Optimized Performance in Young Athletes


When moms and dads bring their kids to see me, they bring their children for a variety of health reasons and concerns. Frequently their son or daughter is suffering from joint pain, for example in their shoulder, knee or back, that keeps nagging them and is not going away.

Sometimes their son or daughter has experienced head impacts or a concussion in the sport they play, and because of the forceful impact it had on the child’s neck, moms and dads bring their child to see me to have their neck and spine checked for subluxations.

These injuries or traumas happen in sport. Especially when children are playing sport frequently or at a competitive level. Falls and impacts commonly occur in sports such as hockey, gymnastics, football, soccer, dance, skiing, basketball and volleyball.

But the trauma might not be from an obvious impact. Traumas that cause injury are often repetitive micro traumas that are not obvious at all. These traumas occur when posture is poor or incorrect while training and playing sport, or in down time having prolonged poor posture while playing devices, watching tv or unhealthy sleeping habits.

Sometimes the trauma or impact that a child experienced happened earlier in life, before they began their sport, such as a fall down the stairs, or a fall from a tree. The earliest trauma that commonly occurs is during the birth process, if there is a lot of pulling on the child’s head and neck, or instruments such as forceps or vacuum extraction are used.

After a thorough health history where we discuss the various micro and macro traumas that a child has experienced, I check a child’s posture, spine, and joint alignment. When the segments of the spine become misaligned, most often due to injuries and traumas, it is a condition called a spinal subluxation.

A spinal subluxation interferes with the function of the child’s nerve system. This can have many different effects in a child’s body, depending on where the nerves that are interfered with go to. For example, a young hockey player who came to see me, first presented with neck pain, headaches, ringing in one ear, and chronic sinus congestion. Upon examination, I found that he had spinal subluxations in his neck, from frequent head impacts. After a period of restructural corrective care, he no longer experienced neck pain or headaches, and the ringing in his ear and sinus congestion went away.

 Because I was a competitive athlete, and I help and coach athletes, word spreads quickly amongst kids and their teammates and parents about making sure they get their spine checked. But, a referral is not necessary, to schedule your child to have their spine and nerve system checked, or any health concerns addressed.

 The most rewarding aspect of my work in helping young athletes, is not just helping with injuries from various traumas in sport…it is in helping optimize each athletes performance.

 See, once the spinal subluxations are corrected, a son or daughter is not only injury free, they are now performing in their sport more optimally. This is because, when the spine is well aligned, the nerve system can function more optimally, without any interference.

 How does this look when it comes to sport? A young athlete can play at the top of his or her game. Subluxation free. They have the cutting edge. A young gymnast who sees me for chiropractic care, knows he has this ‘edge’. He is scheduled to compete at the Canadian Nationals this summer. His dad doesn’t allow him to miss an appointment with me, knowing how important it is that his son’s nerve system is working at its best, so that his performance is optimized.