Chiropractic and athletics have one amazing connection in philosophy. The ultimate goal is to get the body to function at peak performance. So, how does chiropractic improve performance? The answer is in the nervous system. The brain is the control center for the body sending messages down the spinal cord to every cell, tissue and organ of the body. The spinal cord is protected by the spinal bones called vertebrae. Due to our daily postures, repetitive movements, birth trauma or any other form of trauma, these bones can become fixated, or subluxated, and apply pressure to the nerves. This pressure reduces the body’s ability to function optimally. Chronic subluxations and a lack of mobility can lead to increased joint degeneration and herniated discs.
Your body is capable of functioning at 100% health, but when there is an injury, it is unable to function at its full potential. Typically the spinal issues can go on for a long period of time before you start to feel something like pain. As a chiropractor, our job is to remove these fixations, whether painful or not, and allow the body to function at 100%. As an athlete, having your nutrition on track is a key to optimum performance. Also, eating an anti-inflammatory diet and staying away from processed foods provides the proper fuel your body requires for healing.
All types of athletic performance can be helped through chiropractic care. Postural improvements can aid in better joint function as well as better cardiovascular performance. A reduction in joint pain and better joint ROM and flexibility can be achieved through chiropractic care. This can be related to the spinal joints, or to any joint of the body. A reduced risk of injury and a better and faster recovery after an injury can also be noted when under chiropractic care.
A study titled “Chiropractic Effects on Athletic Ability” found that the subluxation complex (spinal joint fixation) can exist without the manifestation of symptoms and still cause a decrease in the body’s ability to perform to its full potential. It has been shown that chiropractic may be able to enhance athletic ability through treatment when the goal of that treatment is to diagnose and correct the existing subluxation complexes, symptomatic or not.
This, however, poses the question: Are you one of the many professional, collegiate and weekend warriors who have been performing below their true potential due to existing asymptomatic subluxations and believe they are at peak performance because they are well-trained, fit and without any symptoms or injury?
Michael Jones is a Doctor of Chiropractic in Springfield, Illinois. He is an avid CrossFitter, former collegiate athlete and father of three.
*Lauro, A, Mouch B. Chiropractic Effects on Athletic Ability. The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation. 1991; 6(4):84-87