Healthcare Concepts for the Athlete

Healthcare Concepts for the Athlete

Dec 27, 2013

By: Dr. Mike O’Donnell

As a strength athlete it can be difficult to know who to turn to for help when we need it.  Why trust someone with our care when we know more than they do about our body and what we put it through?  Don’t forget the fact that we all think we know it all about rehabbing our own injuries!

First, don’t be the guy who never seeks out help.  Don’t drag on for months thinking things will get better because they won’t.

Second, understand that most general practitioners (family docs) and orthopedists will tell you “well just stop doing ___!”  Is that an option?  I didn’t think so.  So what’s left?

This is where a highly skilled sports chiropractor or sports physical therapist comes in.  Most of this article will focus on how to find care that you need as a strength athlete, saving you time, money, and aggravation.

Finding a sports chiropractor or PT isn’t very difficult.  Finding an outstanding one can be a chore and it might not be convenient for you.  Get a good referral from a trusted source (this should be the case for anything…don’t just pick stuff out of the phone book, do research).  It would be best if your caregiver was an athlete also, or was an elite athlete at one point.  Finding care from someone in the same sport is a dream.

Most lifting injuries (including recurring chronic pain) stem from poor movement, poor muscular balance around a joint region, and chronic overuse.  Most problems in athletes are soft tissue related.  That said, find someone who diagnoses patients using movement screens such as the FMS and SFMA.  This is an evaluation tool designed to expose your problem.  Yes, you need to be evaluated. How else can you receive the care that you want?

Your treatment might consist of a combination of the following- active movements to increase your strength and improve movement, joint mobilization(adjustment/manipulation) and soft tissue work.  Tools like Active Release (ART) and Graston (soft tissue mobilization with an instrument) are a game changer.  These modalities are only as useful as they are applied.  Find an expert.  Don’t think you’ve been down this road already because you’ve been to the chiropractor down the block.  Find an expert, preferably someone with a reputation for treating athletes with a wide variety of injuries.

Yours in health,



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