Hello everyone. This is Liz Harvey coming to you from our studios in New York City where we are dedicated to bringing you top quality advice from many of the leading expert professionals across the U.S. In today’s episode we are speaking with chiropractor, Dr. Dennis James, a performance chiropractic clinic located in Keller, Texas. Dr. James is a nationally recognized chiropractor and a member of both the American and Texas Chiropractic Association. He is also a Fellow of the Acupuncture Society of America. Dr. James specializes in family chiropractic care, treating infants to seniors.
Today we’re going to talk about a very important topic:
Get Your Game On With Chiropractic
RC: Hi, Dr. James. How are you today?
Dr. Dennis James: I’m doing good Liz, thank you.
RC: Well thanks for joining me.
How does the spine affect the nervous system in body function?
Dr. Dennis James: Well, I think the first thing we have to look at is what the nervous system is and how it functions to know how the spine affects it. I love just to go back to the anatomy books that talk about the definition of the nervous system, specific Grey’s Anatomy, it says, “You know the nervous system is the master system and it controls and coordinates every organ, every function of the body that allows us to relate and to adapt to our environment.” When we take a look at the nervous system, it gives us the ability to handle the weather changes. It gives us the ability to handle sports changes. It gives us the ability to adapt to any stresses that come into our life and to keep us healthy.
That nervous system has the brain down into the spinal cord and that is encompassed by the spine, so the spine actually protects the entire root of that nervous system, and then outside of every single one of those levels, the nerves actually exit and go and control those organs, those tissues, those muscles, those ligaments. And so that’s why it’s so important to take care of that spine and to keep the motion of that spine proper, keep the inflammatory process around that spine down so that the nervous system can actually function at its highest level.
In what ways does chiropractic care have a direct impact on sports performance?
Dr. Dennis James: Well actually in many ways, if not all ways. You know, restoration of nerve function is actually what allows for enhanced performance, so number one, every athlete wants that edge so to speak. They want to be able to deliver at a higher level than anybody else, and when you take a look at the nervous system, if we know that that is what stimulates and allows us to adapt to the stimulus, then we’re able to respond to that event quicker, so you’re able to have a quicker intuitive response. You’re able to handle the ball being hit quicker and actually make a quicker play. The way sports are going now, they’re so intense and so in-depth, that every millisecond starts the count.
Not only do we look at it from an enhancement standpoint, but we also have to look at it from keeping us in the game. There are injuries that take place of the joints, the ligaments, the muscles, and we have to keep those functioning properly so that we can actually keep the person functioning at a physical level as high as they can as well with those soft tissue areas.
Do athletes heal faster from sports injuries with chiropractic care?
Dr. Dennis James: Oh, absolutely. Not only do they heal faster, but we’ve had many athletes who have tried to let time heal an injury and it stayed the same or got worse. We’ve seen athletes that have tried just soft tissue treatment and they never actually regained full motion of the joint or full function back. Athletes are very unique as well because it’s a very common, they’re so strong mentally that they like to go from a no-pain no-gain thought process, yet a lot of times they’ll cover up the pain with a ton of anti-inflammatories or pain killers, and that just allows the problem to actually build up and get worse because we tend to ignore it and it tends to take them out of the game later on.
I’ve always said we have to know the difference of the mental pain or the area to push through as opposed to the injury so to speak, because we want to push through the mental threshold. We want to gain that new level of success. We want to break through that mental pain so to speak, but an injury is not a time to push through because if you push through an injury, it can actually make it worse. If you make the injury worse, it can take you out longer. You can actually keep it from actually being able to heal naturally as well.
Why is it so important for athletes to find natural, drug-free treatment?
Dr. Dennis James: Well in my opinion, it’s this. You must look past today. So many people want but they don’t look down the road. I would say the best modern day example is Tom Brady. Love him or hate him, he’s done an amazing job at taking care of his body, unlike most athletes, and because of that, he’s been able to play the game at a higher level. He’s been able to do it for a longer period of time than most, and on top of that, you have to actually start to think not only, “How long can I be in the game. How long can I have this high-level of performance and compete,” but, “What’s after sports,” and there is a law of matter.
Once enough damage has been done, there’s going to be repercussions down the road. So it’s really a win-win to look long term and to take care of the body properly now because you’re able to stay in the sports, able to do it longer, play at a high level, but you’re also able to decrease the amount of pain meds, increase your function, increase your health. It will allow you to be healthier and have a better quality of life in the future.
Can ongoing chiropractic care help improve an athlete’s overall health as well?
Dr. Dennis James: Absolutely. I look at Jerry Rice, Emmett Smith in the past, and now the majority of athletes are using chiropractic on a regular basis just to keep themselves in the game. I think the last stat was 77% of all NFL players have their own chiropractor. I think every team now has its own chiropractor. Some of these sports are so intense, such as football, it’s like getting in an auto accident every day and you have to restore that function every week before you get back on the field, otherwise you already have a decreased level of function and then as you build more trauma on that decreased level of function, it’s going to build up over a period of time and it’s going to take you out of the game quicker.
So, we also have to look though at the other sports that maybe such as tennis or baseball or golf. These are more repetitive injury-type sports, more micro-traumas over a period of time. To counteract repetitive injuries, we have to have repetitive things that we do to create health to keep you in it for a longer period of time in order to counteract it.
RC: Well thank you so much, Dr. James. We know you’re extremely busy, so I just want to thank you for your time and your help today.
Dr. Dennis James: Thank you Liz. I appreciate it.
RC: And for our listeners across the country, if you are interested in speaking with the doctor, please visit www.performancechiropractic.clinic or call 817-337-3636 to schedule an appointment. On behalf of our team, we want to thank you for listening and we look forward to bringing you more top-quality content from our country’s leading experts.