The National Football League has a chiropractor on staff for their players on 31% of teams. An additional 12% of NFL teams refer players to chiropractors regularly. And 77% of professional football player have been referred to a chiropractor at some point in their career.
Here are a few notable quotes from top athletes on how chiropractic has been beneficial to their sports performance.
Improve Flexibility Quickly
Flexibility is essential to an athlete’s performance in any sport. Tight hamstrings will limit the follow through of the leg in kicking sports. Tension in the trapezius muscles of the upper back will limit the motion and power of a throw. Restriction in the lower back muscles causes decreased ability to bend forward or rotate at the waist.
A good chiropractic doctor will examine the entire kinetic chain of the body. That means they will assess the neck, shoulders, elbows, and wrists for upper body region restrictions. They will look at the feet, knees, hips, pelvis and lower back for any problems in the lower region of the body. Each area of the body must work together in order to have optimal function.
Sports chiropractors focus on aligning all these areas of the body so each joint moves properly. When that happens, a person is able to move freely and can then focus on elongating the muscles through active and passive stretching.
Increase Agility for Better Sports Performance
Agility is the ability to change the body’s position efficiently. This is greatly important for the competitive athlete on the field. Knowing exactly how your body can move, how fast your mind can react, and how quickly your muscles can engage is essential to becoming a top competitor in your sport of choice.
Underneath the large, strong muscles of the back are small muscles that connect neighboring bones of your spine. You have little conscious control over these muscles yet they are responsible for providing the fine-tuning spinal movements and position. These muscles must work properly in order for normal posture and balance to occur.
Chiropractic care focuses on taking irritation off the nervous system so all muscles of the body can function appropriately. Even these small spinal muscles are affected when chiropractic adjustments are given to an athlete. Regular treatment with chiropractic may drastically improve a person’s posture because of activating these stabilizing spinal muscles. As little as a 10% change in the posture may make a 99% change in symptoms and function of the body.
When posture and balance are in harmony, the body can move like never before. Agility is increased as an athlete develops the proper ways to move the body.
Chiropractic Can Help You Run Faster
Can chiropractic really help an athlete run faster? Research on the direct benefit of chiropractic on running speed is limited and a difficult thing to study altogether. However, there are numerous studies showing that chiropractic treatments help with improved biomechanics and proper position of the body.
One study shows that chiropractic treatment can improve hip extension in athletes that exhibited a restriction.1 Another study shows that chiropractic treatment can decrease muscle problems in the function and strength of the knee. 2
Chiropractic focuses on improving the function of the body. When the body is working at its peak, sports performance is greatly enhanced. Athletes today need every competitive edge to stay at the top of their game. So it seems logical that if your hips, knees, and ankles are properly aligned that you will be able to put more force and strength into these joints while running.
1. Effect of chiropractic treatment on hip extension ability and running velocity among young male running athletes. Jörgen Sandell, RCa, Per J. Palmgren, RCb, Lars Björndahl, MD, PhDc, 1,
2. Conservative lower back treatment reduces inhibition in knee-extensor muscles: a randomized controlled trial. J Manipulative Physiol Ther. 2000 Feb;23(2):76-80. Suter E1, McMorland G, Herzog W, Bray R.
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