CrossFit and Chiropractic: Part 3
How often do you think about your spine and the important task that it has? The only time I do is when my back hurts and even then it’s my ‘back’ and not my spine.
Dr. Emily and Dr. Josh at Crystal Lake Family Wellness certainly helped improve my spinal functions. I’m moving, lifting, working and operating better than I ever have.
But how do I keep functioning optimally? Diet plays an integral role, which is something struggle with. Consistent CrossFit, at least 3 to 4 days a week is also key. Let’s be fair, I’d like to come 5 or 6 days a week but I’m a busy lady! Also, Coach Emily and Coach Bodi always say “Movement is medicine!”
It only just occurred to me that regular chiropractic care will ensure the health of my body too. I forget how important spinal function is because it does so much for us. Without our spines, we’d collapse like jello under our skin and our spinal cord, which transmits the information our brains relays, would… Well, we’d be dead to put it bluntly. So we don’t want to take our spines for granted!
After inquiring about optimal function and hindering impediments, Dr. Josh shared some very discerning information about regular chiropractic, prevention and performance.
Can regular chiropractic care prevent injuries?
“Absolutely regular care can help prevent injuries. This is where our office really strives to be different too, in this newer concept called spinal hygiene. Spinal hygiene is how the mechanics and weight distribution of your spine is directly related to how it is aligned. Short term changes in mechanics and weight distribution will determine how our body moves. Longer term this creates good movement patterns and weight distribution, or poor movement patterns with potentially chronic issues such as arthritis, joint degeneration, disc issues, etc.
Our body, being the amazing healing machine that it is, will try and compensate for instability due to subluxations in the spine by making the surrounding musculature tighter. This is done in compensation to provide lost stability. This poor stability pattern creates injury. Muscles that are chronically tight will have a much lower tolerance to trauma. Adjacent spinal joints next to instability, otherwise known as hypermobility, will become hypomobile, or in other words not move well if at all.
For example, we can look at the lumbar spine or cervical spine (low back or neck). These areas should have a natural curvature when viewed from the side in an x-ray. Unfortunately, because of the abnormally high amount of time most people are asked to be in a position of flexion (think sitting, on cellphone/computer/driving/ and even many people’s exercise routines consist of primarily flexion type movements and a deficiency of extension and posterior chain), these areas undergo micro trauma in being frequently bent forward. If our spine is in more flexion, we are less able to stabilize and resist further flexion… imagine trying to resist rounding your back during a deadlift if your back was already rounded. A good example of this type of micro trauma is in the deadlift as well: it is known to not let your back round (or go into flexion) during a deadlift, even though it can often be done without pain. However if you repeat this type of micro trauma, the damage will add up.”
In the end, it was the deadlift that wrenched my back. But I am happy to say with the CrossFit community and the fantastic doctors at Crystal Lake Family Wellness, I am deadlifting with confidence!
(I’d like to thank Dr. Josh for taking the time to answer my questions for this blog session and Dr. Emily for wonderful care. You guys are the best!)