“Dr. Smith, can chiropractic help me reach my weightlifting goals?”

“Dr. Smith, can chiropractic help me reach my weightlifting goals?”

                                                              ~Jared R.

I like this question, Jared!  As most of us know, exercise is an important part of keeping our bodies healthy.  Lifting weights is just one of the ways we can help maintain or improve our health.  Weightlifting enables you to strengthen your muscles and improve the way your joints function.  Many factors go into achieving your weight lifting goals.  Among those factors are proper spinal alignment, healthy joint movement (proper biomechanics), and proper technique.  Let’s start with proper spinal alignment.

Having a properly aligned spine means that each of the bones that make up the spine are working together in harmony and balance.  No spinal bones are out of their proper position and each force exerted on the spine when walking, exercising, and even weightlifting are being distributed evenly throughout the spine.  The curves of the spine that we see when looking at it from the side, are in their proper position when the spine is in proper alignment too.  When a spine is not in proper alignment, spinal bones not in their proper position cause the forces exerted on the spine to put more stress on certain parts of bone and predispose those bones to premature degeneration.  In the long run, a bone that’s not properly aligned can cause injury or long term pain and dysfunction issues for you as a weight lifter.

This is where healthy biomechanics and proper technique come in to play because healthy biomechanics and proper technique decrease your chances for injury.  Overusing a joint can cause injury and overusing that same joint when it’s not properly aligned could possibly cause further complications with the injury.  A study done by Macquarie University in New South Wales, Australia concluded that receiving adjustments to the joints of the body as a measure to prevent injury decreased the incidence of injuries to Austrailian Rules football players.  In other words, making sure that your joints are properly aligned, especially when you’re not having symptoms, may prevent injury.  Using that healthy joint with proper technique can further decrease injury occurance.

Should an injury occur, it’s important to make sure you take care of it properly.  Recent research has also shown that for some injuries, adjustments to the joint can help with pain reduction and speed up your recovery.  A visit to your chiropractor after certain injuries may even help to get you back into the gym sooner.

So ultimately, chiropractic’s greatest asset to a weightlifter may be the probability that you won’t have to interrupt your training due to injuries and can even help to shorten the amount of time your body may spend healing from any injury that may occur.  But don’t forget the importance on proper spinal alignment, correctly functioning biomechanics, and proper technique.

 

Sources:

The effect of a sports chiropractic manial therapy intervention on the prevention of back pain, hamstring, and lower limb injuries in semi-elite Australian Rules footballer: a randomized controlled trial. Hoskins and Pollard. BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 2010, 11:64

 

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