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World Cup! Wimbledon! Feeling Inspired? How Chiropractic can help your Sporting Prowess

By Nancy Cerritelli

There’s a lot of sport on the telly at the moment – and the sun is shining. Perhaps you are feeling inspired to get outside and get active but did you know that regular chiropractic adjustments can not only help you learn new skills but also help your performance? Nancy outlines 5 ways chiropractic could help you master a new sport.

36131933_sIt’s been a busy week in the world of sport: England has made it through to the knockout stage of the World Cup and Wimbledon is well underway. Then this weekend, not only does the Tour de France start but it is also the British Grand Prix on Sunday. There really is something for everyone! And, with the recent good weather, you may be feeling inspired to get out and try something new yourself.

Did you know that chiropractic has a number of benefits that could really help your sporting prowess? Andy Murray knows this; he has been seen having an adjustment on the tennis court. Usain Bolt knows it too – the Jamaican athletic team has its own chiropractor as part of their support team. In fact, if you Google athletes who use chiropractic, you will see just how many are reported to get regular adjustments as part of their routine. Let me give you just a few reasons why that might be (and why it could help you too):

1) Proprioception

This just means knowing where your body is in space … without looking at it. Without proprioception we lose our balance, walk into things and are just generally somewhat clumsy. Proprioception depends on signals being sent from the brain to your limbs and back again – a constant feedback loop that keeps the brain up-to-date as to where the body is in relation to the world around it at any given time. So in sporting terms, where your foot is in relation to the football, where your racket arm is in relation to the tennis ball. Useful stuff if you play sports.

After a chiropractic adjustment there are more of these signals – and they move quicker – which means the brain is being updated more efficiently and thoroughly. The result of this is that your awareness of your position in space is much more sharply tuned which in turn means far greater precision when hitting or kicking the ball.

2) Reaction Times

Research shows that we see things more quickly following an adjustment and if we see more quickly, then we can react more quickly too. If this is the case, then it follows that this will help us react more quickly to the ball as it hurtles towards us at more than 100mph giving us more time to get into the right position (proprioception) to get it back over the net and into the hardest to reach corner so our opponent has no chance of returning it.

3) Leg Strength

Another study shows that leg muscles are stronger after an adjustment. This wasn’t measured in relation to sport but think about it in relation to football, tennis or cycling (pretty much any sport in fact) – it’s hard to think of a sport that doesn’t rely on (or would at least benefit from) greater leg strength.

4) Core Stability

A study conducted by the Australian Spinal Research Foundation, looked at the effects of chiropractic adjustments on the pelvic floor in pregnant and non-pregnant women. It found that the pelvic floor muscles of the women in the non-pregnant control group were as strong as those of elite athletes following a chiropractic adjustment.

The implication of this for sportspeople is simply one of core strength. A strong core will protect your spine and maintain your balance, both of which will decrease your risk of injury not to mention increase your overall stability and agility. Which means you’ll be more able to dart and dodge without running into your opponents or falling over!

5) Learning

If you have decided to take up a new sport, there will be a lot to learn. Your brain will need to learn the rules and techniques while your body needs to learn the various actions and movements necessary to participate. As we’ve already discussed, as well as increasing the number of signals the body sends to the brain, a chiropractic adjustment also increases the speed at which they travel. More signals from the body as it learns to do something new means that the brain will get the hang of those new skills a lot quicker which will increase your satisfaction and enjoyment as you master your new art.

So, if you’re feeling inspired by the England team’s performance in Russia or the tennis players in South West London, if the weather is tempting you outside and you fancy taking up something new, don’t forget to book yourself in for an adjustment – it could make all the difference.

6th July 2018


Dr Heidi Haavik (2014). The Reality Check: a quest to understand Chiropractic from the inside out. Haavik Research

Haavik, H, Murphy, B, Kruger, J. Effect of Spinal Manipulation on Pelvic Floor Functional Changes in Pregnant and Nonpregnant Women: A Preliminary Study

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