, and focus on your breathing.

Taking this time to get rid of your negative thoughts will provide you with a much more positive outlook, which is essential for living the best possible healthy lifestyle. You can mediate at any time of the day, but it’s important to make sure that the time is spent without technology distractions – it really can help to take a break from your phone or computer every now and again.

Have a Good Physical Therapy Routine

When it comes to the best healthy habits that promote a healthy lifestyle, having a good physical therapy routine is going to be something that impacts your body considerably. All that stress that has built up in your body doesn’t just disappear by itself, you need the help of a trained physical therapist to improve the functions of your body and ease any pain or tension that has built up.

Physical therapy can assist your body in recovering, it can reduce the amount of pain that you feel and improve your mobility. With a good physical therapy routine, you can manage conditions like diabetes easier, increase your ability to balance, and feel much more comfortable in your own skin. A healthy body will put you on the right track to leading a healthier lifestyle, so booking in for a physical therapy session is a great decision if you want to change your lifestyle and include more healthy habits.

Eat More of the Right Healthy Foods

Healthy eating is perhaps the most well-known habit among the top healthy habits, but you can never stress enough just how beneficial a balanced diet can be for your body and mind. The food that you consume is the fuel for your body and a balanced diet will give your body a little of everything it needs to function properly.

Eating a balanced diet will provide you with energy, make sure that your body is able to heal properly, and strengthen your bones and organs so you can do more and feel better whilst doing it. A balanced diet, combined with exercise, will also help you to reach and maintain a healthy body weight, which in turn can give you a positive mental boost. Major diet changes can be hard to implement, but just switching out some of your sugary snacks for healthier alternatives and eating a wider range of fruits and vegetables will help you on your way to conquering this healthy habit.

Healthy habits can be fun and rewarding to implement into your daily routine, especially when you have the promise of a healthier lifestyle at the end of the day. By including just a small number of simple healthy habits into your routine, you’ll achieve a healthier lifestyle much sooner than you might think!

fitness goal, fitness, incentives, physical therapy, chicago sports care

Non-Food Related Incentives to Motivate Your Fitness Goal

“Just be good and you’ll get a cookie.” “After this, we’re getting lunch!” “If I get through this project, I need a drink.” All our lives have been dotted with food-related incentives for completing tasks and goals. Though rewarding with a sweet treat can seem like a benign motivation, this habit can be detrimental to your ultimate health goals. Using food as a prize reinforces the relationship in your mind of food and happiness. While a healthy and balanced lifestyle involves occasionally eating empty calories, using nutritionally-void food as a motivator is dangerous. Junk food as positive reinforcement for your fitness goal can precipitate a negative relationship with food.

 

In order to meet and maintain your health goals, you must rearrange your association with food and positivity to be an association between wellness and positivity.

 

How to Set Goals:

 

The journey to a healthy lifestyle is infinite. Every day, we can strive to take care of our bodies, to nurture them with food and invigorate them with exercise. Especially if you are structuring your wellness goals with weight-loss in mind, the road ahead may seem daunting. Setting inefficient and intangible goals can deter you from achieving them. Vague goals are just dreams. Goals require an actionable path, so make sure you are articulating what you are aiming to achieve. In order to be actionable, goals have to be realistic. Creating dramatic, lofty aims that in practice, aren’t going to be maintained, is not productive. A great metric for determining if you are setting motivating goals is the SMART test. SMART is a mnemonic device that breaks down the important aspects of a goal-writing:

 

Specific – What exactly are you trying to achieve?

Measurable – How will you be able to determine your success in achieving this?

Actionable – In what ways can you achieve this goal?

Realistic – Is this goal something you have the resources to achieve?

Timely – When are you going to achieve this goal?

 

If your goals meet the SMART criteria, you are on the right track. Everything humans do is to fulfill either an intrinsic or extrinsic motivation. Though you may be intrinsically motivated to meet your wellness goals and live a healthy, enriching life, an intrinsic motivation can sweeten the pot. Enter, rewards. In this article, we will give you tangible and customizable ideas that you can use to incentivize yourself.

 

Fitness Goal Reward Ideas That Aren’t Junk Food

 

  1. Treat Yourself To a Day at the Spa

 

fitness goal, massage, physical therapy

 

Working out and maintaining a healthy lifestyle can be tiring. It makes sense to counteract all the emotional and physical energy you spend on your wellness with a relaxing activity. After going to the gym consistently, you’re going to build up tension in your muscles. The perfect relief is a massage. Release the tension with a pampering rub. At Advanced Spine and Sports Care, we offer our patients a variety of physical therapy rehabilitation methods, including massage treatments.

 

  1. Buy New Workout Gear

 

If you’re going to get serious about your fitness goals, you’re going to need the proper equipment. Treat yourself to that Lululemon pair of running shorts after you complete your race you’ve been training all summer for. Spring for the pricey, but stylish yoga mat. Buying yourself accessories for your workout of choice will encourage you to maintain your fitness goals.

 

  1. Or Just New Clothes In General

 

 

If your fitness journey is resulting in significant weight loss, chances are your old clothes are starting to feel a little loose. Celebrate your healthy body and treat yourself to some new threads! Wearing something you love and showing off your dedication to your fitness goals will help foster confidence.

 

  1. Treat Yo Self

 

Marry your fitness and financial goals by leveraging your health milestones to justify purchases. Been eyeing a new pair of shoes that you just have no reason to buy? Use your wish list as a carrot to motivate your health goals. The key is to set tangible expectations so you can definitively landmark your achievements. General goals like “I want to get more flexible” are hard to convert into actionable motivations. Try instead something like, “I want to be able to do the splits.” The key to any successful goal is the measurability of it, so you can analyze your success in achievement.

 

  1. Equip Yourself with Tools for a Healthy Lifestyle

 

You put in quality time at the gym and picking nutritional meals, it’s time to put the same effort into your time off. If you are meeting your fitness and health goals, reward yourself in a way that lets you experience the fruits of your labor. Certain rewards for yourself can actually accelerate you toward your goals. If your wellness goals are more nutritionally-based, consider purchasing something that can elevate your kitchen skills. Kitchen tools, cooking classes, or a new cookbook can be the extra push you need to fall in love with your new healthy diet. If you’re more focused on the physical exercise component of your wellness, reward yourself with a fun physical activity! Working out does not have to mean a monotonous weight-lifting routine or cranking out miles on the treadmill. Spice up your routine with a spin class you’ve been meaning to try or a day trip to go hiking!

 

  1. Give Yourself a Break

 

Reward your hard work with a day off. Think of your most dreaded chore; laundry, window cleaning, washing your car, and hire a service to take care of it for you.

 

When making dramatic lifestyle changes, goals are essential to milestone your progress and rewards to motivate your commitment to your goals.

 

Your relationship with food is a key component of your overall health. At the end of the day, feeding our bodies is about nourishment so we can live our best lives. Optimally, food is both wholesome and delicious, but the ritual of eating should be associated with fueling your body, rather than reward or entertainment. Diets tend to focus on the singular transaction of what you put into your body, rather than your approach to food overall. What we put into our bodies is extremely important, but the “why” is just as key.

stretch, athlete, physical therapy, athletic therapy, athletic training, athlete, Chicago physical therapy, Chicago athletes

Athlete’s Secret Weapon: How Physical Therapy Can Help You Train — Not Just Recover

For many people recovering from an injury or a surgery, physical therapy is the most recommended way to get back to their everyday lifestyle, but it can also be a surprising resource for an athlete seeking healthy and helpful ways to train.

As part of the greater allied health community, in which health professionals distinct from medicine and nursing rely on scientific principles and evidence-based practice, physical therapists help improve their patients’ quality of life with treatment designed to optimize the body’s mobility and function. For athletes, physical therapy can provide a range of solutions that do more than repair the body after an injury or surgery — physical therapy can help athletes train their bodies and muscles for endurance, strain and more.

Whether they’re training for a single-day marathon or a season-long sport, athletes may benefit a myriad of ways from physical therapy.

Improve Balance

Two of the primary reasons an athlete would pursue a physical therapy program are to prevent an injury and to optimize the body for success. Improving balance achieves both of these goals, as the athlete would be much less likely to experience a fall with this enhanced mobility.

According to the Journal of Geriatric Physical Therapy, falls are the leading cause of injury for older adults, contributed by balance impairments. Through focusing on the best practices to improve balance and manage falls risk in older patients, physical therapists have also discovered ways to do so for patients of all ages, including otherwise healthy athletes. A study by Dr. Tiffany Shubert outlined a range of exercises that physical therapists may employ with patients to build their balance, including multicomponent exercise programs that incorporates several activities that target performance, balance, postural control, walking, and more. Additionally, balance training programs are designed to progressively improve a patient’s balance, which led to improved reaction times and greater efficiency in recovering balance.

Strengthen Muscles

Muscle atrophy inflicts many individuals, primarily due to a lack of physical activity, diseases like amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), and more, which physical therapists help treat with exercises designed to strengthen muscles. For athletes, physical therapy programs focusing on strengthening their muscles can help them train even if they’ve not necessarily lost muscle from atrophy.

At their annual Myositis Association Conference, doctors met to discuss the importance of strengthening muscle through physical therapy, as well as some of the most recommended programs. As the physical therapists described during the conference, each patient must find the proper exercise program for them that will strengthen muscles and muscle groups not affected by their disease process while protecting the muscles that are indeed affected in order to compensate for the weakness. Proper exercise optimizes compensatory muscle efficiency and strength, which therefore maximizes a patient’s muscles’ ability to function at a higher level on a day by day basis.

Through various programs including aquatic exercises, land-based exercises, and a range of other focused exercises, an athlete may strengthen their muscles through physical therapy to forego possible injury and optimize their healthy body towards whichever goal for which they are training.

Enhance Endurance

Chicago athlete, Chicago biker, endurance, Physical therapy Chicago, athlete, strength, cycling Chicago

For athletes preparing for marathons and other activities involving long strain on the body, endurance is a primary trait to train. With higher endurance, athletes can compete for longer with lesser stress. Many individuals seek physical therapy to enhance endurance following a debilitating disease, injury or surgery, programs which athletes too can benefit from in preparation of their event.

According to the American Physical Therapy Association, endurance exercise training has been employed by physical therapists to improve economy of movement for those suffering from Parkinson disease. The study measured endurance according to the rate of oxygen consumption during gait, as cardiorespiratory fitness is generally assessed. Through aerobic conditioning exercises designed to enhance endurance for patients suffering from Parkinson disease, physical therapists helped increase patients’ economy of movement.

Over time and through specific conditioning programs, athletes can enhance their own endurance through physical therapy to similarly defend against possible injury and optimize their bodies for success.

Improve Circulation

Strong circulation is vital for athletes to consistently perform well, as proper blood and oxygen flow guarantees the body’s ability to push the body harder, compete for a longer time, and run a further distance.

Beyond adjustments to diet, there are many ways for an athlete to improve circulation, including physical therapy. Advanced Physical Medicine outlines how determined exercise is the best way to improve blood circulation, such as muscle-toning exercises, systematic programs, and regular work with a physical therapist who knows the patient’s body’s specific needs. The American Physical Therapy Association asserts that professional physical therapists use the results of evidence-based tests to determine the best ways to address the body’s needs for circulation, both at rest and with activity, including the programs to best help the body move blood through the organs and tissues and how to remove carbon dioxide and lymphatic drainage through the body.

Technological advances have also allowed physical therapists to work with athletes to improve circulation through exercises involving hydrotherapy, electrical muscle stimulation, and far infra-red heat therapy, which helps cells revitalize and stimulate blood circulation.

Increase Flexibility

stretch, athlete, physical therapy, athletic therapy, athletic training, athlete

To maintain a range of motion in the joints, which permits the required activities many athletes undergo, it’s imperative to build and strengthen flexibility. Consistent stretching helps keep the muscles flexible, as otherwise they would shorten and tighten, according to Harvard health specialists.

While it’s simple enough to stretch on their own, athletes may benefit from working with physical therapists to understand which best types of stretching to work towards their own personal goals. As the International Journal of Sports Physical Therapy explains, range of motion may be limited by either joints or muscles. Different types of stretching addresses either one of these parts of the body, and in a myriad of ways. Symptoms such as muscle viscoelasticity create passive tension in the muscle, while symptoms like alpha innervation create active tension in the muscle. To stretch the muscle, exercises range from static stretching to dynamic stretching to pre-contraction stretching, each involving different therapy programs.

As the journal’s study explains, athletes requiring greater flexibility for their sports, such as gymnastics and dance, may benefit most from static stretching, while athletes requiring jumping performance may benefit most from dynamic stretching.

From tools to stretch before an event to programs to enhance endurance, physical therapy offers athletes many methods to develop healthy habits and train for their big event.