Want to know how to boost your athletic performance while also looking out for your body? Doctor of Chiropractic Rekha Rampersad answers some frequently asked questions, and tells us how best to incorporate chiropractic care into your regular routine.
Who else feels tired and sore after a run, even when you’ve only just started your workout? Ever wonder how your favourite sports athletes manage to consistently perform at such a high level, and still maintain peak physical fitness?
So, the secret ingredient might just surprise you. (Or not, seeing you’re already on this site and all….)
Some of the top names in golf, basketball, body-building, and athletics – from Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy to Arnold Schwarzenegger, Evander Holyfield, Usain Bolt, Kerri Walsh and the US Women’s soccer team, to name but a few – use chiropractic as part of improving their health and training regime.
What’s chiropractic treatment?
Long story short, chiropractic care involves reconnecting and restoring optimal spinal function and general health coordinated by the nervous system. This happens when your body responds to internal and external environments it’s exposed to on a daily basis(1).
The spine is the key to any movement of the body, transmitting signals to every muscle to perform every action, which makes it vital to chiropractic care. But by identifying and improving areas of impaired function throughout the body – not just the spine – this allows the body to function as effectively as possible.
Even athletes at the very top of their game can experience injuries from day-to-day exercise. The problem starts when a misaligned spine can interfere with the functions of all other systems, causing athletic performance to suffer.
Regular adjustments keep the spine working smoothly, boosting the body’s overall performance. In one study, athletes showed a 6% performance increase after receiving chiropractic treatment for 6 weeks compared to athletes who didn’t receive the treatment(2). Another study found a 30% improvement in hand-to-eye coordination after 12 weeks of chiropractic care(2).
What’s the difference between chiropractic care, osteopathy and physiotherapy?
- Chiropractic – focus on biomechanics, function and structure of the spine. Treatment mostly involves spinal manipulation to treat misalignments in the spine, and can sometimes rely on X-Ray or other imagistic diagnoses.
- Osteopathy – use gentle manual techniques for improvement of mobility and range of movement. Also trained to do spinal and joint manipulation.
- Physiotherapy – focus more on the problem area presented, rather than the whole body. Treatment is specific to the affected area.
Can chiropractic treatment prevent injuries?
Of course! In our clinic, we often see individuals who want to improve their spinal health during sports – from marathon runners, cricketers, cyclists and football players, to golfers, swimmers, skaters and scooter athletes. And they aren’t always necessarily injured!
Healthy athletes without any injuries can benefit from visiting their chiropractor. Roughly 90% of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care on a regular basis, either to prevent injuries or to give their performance the boost that they need for competitions(3).
In 2016, a study of sports scientists investigated athletic performance and chiropractic care. They found that chiropractic adjustment can provide great cortical drive (that’s activity in the cerebrum, a section of your brain that controls higher functions like interpreting touch, vision and hearing, as well as movement) which in turn increased muscle strength(4,5).
So whether you’re a professional athlete or just enjoying playing sports in your free time, it’s always a great idea to have your spine regularly checked, to both improve your game and help to heal any minor sports-related injuries.
In the words of one of the golfers I treat regularly, “I don’t know what you did, but I have a much better drive now and have been winning like crazy. Just keep me going so I can keep winning!”
To find out more about how the Chiropractic Wellness Centre can help you enhance your sports performance, or to treat any recent sports-related injuries, drop us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call our team on 01455 285126.
- World Health Organization, 2005. ‘WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in chiropractic.’ Available online: https://www.who.int/medicines/areas/traditional/Chiro-Guidelines.pdf
- Miners AL. 2010. ‘Chiropractic treatment and the enhancement of sport performance: a narrative literature review.’ J Can Chiropr Assoc. 54(4): 210–221.
- Kibler K. & Baron SH. 2014. ‘Up Your Game: Sports Chiropractic Enhances Care.’ Available online: https://www.acatoday.org/News-Publications/ACA-News-Archive/ArtMID/5721/ArticleID/201/Up-Your-Game-Sports-Chiropractic-Enhances-Care
- Haavik H., Niazi IK., Jochumsen M., Sherwin D., Flavel S., Türker KS. 2016. ‘Impact of Spinal Manipulation on Cortical Drive to Upper and Lower Limb Muscles.’ Brain Sciences 7(1). Available online: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/28025542
- Christiansen TL., Niazi IK., Holt K., Nedergaard RW., Duehr J., Allen K., Marshall P., Türker KS., Hartvigsen J., Haavik H. 2018. ‘The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes.’ Eur J Appl Physiol. 118(4): 737-749.