Alternative Medicine for Athletes

Medically Reviewed
March 30, 2017

Alternative Medicine for Athletes!

It’s spring training season for the MLB — and the perfect time to consider how alternative medicine can enhance athletic performance at every age. Meet Dr. Russel Antico, a Chiropractic Sports Physician and our Director of Chiropractic.

Dr. Antico believes strongly in the integration of various treatment methods in the care of his patients, and has seen first-hand the benefits of combining chiropractic, physical therapy, massage, acupuncture and various ancillary treatments in achieving faster, longer lasting outcomes.

For folks looking to optimize athletic performance, what are the key ingredients for success?

The key to optimal athletic performance is two-fold: training and recovery. Of course, Nava services can be extremely instrumental in the recovery phase. The combination of chiropractic caremassage therapyacupuncture and nutrition can provide amazing benefits by restoring and maintaining optimal joint mobility and muscle tone as well as reducing inflammation and providing the nutrients needed to recover from and reap the benefits of high intensity workouts. Additional therapies such as hyperbaric oxygen can also provide crucial support in the recovery phase.

What do you find your clients struggle with the most?

The recovery part is the one most folks have trouble with. Many folks know how to train. There is certainly no shortage of gyms, trainers, boot camps and the like. Finding reliable information and a facility that can coordinate the efforts is extremely difficult. You can train as hard and as long as you’d like, but without the proper recovery strategy, you’ll never reach optimal performance.

Can you share with us some examples of clients who have benefitted from alternative sports medicine, and what strategies impacted that success?

So many of my patients come in with an acute injury, but also with a whole host of underlying issues that likely contributed to that one injury. I treat a ton of runners; these folks really benefit from the chiropractic manipulation combined with massage.

Because most conditions involve both muscle and joint, comprehensively addressing both is crucial. The strategy is to restore more normal joint mobility while at the same time restoring more normal muscle balance. For instance those who sit all day for a living have significant imbalances around the pelvis that — if left unaddressed — will inhibit improved performance and likely result in the same injury presenting over and over again. First we identify the problem(s), second we correct them and lastly, we implement a long-term strategy to keep the problems from recurring.

What’s the most critical recommendation you’d give athletes (or former athletes) looking to supplement their performance with alternative medicine?

JUMP IN! There is so much out there these days to assist you in maintaining or achieving an active lifestyle. You do not have to go at it alone, and if you really want to stay active and avoid injury, you’re going to need some help.

Do your homework. There is a lot of hype out there these days: the best workouts, the best nutrition, the best treatments, etc. The sooner you develop a relationship with a doctor and/or facility that can help you navigate what’s best for you, the sooner you will reap the benefits.

Want to begin the journey of optimizing your athletic performance? Learn more about NavaSport, our unique performance and recovery program, or make an appointment today.