MelMeriel Davis, chiropractor at Back 2 Balance in Brighton and Hove, has a very special interest in the field of sports chiropractic and treating athletes. In her latest blog she describes her experiences working at the Masters Athletics Championships.

On the first weekend of March 2015 I was drafted up to the Lea Valley Athletics Indoor Stadium to work at the National Indoor Masters Athletic Championships.

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As with most large sports events there is always a medical team on standby to aid any injuries and mishaps. The great thing about Masters Athletic Championship events is that they always have a selection of sports chiropractors from around the country to help physically prepare the athletes and to treat any injuries should they attain one throughout the weekend.

imageI’ve been doing these events for nearly 8 years now and have been to indoor and outdoor stadiums all around the country as well as Europe. It’s great because I get to work alongside top chiropractors and on athletes very close to the tracks so I can see the events take place. We work on portable benches lined up next to each other and so we all get to see how each other work…how we communicate our diagnoses and of course how each of us treat varying injuries. It’s a fantastic learning experience and when we’re not treating we’re discussing various cases, recent research and generally socialising.

There are many different events with athletics…from the sprints to decathlon, to pole vault to hight jump. All have their own different set of injury types. Throwing sports tend to have back and shoulder issues whereas the track athletes tend to have hip, achilles and foot issues. So you can imagine the type of patient I see at these events are a little different to the majority I see in standard practice.

image-2Generally I’ll only treat an athlete over the course of the weekend as they don’t live in Sussex…so I have to do as much as I can with them in that limited space of time. Some take the decision to travel long distances to see me after the weekend however most return to their own practitioner in their home town. I need to have quite a few tools up my sleeve to deal with all the varying types of injuries that can come my way so my kit bag tends to be quite full and includes the following;
SOT blocks, acupuncture needles, sharps bin, rock-tape, graston tool, massage medium, activator, extremity drop board. Feel free to google what these are if their names makes no sense to you. My kit bag enables me to treat such a wide variety of spinal and extremity problems effectively and in a short space of time (i.e. just the weekend).

If an athlete comes to see me pre-event to ensure their body is ‘firing on all cylinders’ then i’ll just use my hands and my brain. I’ll find any interruptions with the nervous system, muscles function of any restrictions in joint motion and correct accordingly. Sometimes i’ll use tape to. However if it’s post event and the athlete has an injury to, then i’ll open the kit bag. The premise with post injury treatment is to aid tissue healing…what ever that tissue may be (ligament/muscle/joint/tendon etc).

It’s a great feeling seeing one of the athletes you’ve treated run a personal best or get a gold medal! Especially when they come over after and give you a big hug to say thank you. Obviously their hard work and training was 99% of the end result….I was just that last final push to get their body working as efficiently as possible. After the weekend I go back to Back2Balance in Hove working on us fellow Joe Public with more average body fat percentage and muscle tone. It’s good to mix it up a little 🙂

Love my job.

Are any of you budding athletes suffering? Would you like Mel to come and help your sports club get fitter, stronger and have less injury? Give us a call on 01273 206868 and speak to the clinic manager and start improving your health today.