Sports and Chiropractic, by Dr. Stephanie Che
Chiropractic treatment plays an essential role for many professional athletes looking to stay on top of their game. Tiger Woods, Usain Bolt and Andy Murray, to name just a few, all have regular chiropractic adjustments – sometimes even during their competitions – to manage and prevent injuries, speed up recovery time and safely maximise their musculoskeletal performance.
Chiropractic care focuses on keeping the spine and other joints aligned and working optimally. Misaligned or restricted joints can lead to muscle imbalance, unequal weight distribution, postural deformities and slower reaction times from our bodies.
A runner with Iliotibial band (ITB) Friction Syndrome will have altered biomechanics due to body alignment and muscular imbalances. This might prevent them from completing a distance race, from training adequately before the race, or even result in chronic pain. For a golfer to hit a ball consistently well, their spine and pelvis must be well balanced and aligned. If not, this will not only affect their performance, but can cause serious postural problems as time progresses.
At the centre of our body’s motion is the spine and pelvis, transmitting and absorbing impact, while also supporting our whole body structure. The incredibly complex and flexible human spine requires precision control to avoid injury and perform at its best.
The moment-by-moment control of our body and joints, keeping them aligned and moving in a coordinated manner is known as proprioception. Controlled by our autonomic nervous system (the unconscious part of our brain), proprioception, as with our heartbeat, breathing and digestion, is very sensitive and precise in order to keep our body working well. Any misalignment of the spine and pelvis acts like an irritant to this control system, leading to an injury during your run or an off-swing on the greens.
Chiropractic care is beneficial for all athletes, from amateur to professional, looking for an advantage in their performance and better maintenance of their body through injury prevention and faster recovery.