A vast majority of professional bodybuilders are now going to see chiropractors on a regular basis. The trend is rather understandable, especially once you observe the many benefits that come along with it. While consistent chiropractic care is advantageous for the casual person, it’s almost mandatory for those who engage in rigorous workout routines.
Bodybuilding is not an easy sport. Not only does it take years of hard work and determination but it also takes a lot of strength and endurance. A bodybuilder’s musculoskeletal system gets put through a lot throughout the process, often causing injuries that could have otherwise been avoided.
The Most Common Bodybuilding Injuries
No self-respecting bodybuilder wants to stop what they’re doing to nurse an injury, especially if it could have been prevented with easy, pain-free chiropractic care. However, since the physical demands of bodybuilding are excessive by nature, competitors get hurt quite a bit. In fact, injuries related to over-worked muscle groups, bones and tendons are most common.
The resulting bodybuilding-related injuries typically include (but aren’t always limited to):
- Herniated discs
- Back pain
- Pinched nerves
- Muscle strains and sprains
- Joint pains, usually in the:
- Rotator cuffs
- Pulled or torn hamstrings
Unfortunately, many bodybuilders simply mask the pain from their injuries with over-the-counter or prescription medications in an attempt to continue training without interruption. Although that habit may temporarily suffice for some, ignoring an injury only makes it worse. For example, did you know that some of the symptoms of sports-related injuries can be delayed?
As such, it’s important to listen to your body, know your limits and see a chiropractor regularly for routine musculoskeletal adjustments and/or massage. Physical trainers and chiropractors also suggest using a rest-pause workout routine to help increase weight loss, maximize strength gain and minimize injury. According to those same experts, there are at least 5 signs to watch out for which indicate that you might have either been overtraining or nursing a clandestine injury:
- You begin getting sick more easily (or recover from existing sickness more slowly).
- You start experiencing inexplicable and/or chronic pains in various parts of your body.
- You get fatigued more quickly than usual.
- Your appetite isn’t quite the same.
- Your body’s normal range of motion or flexibility is significantly reduced.
Since spinal health is a key component to athletic success, misalignments and malfunctions therein can severely compromise an athlete’s physical abilities. As a result, the team at Chiropractor Anchorage reports that a significant percentage of their patronage is comprised of determined bodybuilders who either need help with an injury or seek regular chiropractic care to enhance their performance.
The Top 3 Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Bodybuilders
The condition of anyone’s spine determines their body’s form and function. Proper movements, muscle contractions and nerve signals require a central nervous system that is free of impediments. Without a healthy spine, the nervous system cannot and will not work as intended, leaving you even more susceptible to illness and injury.
Therefore, it could be said that a person’s nervous system and spinal health are both determining factors in the quality of one’s life and athletic performance. All too often, chiropractors hear stories from competitors who knew something was wrong but ignored it. The results are, unfortunately, even more stories – only this time they’re about regret.
So, while the bodybuilding circle is abuzz with news about the latest and greatest “get big” scheme, legendary performers and long-time competitors are humming about the big-time benefits of regular chiropractic care. The following 3 are the most talked about:
- Athletes Are Able to Train Smarter, Not Harder
When there is a misalignment, malfunction, impediment or injury to your spine or any part of your musculoskeletal system, nothing on your body will work right. Although many people believe chiropractors are simply trained to alleviate back pain, the fact of the matter is this: well-trained chiropractors are spine and nervous system experts. Able to restore joint and nerve function without prescription or over-the-counter medicines, routine and customized chiropractic care leads to improved training sessions and better results.
Just as training only one side of the body results in an imbalance, the same can be said about the spine. Misalignments in the spine or joints can cause body imbalances as well, regardless of the volume of muscle mass supporting it. That disparity could force you to work out harder for no reason or worse, sustain an injury that didn’t even have to happen.
DID YOU KNOW: Every single team in the NFL uses a chiropractor and about 30% of them have one on staff. Professional football players, albeit not usually bodybuilders, often utilize the same types of muscle-building and strength training workouts. As such, their use of chiropractic is a good indication of its effectiveness (and safety).
- Athletes Can Avoid Getting Hurt
Weightlifting puts a lot of strain on the muscles and bones in your body. Especially when you’re trying to reach a new fitness goal, engaging in extra-rigorous workouts is typical. When the smoke clears, you may have a better body but you might also have some hidden injuries that will only get worse over time.
Chiropractic care helps your body cope with the pressures of working out and can promote healing among all muscle groups if any injuries do exist. Furthermore, a chiropractor can ensure proper spinal alignment at all times, thereby reducing your risk of getting hurt even while doing extremely challenging maneuvers. One especially well-respected chiropractor in Anchorage, Alaska analyzes his patients’ unique posture and form to customize a maintenance and treatment approach that enhances the effects of exercise and reduces training and performance injuries.
- Athletes Enjoy a Boost to Their Performance
Seeing a chiropractor regularly helps boost your performance in competitions as well. This is primarily due to chiropractors being able to note any important changes in your body. In addition, a well-trained chiropractor can find subtle sources of discomfort and pain, even the ones you may have been ignoring or treating with anti-inflammatory medications.
Chiropractic care involves a wide variety of techniques, from subluxations and alignments to targeted massage and rehabilitative therapies. Each method is carefully tailored to the individual with a consideration of their habits and lifestyle, plus the patient’s treatment plan is always aimed at drug-free pain relief. For bodybuilders especially, having a body mechanics expert on speed-dial is essential.
BONUS: Experienced chiropractors can also offer tailored nutritional advice for a variety of needs – performance enhancement, injury healing, muscle building, you name it.
When Do Bodybuilders Need a Chiropractor?
The global all-star and world-renowned basketball champion, Michael Jordan, once said, “Since I’ve been in chiropractic care, I’ve improved [my performance] by leaps and bounds.” As a well-respect athlete who’s familiar with pushing his body to the limits, Jordan’s candid endorsement of routine chiropractic care speaks volumes.
Medical professionals typically recommend occasional chiropractic care for every able-bodied person once in a while for routine musculoskeletal checkups. This is especially true if that person exercises a lot or is still growing. But aside from the suggested regularly scheduled appointments that everybody should be making with their chiropractor, bodybuilders need to step it up a notch in order to compete with any real confidence.
Make an appointment at least once per month for optimal training results and more efficient body maintenance. As always, see a chiropractor first before taking medicine or ignoring any possible injuries, especially if you experience any of the following:
- Swollen or painful joints
- Decreased range of motion
- General weakness
- Tenderness to the touch
For complete transparency, good chiropractors will admit that sometimes their procedures won’t help as much as simple rest and anti-inflammatory medication. While chiropractic is an ideal addition to any bodybuilder’s self-care routine, some injuries require more medical attention than a chiropractor can provide. Fortunately, well-connected chiropractors can refer athletes to other professionals who are equipped to help with their needs.
Successful bodybuilding requires rigorous attention to detail and close monitoring of body functions at all times. That vital heightened awareness calls for scheduled chiropractic treatments and professionally-lead nutritional support. Today’s chiropractor is trained to provide all that.
Regardless of your hobbies, lifestyle or profession, regular musculoskeletal maintenance is extremely useful. While they can’t always relieve every pain or prevent every injury, chiropractors can help stop the small problems before they get bigger. On top of that, their drug-free methods and customized advice can enhance your competitive edge if you use it to your advantage.
Furthermore, the results of routine adjustments and massage are endorsed by famous celebrities whose careers rely on trustworthy physical care. Even the famous Arnold Schwarzenegger had something to say on the subject, commenting, “Bodybuilders…have been using chiropractic very extensively. I found it was better to go to a chiropractor before you got injured.” So, even if a chiropractor can’t solve all your problems, he or she can certain help you avoid many of them in the first place.
Chiropractic care is proven to be an essential part of a naturally enhanced bodybuilding performance. It’s a drug-free injury support and prevention regimen and it’s endorsed by well-respected athletes.