Chiropractic for Football Players and Fans Alike
By Dr. Molly Casey
Football season is upon us. Believe it or not, there are similarities to a healthy body whether you’re on the field playing or seated in the bleachers cheering. Some of the same things that will keep the players on the field longer will also make it easier for parents and grandparents alike to watch for longer periods of time with more comfort. Let’s break it down to joints and muscles.
Optimally Functioning Joints
A joint is the interface where bones meet. They are an enclosed capsule, have a piece of cartilage or fibrous material in the middle, and also are full of synovial fluid to allow smooth movement and nutrition to the structure as a whole.
Different types of joints allow different types of motion. The primary motion of your hip joint is flexion/extension, particularly important on the football field while running and off the field while seated and standing in the bleachers. The hip joint does also rotate internally and externally. Rotation is consistently seen on the field as players are twisting, turning, crouching and pivoting throughout the game; rotation is seen in the bleachers as you get overly excited in your cheering or look back to someone as they call your name or to catch a play when you walk to the concession stand.
The lesson here is to keep players and fans alike as safe as possible. To help yourself be safe, spend five to 10 minutes before the game doing any exercises that are moving through full range of motion in a squared off position.
A couple I suggest doing before you leave the house are air squats and hip rotations This means, with no wait, fully go through the hip range of motions. Squat down so the butt nearly hits the back of the ankles and then rise back up. Pick up your knee as far to your chest as possible and make circles, moving your hip with your knee facing forward (you can hold it with your hand if standing on one leg is tough) and rotate it clockwise and counterclockwise. If confined to sitting on the sidelines, get up one to two times per half hour, step aside and do the same thing. This provides full range of motion for the joint so your little flag footballer, Pop Warner hopeful or high school athlete will be ready when their number is called.
There are a number of advantages to this.
- It will help you have healthier joints
- It will improve performance and endurance because movement encourages function
- It will decrease stiffness
- It will remind you to see your chiropractor as the adjustment itself restores and promotes full and proper joint range of motion as an incredible side effect
This allows for optimal functioning and ultimately longevity and performance of joints.
The body’s joints are full of fluid. Every cell in your body needs, and is comprised of, water. Both athletes and fans should drink the proper amount of water daily regularly, about half one’s body weight in ounces (150 pounds, 75 ounces water). Athletes require more as they’re expending energy in the game (or practice). Proper water consumption provides the groundwork for proper cellular function and joint lubrication. It’s wise to decrease or limit the amount of fluids consumed that dehydrate the body -- specifically alcohol and caffeine. If you consume those regularly, your body will need additional water to compensate.
Optimally functioning joints are required for optimal functioning whether it’s playing on the field or watching from the sidelines.
Chiropractic adjustments can benefit both athlete and fan. The adjustment improves players’ ability to perform at their highest level, increases joint function, and can help heal from injuries much more rapidly. There are an array of benefits.
Chiropractic care can help fans withstand the harshness of long periods of sitting, standing, and immobility on those hard metal or wooden bleachers. The chiropractors at The Joint are ready to see you through this season.
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