Quite often I am confronted with a patient or athlete
that asks, “Doc, I feel fine, do I need to come in and see you?”. The answer is usually dependent upon the patient and history of the present illness, but eventually ‘yes’. Why? This blog is designed to answer that question.
BIOMECHANICS. Athletes in particular need Wellness Adjusting. Most professional athletes have their own chiropractors and many professional teams of various sports keep one on staff or close at hand. Why? There are two main arguments for this and both are true and hold merit depending on the patient and the situation. First, as I tell most of my patients, your spine operates as a large spring inside your body. There are 33 separate vertebrae in your spine and they all need to operate as separate vertebrae. They help absorb mechanical impact in your body and distribute that impact evenly throughout your spine and body, thus limiting large impact forces in a particular area. Athletes in particular stress their bodies physically and have more daily impact, whether at the gym, football field, gymnastic mat, or pole vault, then the average Joe. Ensuring that these individual vertebrae are all functioning correctly mechanically, as regular chiropractic adjusting is designed to do, will limit future injury and help with a patient’s biomechanics.
Believe it or not, this is the main reason the majority of us need to be adjusted as well, though from a slightly different perspective. Whereas an athlete is putting massive physical stress on their body, their body is used to it and compensates for it in the form of increased physical fitness. The average American, however, is not in such shape. They are not putting such stress on their body, BUT this amounts to smaller, less significant stresses causing mechanical disfunction in the spine. For example, as ‘John’ works 8 hours a day, 5 days a week in his cubicle, his spine does not flex and does not get as much stress as ‘Bob’ the power lifter. But ‘John’ causes a disc herniation by simply picking his 5 year old son up one afternoon after work, whereas ‘Bob’ doesn’t injury his disc until he does a squat with excessive weight at the gym. In both cases regular chiropractic adjusting is designed to limit such injuries.
NEUROLOGY. Every cell in your body is fed information via the Central Nervous System. Some, like voluntary muscle contractions are controlled by the Somatic Nervous System. Others, like the heartbeat, digestion, and kidneys are controlled involuntarily by the Autonomic Nervous System. There are 43 segments of nerves in the human body, 12 out of the brainstem and 31 out of the spinal cord. Each segment has a sensory and motor aspect to it. When exiting the spine, any occlusion or interference with these nerves DECREASES the effectiveness of the information it’s carrying. For an athlete, this can mean reduced performance, whether in a particular muscle contraction or rate of healing, how fast the body disposes of lactic acid, or even how quickly information is processed and then acted on, ie, reaction time. Typically, these are minor interferences, but when you are trying to MAXIMIZE YOUR OUTPUT, every small edge matters.
‘John’, our office worker, experiences deficiencies that are important to him as well. Incorrect spinal alignment can affect his digestion, sleep patterns, or a number of other important physiological responses.
If you have any questions concerning the above information, please email or call!