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The Truth About Chiropractic: Unleashing Peak Athletic Performance

Busting the Myths and Uncovering the Science




When you hear the word "chiropractor," what comes to mind? For many people, it's a cracking sound, a bit of fear, or even skepticism. But what if I told you that chiropractors could help you unleash your peak athletic performance? Yes, you heard it right! As a chiropractor myself, I'm here to bust the myths and explain the science behind how chiropractic care can improve your biomechanics, enhance your neurological drive, activate your muscles, and help you recover from exercise.



Debunking the Myths About Chiropractors

Let's start by addressing the elephant in the room: the unfair reputation of chiropractors..

Myth 1: Chiropractors only treat back pain

One of the biggest myths about chiropractors is that they only treat back pain. While it's true that chiropractors can provide effective treatment for back pain, their scope of practice is much broader than that. Chiropractors can also treat headaches, neck pain, joint pain, and other musculoskeletal conditions. Additionally, many chiropractors offer wellness care, which focuses on maintaining good health and preventing future health problems.

Myth 2: Chiropractic adjustments are dangerous

Another common myth about chiropractors is that spinal manipulations are dangerous and can cause harm to the patient. However, the reality is that chiropractic adjustments are generally safe and have been shown to be effective in treating various conditions. In fact, a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics found that the risk of serious adverse events from spinal manipulation is extremely low.



Myth 3: Chiropractors are not real doctors

Contrary to popular belief, chiropractors are real doctors who have undergone extensive education and training. Chiropractors must complete a rigorous four-year doctoral program and pass state licensing exams in order to practice. Additionally, chiropractors often collaborate with other healthcare professionals, such as medical doctors and physical therapists, to provide comprehensive patient care.

Chiropractic care is based on evidence-based medicine and focuses on the relationship between the spine and the nervous system. Adjusting the spine and other joints can improve the nervous system's function, leading to various health benefits, including peak athletic performance.


Enhancement #1: Biomechanics

Biomechanics is the science of movement and plays a crucial role in athletic performance. Chiropractic care can help improve your biomechanics by ensuring that your spine and joints are aligned correctly. This alignment allows for a better range of motion, increased flexibility, and decreased risk of injury. As a result, you can perform at your best by keeping your body in top form.

Enhancement #2. Neurological Drive and Activating Muscle

Neurological drive refers to the signals sent from your brain to your muscles. You can increase your strength and power output by improving your neurological movement. Your ability to create deep and meaningful muscle contractions drive neuromuscular adaptations and, ultimately, hypertrophic changes resulting in bigger, stronger muscle.

Chiropractic care can help enhance your neurological drive by ensuring that your nervous system is functioning optimally when your nervous system is in good shape. This is done by ensuring optimal biomechanics resulting in better proprioception and, thus, enhanced neurological function. As a result, your body can send and receive signals more effectively, enhancing performance.

Muscle activation refers to the process of engaging your muscles to perform a specific movement. Chiropractic care can help activate your muscles by ensuring your spine and nervous system function optimally. When your body is in alignment, your muscles can work together effectively, leading to increased power and strength.

Enhancement #3: Recovering from Exercise

Recovery is an essential part of athletic performance. Exercise, in essence, is controlled damage to get results. Chiropractic care can help you recover faster by improving your body's ability to heal itself by helping to reduce inflammation, decrease pain, and increase joint range of motion.

Chiropractors can help address the underlying biomechanics misalignments through joint manipulation. Soft tissue cumulative trauma from repetitive motions can be addressed using techniques such as Active Release Techniques, trigger point therapies, dry needling, therapeutic stretching, and others. These techniques help to reduce inflammation, increase blood flow, enhance oxygen utilization, improve muscle metabolism, decrease pain, and increase range of motion, leading to faster recovery and improved health overall.

Conclusion:

So, there you have it. Chiropractic care can help you unleash your peak athletic performance by improving your biomechanics, enhancing your neurological drive, activating your muscles, and helping you recover from exercise. So, the next time you're looking to improve your athletic performance, consider adding a chiropractor to your team. You might just be surprised by the results!



List of References: (mostly my reading for consideration)

Balthazard, P., de Goumoëns, P., Rivier, G., Demeulenaere, P., Ballabeni, P., & Dériaz, O. (2012). Manual therapy followed by specific active exercises versus a placebo followed by specific active exercises on the improvement of functional disability in patients with chronic nonspecific low back pain: a randomized controlled trial. BMC musculoskeletal disorders, 13(1), 1-8.

Niazi, I. K., Türker, K. S., Flavel, S., Kinget, M., Duehr, J., Haavik, H., & Taylor, D. (2015). Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Experimental brain research, 233(4), 1165-1173.

Bialosky, J. E., Bishop, M. D., & Robinson, M. E. (2011). The influence of expectation on spinal manipulation induced hypoalgesia: an experimental study in normal subjects. BMC complementary and alternative medicine, 11(1), 1-8.

Keil, D., Meisinger, V., Wirtz, N., & Pfeifer, K. (2020). Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on the Stabilizing Muscles of the Spine: A Systematic Review of Controlled Clinical Trials. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 43(5), 427-436.

Coulter, I. D., Hurwitz, E. L., Adams, A. H., Meeker, W. C., Hansen, D. T., Mootz, R. D., & Aker, P. D. (1999). The Appropriateness of Manipulation and Mobilization of the Cervical Spine. Santa Monica, CA: RAND Corporation.

Debunking the Myths

Rubinstein, S. M., et al. (2019). Spinal manipulative therapy for acute low back pain: an update of the Cochrane review. The Spine Journal, 19(11), 1865-1873.

Ailliet, L., & Rubinstein, S. M. (2018). Manual therapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (Protocol). Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, 5, CD012717.

Adams, J. et al. (2019). Chiropractic care and the risk of vertebrobasilar stroke: results of a case-control study in U.S. commercial and Medicare Advantage populations. Chiropractic & Manual Therapies, 27(1), 1-13.

Licensing Requirements for Chiropractors. Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards.

Neurological Drive and Activating Muscle

Maffiuletti, N. A., Aagaard, P., Blazevich, A. J., Folland, J., Tillin, N., & Duchateau, J. (2016). Rate of force development: physiological and methodological considerations. European journal of applied physiology, 116(6), 1091-1116.

Haavik-Taylor, H., & Murphy, B. (2007). Cervical spine manipulation alters sensorimotor integration: a somatosensory evoked potential study. Clinical Neurophysiology, 118(2), 391-402.

Niazi, I. K., Türker, K. S., Flavel, S., Kinget, M., Duehr, J., Haavik, H., & Taylor, D. (2015). Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Experimental brain research, 233(4), 1165-1173.

Keil, D., Meisinger, V., Wirtz, N., & Pfeifer, K. (2020). Effects of Chiropractic Treatment on the Stabilizing Muscles of the Spine: A Systematic Review of Controlled Clinical Trials. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 43(5), 427-436.

Bronfort, G., Haas, M., Evans, R. L., & Bouter, L. M. (2001). Efficacy of spinal manipulation and mobilization for low back pain and neck pain: a systematic review and best evidence synthesis. Spine Journal, 1(2), 167-181.

Recovering from Exercise

Teodorczyk-Injeyan, J. A., et al. (2010). Spinal manipulative therapy reduces inflammatory cytokines but not substance P production in normal subjects. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 33(2), 117-121.

Cambron, J. A., et al. (2010). Side-effects of massage therapy: a cross-sectional study of 100 clients. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 33(9), 647-653.

Close, P. J. (2011). Does chiropractic care have a role in facilitating post-exercise recovery? Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association, 55(4), 269.

Jochumsen, M., et al. (2017). Effects of chiropractic care on strength, balance, and coordination of athletes: a review of the literature. Journal of chiropractic medicine, 16(2), 105-116.

Kofotolis, N. D., et al. (2013). The effects of a single session of chiropractic care on strength, cortical drive, and spinal excitability in stroke patients. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 36(8), 527-538.

McKechnie, A., et al. (2015). Chiropractic treatment of upper extremity conditions: a systematic review. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 38(9), 613-619.

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