To Your Health
June, 2007 (Vol. 01, Issue 06)
When you use active care protocols, you're accelerating the entire process, from the acute phase to the remodeling phase, to improve strength and ability to be able to do all of your daily tasks, and more.
Certainly, there's a case to be made for early passive care, but that should be very quickly transitioned out of. The thing about the body is that if it only responds to the activity demanded of it and can't recuperate, the person never reacquires the skills to be a top performer, regardless of discipline. It just won't happen.
What would active chiropractic care accomplish? Could it reduce the length of recovery by 50 percent or perhaps more?
It depends on the system, but in terms of my own personal experience with the systems I use, you can get a person back to full function in probably only 25 percent of the time it normally takes through passive means. If you're only passively treating the person, you'll never get them back to pre-injury status.
The moment you have an injury, you start moving differently, and it only takes three to four days for the brain to think this new way of moving is the new normal. So, all of a sudden, the person starts moving in this new way and it puts stress on areas where it shouldn't be. There's no way you can heal to full recovery if your body adopts this new way of moving as the new normal. It just won't happen.
Can you give us a sense of some of the patients you have who have come back from injuries and have gotten back up to their top level?
Absolutely. I've worked with world and Olympic champions, and top performers as well. I did all seven Tour de Frances with Lance Armstrong and team. And there were a number of difficult situations that required extraordinary means to help Lance ride the way he did.
In the tours we did, we only lost two riders - one was to a broken arm and the other was to a severe concussion. We did our jobs very well and that's one of the reasons why Lance and the team won a record seven consecutive Tour de Frances.
What advice would you give to someone looking for a chiropractor who specializes in sports?
If you're looking for a sports chiropractor:
- Look at their postgraduate education and see whether or not they have completed a course of postgraduate studies specializing in sports medicine.
- See whether or not they have been an athlete themselves. There are certain things in the athletic world that you understand by virtue of having been a participant in a sport.
- Make sure their approach to care is extremely broad-based and includes elements of aftercare, rehabilitation, nutrition and the use of modalities. Those are required to be able to accelerate recovery from an injury.
- Finally, make sure the chiropractor has a strong wellness preventative program in place so the athlete has access on a regular basis, to make sure they stay well.