Well­ness Arti­cles

Chi­ro­prac­tic Care May Reduce Gym & Fitness-​Related Injuries

brain-body-connectionThurs­day, 22 May 2014, 1:28 pm
Press Release: NZ Col­lege of Chi­ro­prac­tic
22nd May 2014

Chi­ro­prac­tic Care May Reduce Gym and Fitness-​Related Injuries, Say NZ Researchers

The inabil­ity of some peo­ple to prop­erly acti­vate and con­trol their core mus­cles when engag­ing in exer­cise, pre­dis­poses them to lower back injury, and may be reversible with reg­u­lar chi­ro­prac­tic care accord­ing to researchers at the New Zealand Col­lege of Chiropractic.

Accord­ing to Dr Heidi Haavik, Direc­tor of Research at the New Zealand Col­lege of Chi­ro­prac­tic: ‘We know that delayed trunk mus­cle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Research sug­gests that this is partly due to a fail­ure of the brain to pre­dict what is going to hap­pen dur­ing some move­ments, affect­ing what is known as feed-​forward acti­va­tion times of the deep abdom­i­nal mus­cu­la­ture. There is now accu­mu­lat­ing evi­dence that chi­ro­prac­tic care may play a part in improv­ing the abil­ity of the brain to engage the core mus­cles appro­pri­ately and sta­bilise the spine.’

Dr Hay­den Thomas, chi­ro­prac­tor and spokesper­son for the New Zealand Chi­ro­prac­tors’ Asso­ci­a­tion explains: ‘It was exactly a hun­dred years ago that chi­ro­prac­tic arrived in New Zealand and although hun­dreds of thou­sands of patients have ben­e­fited since then, like many other suc­cess­ful modal­i­ties, it has taken time for sci­ence to catch up and demon­strate how it actu­ally works. It now appears thatan inabil­ity of the brain to acti­vate the core mus­cles in time may be the cause of many gym and fitness-​related injuries. It may be due to poor ner­vous sys­tem co-​ordination which you can’t feel until it is too late.’

Accord­ing to Dr Haavik: ‘Chi­ro­prac­tic care improves the com­mu­ni­ca­tion between the brain and body and results in bet­ter con­trol of the core mus­cles dur­ing body move­ments, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. We are also start­ing to see research devel­op­ing which sug­gests that a sin­gle ses­sion of chi­ro­prac­tic care may improved mus­cle acti­va­tion and increase mus­cle con­trac­tions equiv­a­lent to find­ings fol­low­ing three weeks of strength train­ing. This line of research also sug­gests chi­ro­prac­tic care may pos­si­bly reduce mus­cle fatigue devel­op­ing dur­ing strong contractions.’

The grow­ing inter­est in the neu­ro­sci­en­tific appli­ca­tions of chi­ro­prac­tic will be high­lighted at this year’s NZCA Annual Meet­ing in Hamil­ton on 24th May, where the keynote speaker will be Dr John Donofrio, pres­i­dent of the Amer­i­can Chi­ro­prac­tic Asso­ci­a­tion Coun­cil of Neu­rol­ogy. Dr Donofrio will dis­cuss how researchers have objec­tively demon­strated that chi­ro­prac­tic care can change aspects of ner­vous sys­tem func­tion includ­ing the way the brain con­trols mus­cles, responds to sen­sory stim­uli and con­trols limb function.

New Zealand research has already indi­cated that chi­ro­prac­tic care may have a role to play in assist­ing those who dis­play poor pro­pri­o­cep­tive func­tion; the abil­ity of the brain to sense the rel­a­tive posi­tion of the body parts in space, and the abil­ity to move accu­rately and pre­cisely with­out hav­ing to look at what you are doing. With­out accu­rate pro­pri­o­cep­tion you would not be able to drive a car safely as you would need to con­stantly look at what your arms and legs were doing.

As Dr Haavik explains: ‘When pro­pri­o­cep­tive func­tion is impaired, for instance not know­ing pre­cisely where your arm is when your eyes are closed, you are more likely to be clumsy and acci­dent prone. We know that chi­ro­prac­tic care assists brain func­tion in many ways, one of which is pro­pri­o­cep­tive func­tion and this improves the accu­racy of the inter­nal brain map so your brain accu­rately knows what is going on all the times.’

‘We are devel­op­ing a dys­func­tional sen­so­ri­mo­tor inte­gra­tion scale, or I sup­pose you could call it a ‘clum­si­ness scale’. With this, the higher your read­ing on the scale, the more likely you may need to be seen by a chiropractor.’

In a review pub­lished in the Jour­nal of Elec­tromyo­g­ra­phy and Kine­si­ol­ogy in 2012 Dr Haavik and Pro­fes­sor Bernadette Mur­phy from Canada pro­vided an overview of the grow­ing body of research on the effects of spinal manip­u­la­tion or adjust­ments on sen­sory pro­cess­ing, motor out­put, func­tional per­for­mance and sen­so­ri­mo­tor inte­gra­tion. The review looked at stud­ies using somatosen­sory evoked poten­tials, tran­scra­nial mag­netic brain stim­u­la­tion, and elec­tromyo­graphic tech­niques to demon­strate neu­ro­phys­i­o­log­i­cal changes fol­low­ing chi­ro­prac­tic interventions.

For fur­ther infor­ma­tion on the New Zealand Chi­ro­prac­tors’ Asso­ci­a­tion visit www​.chi​ro​prac​tic​.org​.nz.

Ran­dom Article

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