New research into the effects of Chiropractic care suggests that it may have an important role to play in maximising sporting performance and aid recovery from a range of conditions where muscle function has been compromised.
A recent study out of New Zealand has been published in the Journal of Experimental Brain Research, which demonstrates that following a full spine Chiropractic adjustment session there was an increase in the subjects’ ability to contract one of their leg muscles.
Now, some of the findings from this study may get a little technical but here we go…
The study shows an increase in muscle electrical activity readings of almost 60% and a 16% increase in absolute force measures. There was also a 45% increase in the ‘drive’ from the brain to the muscle (the degree to which the brain can activate that particular muscle) and a small, but significant, shift in the H reflex curve (a neurophysiologic measure of spinal cord excitability). The results of the study also indicate that spinal adjustments can prevent fatigue, so the researchers recommend Chiropractic care to be used complimentary with medical treatment for patients that have lost tonus (firmness) of their muscles or are recovering from muscle degrading dysfunction, such as with stroke or orthopaedic operations.
The results suggest that the improvements in strength are likely attributed to the increased nerve flow from the brain to the body (called descending drive) and/or more information going from the body to the brain.
Now if you are not familiar with Neuroscience, simply put this means that the Chiropractic adjustment seemed to clear up the communication between the brain and the body (the leg muscle in this case) and it resulted in the subjects being able to control their leg muscles better to the point where it was actually stronger and fatigued slower.
An important point to note is that the adjustments did not give the subjects something they did not already have; it removed an obstruction to the optimal function of their body. A Structural Shift in the spine causing nerve pressure/interference would obstruct the communication between the brain and the body compromising function. When a specific Structural Correction is made it clears up the communication between the brain and the body leading to better function, less accidents and a healthier you.
The study suggested that this might be of particular interest to sports people, as well as for people with disorders that have left them with compromised muscle function, such as those who have had a stroke or something like a hip/knee operation. It would make sense that these people would benefit from improved muscle function, but don’t we all want our body to work better, to work at its best?
We all need our leg muscles, all our muscles to function properly; every single day in every single thing we do.
Wouldn’t you agree?
So, what would indicate that we might have a problem?
Muscles have two functions; movement and support. Therefore, when a muscle does not work properly there are specific indicators that we can look for that can be a sign of a Structural Shift in the spine causing nerve pressure/interference:
- Loss of mobility
- Poor body position
- Increase in Accidents and Injuries
Traditional approaches would be to temporarily improve the mobility, cosmetically improving the body position or posture and relieving the pain once an accident or injury occurs. What a Structural Chiropractor acknowledges is that the loss of mobility, poor body position and increase in accidents and injuries are all Secondary Conditions that can be a sign of a Primary Problem, such as a Structural Shift in the spine causing nerve interference.
This is where the approach of a Structural Chiropractor is unique; our focus is not on treating the Secondary Condition, but on correcting the Primary problem of a Structural Shift, clearing up the communication between your brain and your body leading to better function, less accidents and a healthier you.
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Have a Fantastic day!
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