6 Athletic Benefits of Chiropractic Care
1. Increased Range of Motion It's no secret that athletes put a LOT of pressure on their bodies every time they train or compete. Physically intense activities can create problems with spinal and joint alignment, affecting movement and range of motion. An athlete can easily start to feel stiffness and pain in their joints and muscles after a heavy workout. This often causes their range of motion to be limited, thereby inhibiting their overall athletic performance (1). Receiving regular chiropractic care can:
Help undo injury damage
Maintain the correct positioning to avoid future injury
Prevent injuries BEFORE they occur
2. Improved Balance and Performance
Because chiropractic properly aligns joints, blood vessels, and nerve fibers, your brain can receive and send signals at a higher, more accurate rate after an adjustment. Because many critical plays (and injuries) happen in the blink-of-an-eye, this level of communication and coordination can be a decisive factor.
The cerebellum, part of the brain, is a key player in coordination and spacial awareness (2). Not only that, it has been linked to the ability to track and predict trajectories.
The inner ear is also an important component for balance and motion. Sensory cells in the ear can be linked to monitoring the position of your head in relation to gravity and linear motion (3, 4). Basically, your inner ear lets you know how fast you are running and how high you jump. With open communication set by an aligned nervous system, patients can experience:
Better hand-to-eye coordination
Enhanced motor function
Increased spatial awareness
3. Decreased Muscle Soreness and Natural Pain Relief
Chiropractic care helps muscles to relax by enhancing proper blood circulation throughout the body. This means not only do your muscles soak up nutrients and oxygen at an optimal rate, the waste products of exercise are flushed out and processed faster.
Through many studies, various spinal adjustments techniques have been associated with statistically significant improvements in both pain and function (5). With care focused on spinal manipulation alone, Chiropractic can help:
Alleviate headaches and spinal pains
Boost your natural recovery process
Flushes out waste products of worked muscles
4. Reduced Recovery Time Even when injuries can’t be prevented, chiropractic care can help to shorten healing time for a variety of conditions. Chiropractic can also decrease symptoms from these types of injuries, like:
Neck and head injuries (whiplash and concussions) - headaches and migraines
Shoulder injuries - numbness or tingling in the fingers
Low back pain - a very common complaint among athletes (6)
By adjusting the spine, a chiropractor can provide relief from these at the source. This is why a good chiropractor can adjust multiple joints in your body, NOT JUST THE SPINE, to reduce pain and help restore the joint to full function (7). 5. Enhanced Immune Functionality
Intense exercise temporarily diminishes immune responses roughly 15-70% up to hours after the fact (8). This creates a window of opportunity for infectious diseases, most commonly of the upper respiratory variety (9). While chiropractic is known to support a healthy immune system (10), we also recommend combining it with nutrient-dense diet and appropriate supplements to experience the full results.
6. Reduces Effects of Asthma
Chiropractic adjustments have a correlation with improvements for many patients with subjective measurements of effectiveness, like a decrease in asthma attack frequency and use of medication (11). By retraining the spine and moving it back into its ideal alignment, pressure is taken off the nerves responsible for the lungs.
Even with this in mind, there is insufficient data with objective measurements, like maximum expiratory flow and forced expiratory volume (12). So, by no means are we saying "chiropractic cures asthma!" or "throw out that inhaler" since the evidence suggests chiropractic should be used as an supplement, not a replacement, to traditional medical therapy for asthmatic conditions.
National University of Health Sciences
The National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI)
The Mayo Clinic
The JAMA Network