Back to School Sports Physical? Add Chiropractic to Help Improve Performance

female soccer team - student athletes on soccer field - back to school - sports physical


Back to school is around the corner. If you have an active child who loves to participate in their favorite sport (or two!), that means it’s also time for a sports physical.


A sports physical is a common preventative measure to make sure your child is healthy and ready to participate in sports for the coming year. While a sports physical can tell you a lot about the health of your child, there is much more you can do to ensure your child stays as healthy and active as possible this year. That’s where chiropractic care comes in! 


Read on to find out why savvy parents are including a chiropractic visit in their child’s back-to-school prep, and why you should consider it too.



What is a Sports Physical?

student athlete getting care for sports injury - sports physical

A sports physical (sometimes called a “preparticipation physical evaluation”) is a physical exam that assesses whether or not it is safe for your child to participate in sports. Doctors recommend getting a sports physical before starting any new sport, or after a long break from sports (such as over summer break).


During the physical exam, a doctor or other medical professional tests for basic health measures (like height and weight) as well as heart rate, lung function, and the health of your child’s muscles, bones, and joints.



Why Get a Sports Physical?

Oftentimes, a sports physical is required by schools to participate in sports. But, even if your child’s school doesn’t require one, it can be a good idea.


A sports physical can help identify potential health issues that could interfere with your child’s athletic performance or lead to injury. It’s also a great opportunity to ask your doctor about diet and lifestyle, or review any medications your child is on and how they may impact their performance.



Holistic Back to School Care: Why You Should Include a Chiropractic Visit with Your Child’s Sports Physical

chiropractor looking at a student athlete teen girl spine - back to school physical

Chiropractic care takes a proactive approach to preventing injuries and improving your child’s sports performance. In fact, it could even help them perform better at school, too. Here are some of the most common benefits of chiropractic care throughout the year for school athletes.



1) Chiropractic helps prevent school sports injuries before they occur.

School sports physicals can detect surface-level signs of a current issue. But with a chiropractic visit, we can not only assess current injuries, but detect and support weak areas to reduce the risk of future injury.


Many injuries are caused by misalignments in the spine. This can happen from poor posture, heavy backpacks, and incorrect form while playing sports. Sometimes, your child may have other symptoms that seem unrelated to their spine (like balance issues, dizziness, and nausea). With chiropractic care, we can adjust the spine so it moves naturally and avoids future issues.



2) Chiropractic offers natural pain relief and enhanced recovery.

If your child has been injured before or is currently recovering from an injury, chiropractic helps them get faster relief. Unlike pain medications that simply mask pain and tension, chiropractic care ensures your child’s spine is in the proper position for optimum healing. Chiropractic care also has a detoxifying and circulating effect, which improves the body’s ability to heal.



3) Chiropractic improves range of motion in student athletes.

Most sports involve lots of constant or repetitive movements. While our bodies are built to move, this constant activity can leave muscles and joints feeling tight. Chiropractic care gently increases your child’s range of motion and alleviates stiffness in their muscles. And a wider range of motion means better performance and a reduced risk of injury.



4) Chiropractic may help with focus and brain health in student athletes.

For student athletes, balancing sports and schoolwork can be a tall order. Symptoms like fatigue, brain fog, and difficulty focusing are common signs of a body out of balance. Thankfully, getting regular chiropractic care helps to maintain correct spinal alignment and nervous system balance. Because the spine and brain are intricately connected, chiropractic may also support mental health and cognitive function.



When to Schedule Back to School Sports Physicals and Chiropractic Care

Don’t leave this essential sports check-up for the week before school. Most professionals recommend getting a physical at least 4-6 weeks before starting a sport. This gives you plenty of time for further tests or treatments if needed.


Chiropractic care can be started at any time. Like any natural therapy, the best results come from early and consistent care. If your child has been struggling with health concerns or simply wants to perform their best this year, we recommend starting chiropractic visits about 6 weeks before their season starts. Continue visits throughout the year to continue boosting performance and actively prevent potential issues and injuries.



Beyond Back to School Physicals: 3 Tips for Avoiding Sports Injuries Throughout the Season

Teen boy student athlete stretching at home

1) Supplement practice and training with stretching and yoga.

Well-rounded training isn’t just about practicing the sport itself. Other activities like stretching and yoga can drastically improve your child’s performance – and their whole-body health.


Work stretching into your family’s daily schedule to get everyone involved in this healthy habit. A ten-minute routine before breakfast can make a big difference, as does a routine before bed.



2) Make time for rest.

Our modern schedules are busy, especially if you have a student athlete at home. Unfortunately, there are big consequences to skipping rest. A lack of rest and quality sleep can negatively impact recovery and healing times, which put your child at a greater risk of injury or other health issues.


Rest is just as essential as training and schoolwork, so be sure to make it a priority this year. Help your child plan a nighttime routine that helps them relieve stress and recover.



3) Train the mind with meditation.

Sadly, many children get too caught up in the pressure to perform and compete to actually enjoy their chosen sport. In some cases, this can develop into anxiety or resentment.


Setting achievable goals and boundaries around sports, school, and downtime is essential to helping your child have a fun and successful year. Meditation is a great way to help them release built-up tension and stress, as well as improve their focus and mental stamina.


Thankfully, meditation is growing more popular and more accessible for families. There are plenty of helpful resources out there to help your child learn meditation. Here are a few guided meditations to help your young athlete thrive:




Start the School Sports Season Off Right with AlignLife Chiropractic

teen girl doing rehab from a sports injury

Back to school is the perfect time to set the stage for a healthy, active year. Be prepared by booking your child’s sports physical and a chiropractic visit with your local AlignLife Chiropractor. Along with helping your child improve their spinal alignment, your chiropractor can also help them eat like a pro with a sports nutrition consultation. 


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Schedule a visit at an AlignLife Near you!

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