In part 1 of this series, we discussed the importance of regular chiropractic care to improve your mobility and posture and to help at least slow the progression of osteoarthritis and disc degeneration. In this article, we will discuss the importance of regular chiropractic care to:
- Improve your muscle strength, balance, and coordination
- Prevent pain and injuries
- Improve and sustain optimal brain function
Regular Chiropractic Care for Improved Muscle Strength, Balance, and Coordination
In part 1 of this series, I mentioned that human beings are designed to move regularly and when we don’t move regularly we start to seize up. What do most of us do during the day starting with the first day of school? We sit. And when we aren’t sitting at school or at work, what do most of us do when we’re at home? We sit and play video games, watch TV, work on our computer, or play on our devices with our neck hung forward. This lack of movement from prolonged sitting and inactivity causes the joints in our spine to stiffen up and become misaligned.
The brain works better when you move the joints in your body regularly. All of your joints in your spine and extremities have small nerves in them that send nerve signals (electrical signals) to the brain. Movement literally “feeds” your brain. When you move, you turn the dimmer switch up and your brains light up. Your brain works better. When your brain works better it can send good nerve signals down through the spinal cord and nerves to your body parts so they work better. In the case of muscles, they will react better. So your muscle strength will increase, your balance will get better, and your movement will be better coordinated.
When the joints and bones in your spine and extremities “seize” up or become misaligned and lose their mobility, the brain doesn’t work as well. The dimmer switch gets turned down and so does the light in your brain. Your electrical circuits get turned off. Your muscle strength decreases, your balance gets worse, and your movements will be less coordinated.
Specific chiropractic adjustments to your misaligned bones and joints increase the nerve signals to your brain helping your brain function better. They turn the breaker switches back on for you and light up your brain.
Getting regular chiropractic adjustments will improve your muscle strength, balance and coordination. (1, 2, 3, 4, 5) This is important with respect to preventing falls, improving sports performance and preventing injuries.
Getting regular chiropractic adjustments will improve your muscle strength, balance and coordination. This is important with respect to preventing falls, improving sports performance and preventing injuries.
Regular Chiropractic Care for the Prevention of Pain and Injuries
Unfortunately there isn’t a lot of good research yet on chiropractic care in preventing pain and injuries. As a matter of fact there isn’t a lot of good research on any kind of therapy preventing pain and injuries. Preventing pain and injuries would involve many interventions including but not limited to:
- a fine balance of exercise (not too much not to little)
- sport specific exercises if applicable
- moving more and sitting less (standing or treadmill desk)
- eating a whole food nutrient dense diet
- getting good quality sleeps
- attaining your ideal body weight
- getting regular therapies that would optimize body function specific to your needs (eg. chiropractic, massage therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy)
- correcting flat feet
- decreasing systemic inflammation (swelling)
Because chiropractic adjustments can help improve your range of motion, muscle strength, balance and coordination, it’s not a far cry to state that getting chiropractic adjustments could help in the prevention of pain and injuries. And based on my observations and experience as a chiropractor since 1995, I’m not afraid to state that most of my patients who get adjusted regularly, get less recurrences of back pain, neck pain, headaches, and extremity injuries.
I wrote an article recently about how I treat ankles sprains with chiropractic care. The treatment is focussed on how to help patient’s recover more quickly from their acute injury and to help prevent another recurrent sprain. The whole treatment is geared towards restoring brain and nerve function and the related muscle and joint function. I didn’t even get into how you can heal the injury faster with proper supplementation and to help avoid another injury with proper diet and using foot orthotics.
Regular Chiropractic Care to Improve and Sustain Optimal Brain Function
There’s a lot of cool research that has come out in the last ten to fifteen years relating spinal misalignments to impaired brain function. Furthermore, this type of research has expanded showing how chiropractic adjustments can lead to improved brain function. (6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13)
This isn’t surprising as every chiropractic adjustment you receive is affecting your brain and nervous system in some way. This would usually have a positive impact on your body and mind as a whole.
I recently wrote an article about how chiropractic care can clear brain fog. Brain fog is a term given to a group of symptoms involving fatigue, problems focussing, processing information, communicating ideas, and staying alert. Although there are other causes to brain fog, I have seen chiropractic care clear brain fog in many of my patients.
Also, I can’t tell you how many times parents have brought their kids in for chiropractic care (not near enough actually) to see if it helps with their focus and concentration. Invariably it helps the kid calm down and focus better.
Cool case of chiropractic care helping a kid with Apraxia
A parent brings their 9 year-old kid in from out of town to see if I could help her son’s apraxia. Kid’s with apraxia have a tough time with motor skills. This boy could understand what everyone said to him, but he couldn’t respond well by speaking or getting his words down on a piece of paper very well. I found he had upper neck and skull misalignments. So I adjusted him.
They come back the next week and his Mom shows me how his printing and spelling improved after 1 visit. The first picture on the left is his attempt at spelling two to three letter words. His Mom told me it took him 1 hour to do. The second picture on the right is another attempt 24 hours after I adjusted him. His Mom told me it took him 5 minutes to do this. You can even see he got a four letter word correct.
This wouldn’t happen unless the adjustment was improving his brain function.
As well, I see my patient’s muscles get stronger on a consistent basis after adjusting their spines and extremities. This wouldn’t happen unless the adjustments were improving brain function.
I hope I conveyed the importance of getting regular chiropractic check-ups.
When I look at a patient I am most concerned about what they are most concerned about at the time. Initially, they come in with some sort of pain that is interfering with the quality of their life. So they want the pain gone as quickly as possible. I understand this completely and do my best to help them.
However, I also look at that same patient decades from now. What can I do to help the person optimize their health so they enjoy life more and keep enjoying life after retirement. What can I do for the patient to help them so they aren’t wearing diapers or using a walker for their last 20-30 years of their life?
Regular chiropractic care becomes a vital piece of the puzzle to improve your physical and mental performance and to help avoid chronic illness.
When’s the last time you had a spinal and nerve check-up from your chiropractor?