Growing numbers of persons are becoming more athletic and exercise-minded. With the increased awareness of the preventative effect of regular exercise and the participation in sports against a wide variety of health problems such as heart disease, this increased participation will continue. An age-old side effect of sports and exercise, however, are exercise-related injuries. Most doctors see more exercise-related injuries than ever before.

The increase in injuries associated with sport and exercise, however, should be kept in perspective. Most injuries are treatable, many are preventable and the benefits of exercise almost always outweigh the negative side of the injury. While the preventative effects of regular exercise on the cardiovascular system are well-known, similar positive effects on the joints and muscles have been documented. In a 1987 study at Stanford University School of Medicine, runners were found to have significantly less disability associated with joint disorders than did non-runners.

The nature of the treatment of sport and exercise-related injury is changing. One of the most significant changes in recent years is the emergence of chiropractors as important providers of care to the injured athletes and exercisers. A recent issue of the medical journal “Clinics in Sports Medicine” attributes the increased interest in chiropractic treatment for athletes to the high incidence of spinal injuries in sports and exercise, and the success reported by many athletes with this type of treatment.

The goal should be for all persons to participate in sports or exercise on a regular basis. However a side effect of this goal will be injuries, and commonly, they will be to the spine. Chiropractic treatment is often very effective to the injured athlete, returning many to their previous participation level.

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