The popularity of CrossFit has dramatically increased the number of casual athletes we see on a daily basis.
Many of these individuals are looking to not only stay pain and injury free but to increase their level of performance.
While chiropractic is considered a safe and effective care option for improving musculoskeletal conditions, this is the first study (1) to look at its application as a performance enhancer in athletes.
Researchers in this study found that spinal manipulation provided the subjects with an increased maximum voluntary contraction for 30 minutes and an elevation of corticospinal excitability for at least 60 minutes. This means that the subjects could contract their muscles harder and faster after the application of spinal manipulation.
While a single manipulation is unlikely to create a champion powerlifter, this exciting study indicates that athletes adding a chiropractor to their care team may receive benefits beyond natural pain relief.
For those of you who want to understand the science behind the findings of this paper:
“Improvement of neural adaptations, such as the H-reflex and the V-wave, contributes to enhanced motor performance. The main finding in this study was that maximum plantar flexion force and corticospinal excitability to the plantar flexors (calf muscles) increased following spinal manipulation but not in the control group. The increased V-wave amplitudes observed in the current study possibly reflect an increased cortical drive in the cortico-spinal pathways and corresponding increased excitability of the motoneuron following spinal manipulation.”
(1) The effects of a single session of spinal manipulation on strength and cortical drive in athletes. European Journal of Applied Physiology. January 2018