Chiropractic and the Child Athlete
As a pediatric chiropractor, we get a lot of questions from parents about why a child might need to see a chiropractor. When talking to the parents of athletes, our answer is really quite simple. Athletes under chiropractic care perform better than those who do not. That is why every professional and competitive athlete has a chiropractor on their team. WHY does an athlete under chiropractic care perform better? Read below to find out!
Chiropractic care is based in the philosophy that the central nervous system is the master control system of the body. When the central nervous system is free of interference, our bodies should function at their optimum potential. When it comes to being a competitive athlete, having your body functioning at a higher level can be that edge that sets you apart from the competition! The central nervous system is broken up into 3 parts: the sensory nervous system, the autonomic nervous system and the motor nervous system. The sensory nervous system is what people are most familiar with. This part of our nervous system is responsible for feeling pain, temperature changes, interpreting sight and smell, etc…However, did you know that the sensory nervous system only accounts for 10% of our nervous system?! The autonomic nervous system is responsible for all of our organs, blood vessels, glands and hormones. An easy way to remember is that your autonomic nervous system is responsible for everything your body does automatically! Isn’t it incredible that our bodies can function in the most complex way without our brains having to consciously think about it? The autonomic nervous system is responsible for 45% of your central nervous system.
Lastly, the motor nervous system is responsible for all of our muscles and movement. When our bodies want to do an activity (like a back handspring!) our motor nervous system and our brain need to have a strong communication about which muscles need to fire for power, stability, etc… Our motor nervous system also allows our brains to learn muscle memory with repetition. When our brain and our body have clear communication, it can create strong muscle memory which allows a competitive athlete to focus on the details that will win competitions!
So how does chiropractic work with the nervous system? Well, when our body experiences stress (physical, chemical and emotional), it causes a “subluxation”. A subluxation is our fancy doctor word for a misalignment in the spine causing neurological interference. When we have a subluxation, it decreases the function of whatever that nerve is responsible for. The nerve could go to our heart, our lungs, our digestive system, our shoulder muscles, our leg muscles, etc… Research shows that we can have up to a 25% decrease in function before we even experience a symptom! I don’t know about you, but as a competitive athlete, I don’t want to be functioning at 75% if my competition is functioning at 90%! As an athlete, your body undertakes a lot of physical stress! This can occur with falls from trying to perfect a new move or repetitive stress from years of free throws, pitches and cartwheels! This repetitive stress can cause subluxations in the spine leading to a decrease in function. A decrease in function can lead to symptoms such as pain/discomfort in the musculoskeletal system, slow muscle reactivity, longer recovery times, weaker immune systems as well as other conditions such as asthma, allergies, digestive troubles and more!
What separates our office from others is that we have advanced technology that can actually measure how your nervous system is functioning outside of the realm of symptoms. As I mentioned, our bodies can experience up to a 25% decrease in function before a symptom even arises! What that means is we can not simply rely on how we are ‘feeling’ to judge our health, but rather how we are ‘functioning.’ Our technology allows us to evaluate your nervous system for dys-function and come up with a plan to ensure that your child is competing at 100%!
Call our office today for a complimentary consultation to see if our office is a good fit for your family! (303)777-0828
Pearl Street Chiropractic is located in the heart of Wash Park and serves families from all over the Denver Metro Area. Both Drs. Micaela and Brack have undergone extensive post-graduate studies in pediatric care. Pediatric adjustments are gentle and specific and children feel at ease in our fun, family-friendly environment!