Daniel Woods is a rock climber who recently won two separate national climbing championships. He sees chiropractor Lisa Erikson in Boulder three times a week for adjustments, massage therapy and other sports medicine-related therapies. Courtesy Lisa Erikson

Chiropractors help athletes adjust to rigorous activities

BOULDER – Rock climber Daniel Woods recently won a Sports Climbing Series national championship and a bouldering national championship back-to-back.

He credits his wins – in part – to receiving chiropractic treatment and massage from Lisa Erikson, owner of LifeSport Chiropractic in Boulder. Woods’ wife, Courtney Sanders, also a climber, recommended Erikson to her husband.

“It’s a huge difference in how my overall body feels,” said Woods, who receives treatment three times a week. “I never really did chiropractic work or massage therapy in the past. My muscles are starting to mature and get more damaged, so this is a huge help to perform at a top level.”

Woods said Erikson adjusts his hips and works on pressure points on his back to help him recover more quickly after climbing sessions. Erikson also has helped him with overall posture, Woods said.

In addition to her LifeSport Chiropractic practice, Erikson serves as the medical staffer at a “medical tent” sponsored by The North Face at a variety of climbing events. She also works with USA Climbing in Boulder.

Erikson said the athletes she sees seem prone to repetitive overuse injuries related to posture. Those injuries often come from athletes sitting at regular desk jobs when they’re not out training and winning events.

Other athletes she treats come in with tight muscles or inflammation-related injuries, Erikson said. In response, Erikson gives athletes specific exercises to pump inflammation out of their joints and offers numerous strength-training exercises.

“A lot of it is prevention and keeping them from overusing their bodies,” Erikson said.

Climbers are prone to injuring tendons in their hands and pulling hamstrings in their legs, Erikson said. Some incur neck and back injuries. In addition to chiropractic adjustments, Erikson is certified in massage therapy. She also is working on an acupuncture certification.

At High Altitude Spine and Sport in Boulder, certified chiropractic sports physician and owner Richard Hansen works with professional distance runners and triathletes in Boulder.

Patients include Kenyon Neuman who was part of the men’s team that won the Big 12 Track and Field Championships in 2008 and is sponsored by Nike, as well as Brent and Sara Vaughn, Olympic hopefuls who now live in Beaverton, Oregon. Brent Vaughn was the 2011 USA Cross Country Champion.

As a chiropractor and a certified strength and conditioning specialist, Hansen and his team takes an “active rehabilitation” approach, he said. Hansen is a former cross-country and track athlete at the University of California-San Diego.

Athletes need to listen to their bodies and take off one or two workout days when something hurts rather than get injured, Hansen said. When they do get injured, Hansen offers adjustments and exercises.

“When something doesn’t feel right, it’s knowing when to back off or seek help when you need it,” Hansen said.

For many athletes looking to strengthen their muscles to prevent injury, Hansen might recommend a cross-training workout such as pool training for a runner.

For those athletes who get injured and need to work on a rehabilitation program, the High Altitude Spine and Sport office has an anti-gravity treadmill to help them strengthen muscles without putting too much strain on them, Hansen said. The treadmill offers runners and others a low-gravity environment.

Hansen said the most common injuries he sees are knee replacements, ACL (knee tendon) tears, Achilles tendonitis and muscle stress tears.

BOULDER – Rock climber Daniel Woods recently won a Sports Climbing Series national championship and a bouldering national championship back-to-back.

He credits his wins – in part – to receiving chiropractic treatment and massage from Lisa Erikson, owner of LifeSport Chiropractic in Boulder. Woods’ wife, Courtney Sanders, also a climber, recommended Erikson to her husband.

“It’s a huge difference in how my overall body feels,” said Woods, who receives treatment three times a week. “I never really did chiropractic work or massage therapy in the past. My muscles are starting to mature and get more damaged, so this is a huge help to perform at a top level.”

Woods said Erikson adjusts his hips and works on pressure points on his back to help him recover more quickly after climbing sessions. Erikson also has helped him with overall posture, Woods said.

In addition to her LifeSport Chiropractic practice, Erikson serves as the medical staffer at a “medical tent” sponsored by The North Face at a variety of climbing events. She also works with USA Climbing in Boulder.

Erikson said the athletes she sees seem prone to repetitive overuse injuries related to posture. Those injuries often come from athletes sitting at regular desk jobs when they’re not out training and winning events.

Other athletes she treats come in with tight muscles or inflammation-related injuries, Erikson said. In response, Erikson gives athletes specific exercises to pump inflammation out of their joints and offers numerous strength-training exercises.

“A lot of it is prevention and keeping them from overusing their bodies,”…