Chiropractic and Sports Injuries
by Dr. Darrell M. Schreyer, D.C.
Someone came up to me the other day at my health club, and asked, "How could Chiropractic possibly help with sports injuries?" I started to answer, when I realized that this person hadn't asked a question. It was more of a statement. What the person was saying to me was more like "Are you trying to lie to me and tell me that a Chiropractor has any knowledge on what to do with a sports injury!"
Who was it that once said, "Ignorance is bliss?"
This person is termed a skeptic. One of the many uninformed or misinformed critics that the Chiropractic profession has been dealing with for decades. He was looking for an argument, and I wasn't about to give him one.
Rather than spend the remainder of my lunch break trying to explain to this person such a lengthy and important subject, I handed him my business card. On the back is printed a well-known Chinese proverb -- "It is not wise to mock that of which you know so little." He walked away disappointed, and I continued my workout.
The truth of the matter is, only 11-14% of people are seen by a Doctor of Chiropractic. This is due to several reasons. The person has either heard from a friend not to go to a Chiropractor, their medical doctor strictly forbids that they see a Chiropractor (usually without explaining why), or they have seen propaganda from the American Medical Association (AMA) against Chiropractic. All of these reasons are based upon false information, not enough information, or no information at all. A perfect example of this is the recent 20/20 show and Consumer Report article which were erroneously biased against Chiropractic Health Care.
We are brought up in a very medically based society. We are raised with everyone telling us, if you have a problem - take a pill, if the pill doesn't work - try another, if that doesn't work - cut out whatever is wrong with you. On television we are bombarded with shows like Marcus Welby, MD, Doogie Howser, and now ER and Chicago Hope. It's difficult to view many television shows without a drug commercial appearing, or flip through a magazine without seeing a drug advertisement.
I would like to point out that there have been no television shows about Chiropractic and it's fundamental effects on the musculoskeletal system and nervous system. So it is obvious why most people don't have any idea as to what Chiropractic Health Care is. The reason for this lack of exposure is explained with the fact that in the USA there are approximately 55,000 Doctors of Chiropractic, to over 550,000 Medical Doctors nationwide. Chiropractic Health Care has been established for almost 100 years (1995 centennial), while medicine has been practiced in one form or another for centuries. Though we have a little catching up to do, Chiropractic is the second largest health care profession in the world, and is growing rapidly, as more people are being helped by this form of treatment.
Chiropractic Health care is by far the best non-invasive, drug free way to restore well-being to an injured body part. There are times when the injury is so severe that surgery is necessary, but this should only be a final option. The majority of the time, conservative treatment of the area to restore adequate bio mechanical stability is all that is necessary. There is a definite overuse of drugs to mask the symptoms of the injury, which can sometimes lead to further damage from returning to action too soon.
Some Doctors of Chiropractic, like myself, are extensively trained in dealing with extremity injuries as well as spinal related problems. Extremity injuries include the dysfunction of the joints of the shoulder, elbow, wrist, hip, knee and ankle joints, to name a few. All of these areas have been treated with successful results by Chiropractic Health Care in the past, present, and even more so in the future. The trend has been established. There is definitely an increasing trend in the percentage of people being helped through Chiropractic Health Care for sports injuries, and a decrease in those who rely primarily on drugs and surgery.