From New Zealand on May 23, 2014, comes the above headline and story in NZDoctor reporting on research conducted at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic. The research shows that failure to control or properly activate one’s core muscles can lead to injury such as spinal injuries. Chiropractic care can help prevent these issues by removing interference to the nervous system from spinal subluxations.
Dr Heidi Haavik, Director of Research at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic, explains, “We know that delayed trunk muscle reflex responses increase the risk of low back injuries. Research suggests that this is partly due to a failure of the brain to predict what is going to happen during some movements, affecting what is known as feed-forward activation times of the deep abdominal musculature. There is now accumulating evidence that chiropractic care may play a part in improving the ability of the brain to engage the core muscles appropriately and stabilize the spine.”
“It was exactly a hundred years ago that chiropractic arrived in New Zealand and although hundreds of thousands of patients have benefited since then, like many other successful modalities, it has taken time for science to catch up and demonstrate how it actually works,” states Dr. Hayden Thomas, chiropractor and spokesperson for the New Zealand Chiropractors’ Association. “It now appears that an inability of the brain to activate the core muscles in time may be the cause of many gym and fitness-related injuries. It may be due to poor nervous system coordination which you can’t feel until it is too late.”
Dr Haavik describes how chiropractic can help with this issue by explaining, “Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury. We are also starting to see research developing which suggests that a single session of chiropractic care may improved muscle activation and increase muscle contractions equivalent to findings following three weeks of strength training. This line of research also suggests chiropractic care may possibly reduce muscle fatigue developing during strong contractions.”
Many athletes use chiropractic care for performance enhancement, and prior studies have shown that athletes under chiropractic care improve their reactions times. This newest study adds another explanation of how athletic performance and injury prevention are improved under chiropractic care.