Chiropractors believe that the body is like a spinning top, when balanced perfectly it can spin for ages but one little bump or movement can knock it out of adjustment. Every muscle in your body uses the nervous system to communicate with your brain and receives all of its motor commands through this system.
The human body and frame is said to be the most complex piece of machinery ever created and we tend to build our own machines based on many of the principles found on our body. What is interesting is, if you were to talk to an average mechanical designer he/she will tell you that structure controls function. If the ignition computer in your car fails you can call a taxi, but if your brain has a tumor you will need emergency care. This is an extreme example of a condition that probably will immobilize you but the question you should be asking yourself is how many smaller, less noticeable items are wrong with your body now that may be slowing you down. Again, there is a difference between, feeling “NOT SICK” and feeling GREAT, especially for an athlete. Your body can be fine tuned by working out daily and striving towards your personal goal, but can you be better through chiropractic?
When you start a chiropractic practice, many times one of the first patients you will see is an injured athlete. Some will visit for lower back problems and others will need help with tennis or golf elbow. But one thing is for sure, it would be a lot easier for the patient if they came in before the injury. One of the frustrating things about being a chiropractor is that patients thinks they need to be in pain before they visit us. This belief stems from years of standard medical “symptom” care, in other words waiting for something to be wrong before seeing your doctor. In fact many of the injuries that athletes experience could have been avoided with wellness care through chiropractic, before they start their work out or athletic event. It is not unusual to have a patient doing better maintenance on their family car then on themselves.
Our field of expertise is the spine. We believe that with your spine in working order you will feel better and will be able to play harder. As athletes we tend to be more tolerant to pain and believe in our own body’s ability to heal itself. What you may not know is that the body’s ability to heal is there to keep you alive, not necessarily to heal you back to your original state.
Many of us abuse our body’s by smoking or eating junk food on the other hand many of us take a powerful interest in improving our body’s capabilities through sports and exercise. These people are called athletes. There are different levels of athletes, from someone who plays the occasional game of soccer with the kids or mountain bikes for fun, to the devoted goal driven athletes that takes time to work out every day. There is a common denominator for all types of people, even the non-athlete and that is: structure = function.
The formula above is why chiropractic is important to everyone, especially an athlete. An athlete trains his/her muscles, tendons and joints to be strong, agile and efficient. Their structure grows and changes to adapt to the stress their particular sport places on their bodies. Examples are: a swimmer’s back will be strong and formed, a runners will have enormous lung capacity.
For athletes chiropractic care will reduce the stress and tension you put on your body frame. During sporting events, muscles cramp, joints swell and nerves become pinched to name a few. This can severely hinder your performance on the field, court or mat.
Why do you think the U.S. Olympic team has chiropractors on hand at the Olympics. In Atlanta 1996 there were as many as 200 chiropractors from all across the nation invited to offer adjustments to all the athletes, not just from the U.S.A.
This leads us to the second reason you as an athlete should be under chiropractic care; the brain and spinal cord which is called the “central nervous system”, controls all movement and function of every organ muscle and nerve in your body. “Structure = function”. The central nervous system controls everything down to the cellular level. When you as an athlete practices and plays, you acquire three motor and sensory abilities not always available in the sedentary human being. These are: hand to eye coordination, balance and agility. These abilities develop due to repetitive impulses that travel between the brain and the body. Back and forth motion over and over again until you become proficient in action. Like a golf swing, or a touchdown pass that was once impossible becomes possible through the bodies ability to remember repetitive motion and react to feedback through your nervous system.
Considering that the nerve roots that transfer messages from the brain and the spinal cord to the limbs and organ systems is protected and located between the spinal joints, the function and health of the spine itself become vital to your ability as an athlete.
Chiropractors are experts in diagnosing and performing spinal adjustments that allow joints and nerve roots to be structurally positioned, so your body can function and perform at an optimum. A spinal joint out of place or out of alignment is called subluxation, we have an area of this web site devoted to the understanding of subluxation, which is the basis behind chiropractic.