What Every Athlete Needs To Know About Injury Recovery!

About 2 months ago, I was participating in my morning class at Crossfit Omaha, partaking in a killer WOD (workout of the day) that required a lot of heavy squats.  Out of nowhere, I suddenly experienced a debilitating headache that almost made me completely blackout and drop the bar.  After I gained my composure, the headache remained but the initial excruciating pain had decreased.  I was completely weirded out and a little scared that I might have pushed it too hard…  I went back to the gym the following day and for the next two days of workouts, a movement so much as a simple air squat with no weight and slowly walking up the stairs reproduced the excruciating headache.  Absolutely devastated since I was training for my very first competition that was in two weeks, I desperately searched for answers from other colleagues.  In the meantime, I was checked for what we chiropractors are trained to look for; interference to the nervous system.  I was given a specific chiropractic adjustment by my partner in crime, Dr. Bethany, and my body fully accepted the adjustment.  How do we know that, you ask?  Our scanning protocol in our office gives us immediate feedback on whether or not the adjustment was accepted by the body. We also can then, determine whether or not someone is holding their adjustment!  For the next three weeks I was checked every day, but no adjustment was needed.  All the meanwhile my body was healing, improving and getting back to normal a little more every day. I learned that what I experienced was called an “exertion headache”.  From the experience of other colleagues and some credible sources, I was under the impression the average recovery time was 3-6 months with the potential to always have these headaches.  NOT acceptable in my book!  With specific chiropractic care, my recovery was as follows-  1 week of rest; 1 week of cardio with no weights and 80% of my norm the following week.  I was even able to partake in my competition and ended up fourth in my division.  I performed personal records on some of my lifts and destroyed my times.

Why do I believe I healed so fast?  Because I treat my body like a perfect ecosystem that needs continued attention and balance.  I put the proper foods in my body, drink adequate water, started getting more rest and had some soft tissue work done.  The MOST important thing I did was to make sure my nervous system was completely clear and working at 100% of its potential.  So who checks this important aspect? WE do!  Chiropractors are trained to work with the nervous system and make sure it is normalized and working properly.  I know the body is self-healing and I have trust in my body that it knows how to heal, giving the proper “ecosystem” and conditions as stated above.  I got a little lazy for a while.  I was drinking a little too much coffee, not enough water, a little lax on my nutrition and not allowing full recovery from my workouts.  My body’s ability to heal could only work with the conditions I gave it!!    

My suggestion to athletes?  Follow what the pro’s do.  31% of NFL football teams have a chiropractor on staff.  Professional athletes swear by chiropractic for a fast recovery and better performance.  Studies show that athletes under chiropractic care recovery faster from injury, have increased performance AND reaction times.  I may not be a pro athlete, but chiropractic has allowed me to excel in my training “love” called CrossFit.  I may not be the best in my class or my gym, but I am grateful that I am the best version of me and in the best shape of my life.

-Dr. Niki

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