Helping Athletes Get Back in the Game with Chiropractic Care

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Chiropractic care helps athletes through all the stages of a sports injury to ensure that they return to their game faster with improved range of motion, increased stability and strength.

What are the most common sports-related injuries that you treat in your practice?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Well, with athletes, we see all kinds of injuries, but I would say extremities such as knee or shoulder and ankle injuries are usually the most common. That’s because people are usually injuring themselves when they’re pivoting through their legs, or as football players, people are using their shoulders a lot. So, those repetitive sort of joint injuries are something that’s really common.

We do see neck and back injuries as well, in those football players, because they’re having a lot of hard impact, over and over. That’s more of a cumulative sort of injury.

Another big one for the back is actually golf, because of the rotational forces that are put through there. A lot of back issues come with golfing and football as well.

How do you utilize laser therapy to treat sports injuries?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: The deep tissue laser therapy is an FDA cleared treatment, and it’s used to help accelerate the healing process on top of everything else that we do. How it works is through a process called photo biomodulation, which basically stimulates the energy processor, or the mitochondria, within the cells. So, this actually excites the cells and allow them to basically spark the healing process at a cellular level.

How important is chiropractic care in helping athletes recover from injuries?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Chiropractic care is important through all stages of athletic recovery. When you think of chiropractic for athletes, you’re probably thinking of the spine only. However, the majority of athletes come in because of extremity injuries, like we said. When something like an ankle or a knee is injured, their gait or walking pattern is going to change in some way, which leads to a compensation effect. So, when that person starts moving in the way that their sport demands, they’re going to have a compensation effect, which leads to changes in global movement patterns, potentially causing other injuries or slowing the recovery of the current injury.

Could you give a brief overview of what a typical complete physical rehabilitation plan includes for an athlete?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Depending on the injury, typically we’re going to evaluate the patient and then try to focus on working him through that acute stage of injuries. Using things like the deep tissue laser to help spark the healing process, making initial immediate changes in the tissue to allow it to start healing properly. Say it’s a sprained ankle, we’re going to try to reduce the inflammation and then try to re-strengthen right away so the ankle can be stabilized. Typically, we’ll send for imaging that is appropriate to help better diagnose the condition to rule out any sort of gross tear, that sort of thing. But once we have a treatment plan, we can progress the patient back into what they’re going to be doing. Everything is sports and movement specific. So as we’re progressing, even though they might be out of pain, they’re still going to have some deficiencies, whether it’s their range of motion or just their general global movement patterns too that we need to correct in order to get the athlete back to what they need to be doing for their sport.

After the rehabilitative phase we typically transition into a post-rehab that’s going to be more of a true strengthening and sports recovery program.

What advice do you give athletes and weekend warriors to help them avoid sports injuries?

Dr. Kyle Robertson: Number one is to kind of prepare yourself to what you’re going to be doing. Even if you’re an athlete or a weekend warrior, any stretching or exercise that you do before the sports should be specific to the movements that you’re going to be doing during that sport. With that sort of thing, that’s more of a specific exercise program or stretching program that you should have to your sport. As far as chiropractic goes, keeping the joints properly aligned and mobilized can help to reduce stresses on the body, which allows then for better movement and response to the stresses of the activity to avoid those injuries.

If you are interested in speaking with Dr. Kyle Robertson at Ferraro Spine and Rehabilitation please visit or call 973-478-2212 to schedule an appointment.

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