Athletes and Proactive Healthcare
Western medicine teaches us to react to our health issues. Have pain in our abdomen and difficulty digesting fatty foods? Time to get the gallbladder removed. Numbness in the leg? Better stretch some muscles. Cancer? Chemo, radiation, and removal of cancerous tissue is in your future.
Yet some are beginning to recognize the obvious benefits of being proactive, that healthcare doesn’t mean how good someone is at surgeries or finding the right prescription drug. Healthcare means going longer and longer without pain and without health concerns.
Athletes, those who are successful at least, are incredibly aware of their bodies. They know when they’re having difficulty performing their best. Athletes Jerry Rice, Evander Holyfield, Tiger Woods, and Lance Armstrong have all used chiropractic care and technology to up their performance. Jamaican Olympian Usain Bolt, the fastest man in the world, is even a patient of Chiropractic Activator Technique (a primary technique of MG Chiropractic). But why?
Like the rest of the body, muscles work best when working in symmetry. What does this mean? Muscles are designed to move joints. To do this, they are anchored into one bone while connecting to another. When the muscle contracts, the muscle shortens and the joint closes. Picture a bicep flexing: To get the muscle to extend the most, the elbow must be in flexion.
Problems occur when the anchor and connection point move, and more energy is required to contract the muscle. If muscle weakness were not bad enough, now the joint will probably begin to hurt due to not being in the right place. With pain comes inflammation, and with inflammation comes arthritis. Athletes see chiropractors to keep themselves moving as best as possible and for as long as possible.
What we as chiropractors do for our athletic patients is to make sure that their entire body is in the correct anatomical position. Imagine building a house—your skeleton is the foundation, and your muscles are the interior design. If your house is slanted to one side, it won’t matter how many high-end products you put in it, your house will still be slanted, and you’ll be forced to begin replacing internal products more and more as time goes on. With a strong foundation, you can design the interior however you want and rarely look back.
The point is to fix issues before they become problems, to be as proactive as possible so that we can avoid costly and invasive procedures. Health is a way of thinking and living. Learn from proactive athletes. We only get one body.