Athletes avoid injury and optimize by following these three points. My name is Dr. Isaac with Lifetime Wellness and Chiropractic here in Denver, and I’ve been injured playing basketball, soccer, and skiing, I’ve definitely been injured playing multiple sports and I found out I actually had a structural imbalance in my body that was contributing to some of my repetitive injuries.
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So there are three points I need to cover. The first is structural balance. The second is your nervous system as it controls everything in your body. Then the third one is body work.
Point #1 Structural Balance:
Now most people think of balance as being able to stand on one foot. How long can you do that? Do you have to put your other foot down? And that’s important, but that’s not the structural imbalance I’m talking about. However, if you were to stand on your left leg and close your eyes, you should be able to do that for around 13 seconds without your eyes opening or having to catch yourself. If you can’t do that on either leg there is a disconnect between your body and your brain through the nervous system.
But structural balance for example your hips can be uneven. That will create uneven wear and tear on your body. Potentially, for some people it could be causing chronic hip/knee pain, hamstring strains, quad strains, calf issues, or plantar fasciitis. When you’re structurally out of balance, you can find out. Here’s one way to do it if your hips are out of balance. What you do is find two scales and you stand with one foot on each scale with your feet turned out a little bit so you don’t cover the numbers. Have somebody else look at the numbers, don’t look down! If the numbers are not within 2-3 pounds, you definitely have a structural imbalance, most likely stemming from your hips being out of alignment which can be caused by an irritated nerve in your low back. This can cause the muscles in your low back to get tighter on one side, this is very common to see. This is what I had and contributed to different injuries for me.
The second big structural balance issue occurs in the side profile. If you were walking around with your head out in front of your shoulders, what’s going to happen is it’s putting a ton of stress and strain on your neck, shoulder, low back, but also your hamstrings and your calves are gonna be tight too. So if you are noticing that you always have tight hamstrings, tight quads, tight calves, then that is gonna be a big challenge for you if your head is way out in front of your shoulders. Because it is creating constant stress on your body. But that’s going to contribute to chronic hamstring strains or injuries. So this is the second structural balance issue that you need to be aware of so you can make sure to get these evaluated. Too many people have these nowadays due to being on devices and computers. Whether you’re reading, working on the computer, or being on your devices, these stresses impact your body more than you know.
Point #2 Nervous System:
The second point is having your nervous system checked and evaluated. I wanna show you an example of somebody’s progression. This is one way we evaluate somebody’s nervous system. This would be their initial assessment, second, third, and fourth. We can definitely see that there’s progress being made in their nervous system. There’s better connection between the brain and the body, which impacts your reaction time, which also helps decrease repetitive stress and strain injuries, and helps your body better coordinate itself.
So if you’re in some sort of activity or sport that reaction time is important and staying healthy, staying in the game is important to you and your team. It Is critical to make sure [00:04:00] your nervous system is being evaluated and checked and then optimized when needed. Okay.
The third point that I want to go over is definitely body work. Body work is super important, especially when you’re doing a lot of repetitive movements and training to prepare for your activity. Whether it’s running or some other competitive sport. So the repetitive movements definitely put that stress on your body. So you need to have maybe an athletic trainer somebody that can help you get stronger or evaluate maybe, compensations in muscle groups. The other practitioners you might want to consider would be like massage therapist to help with getting lactic acid out or helping the muscles recover after certain kind of use or an injury with a strain or sprain. Also a chiropractor would be very helpful because they are helping to manage the nervous system and keeping that stress at a minimum so your musculoskeletal system can [00:05:00] be optimized in working the best of its ability, so definitely body work is a huge component as well.
Again, the three different areas in summary that you wanna make sure you’re addressing to avoid injury and to optimize your body for best performance are making sure you have your structural alignments checked and managed, if that is something that’s an issue for you. Second is evaluating your nervous system to make sure that’s optimized as well. And then third is getting that body work done.
Hope that’s been helpful.
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