Chiropractic care is going to put you in a good position to go skiing, snowboarding, cross country skiing, or to participate in any other arduous winter sport and it will help reduce the chance of injury.
A prerequisite for any healthy joint is full range of motion. Secondly, we want balanced muscle strength to allow that joint to move with freedom and stability. So, if all we are doing is sitting for 50 hours a week, we will have hips that are locked up, a weak core and glutes that aren’t engaging due to the inactivity. If we then go skiing for eight hours a day for four days, and the joints are not moving well and the muscles are not engaging well, that’s going to create increased stress and tension within the joint and the tissue, and that’s going to increase our chance for injury, pain, and dysfunction.
Chiropractic care can evaluate joints for range of motion and then objectively measure the decrease in range of motion. This can be done through a JTAC analysis or just the visual analysis, but obviously measuring where we reduce. From there you can design a plan to improve the range of motion. So that should be a combination of spinal adjustments, soft tissue therapy of the joint, possibly some traction to the joint and to the spine, and then obviously supplementing that with some good mobility work.
By going through that regimen, we should be able to see improvement in how the joint moves and how it moves with freedom and stability. By doing that you can restore range of motion. If you’ve got full range of motion and balanced muscle strength, then your chance for pain and dysfunction is greatly reduced compared to someone who’s not moving well with poor tissue health and with poor biomechanics, that’s going to increase your chance for pain and injury.
If you’ve got a big ski trip coming up and you’re concerned about your alignment or poor joint function or some compensating patterns, then get an adjustment. Chiropractic adjustments are a great way to improve joint mobility. A joint that is fixed and not moving well is going to increase stress and tension within the joint, the tissue, and the nerve. This will increase the chance for compensation and injury.
Chiropractic care should be delivering adjustments that remove subluxations and improve range of motion. Supplement that with some good soft tissue therapy to break down adhesion and improve tissue health to allow the joint to move with freedom and stability. Chiropractors can then provide a detailed analysis or an orthopedic exam of the muscles that you’re going to be using. So those deep neck flexors, muscles between your shoulder blades, the pelvic floor muscles, the glutes, the hamstring muscles. They can check the posterior chain function at the back of your body and all the muscles that are in the back of the body that keep you upright and stable through movement to see if there is any dysfunction there. If there is, we can clean it out with adjustments, soft tissue therapy and then some physical therapy.
So, by going to see a chiropractor, even though you may feel good, it’s just a great way to get validation on are you in alignment? Are those joints moving well? Is the tissue healthy, is that going to allow the joint to move well with freedom, stability? Are the muscles that we’re going to be using in this activity engaging so we’re not creating compensatory patterns? If all the above are not present, then obviously there’s a very good chance you could get injured and create that compensatory pattern. The more we compensate, the increased chance we have of pain and dysfunction within the joint and the spine.
A chiropractor should go through the orthopedic test, go through the functional exam, figure out where the weakness and imbalances are, and then from there prescribe physical therapy, and an exercise regimen to address those imbalances and those weaknesses. Then we will have a joint that is moving well with healthy muscle tissue that’s stabilizing the joint through movement and then we’re engaging the muscles that are essentially going to be moving. So, we have strength within the movement and that’s essentially how we’re going to move well, feel good and function good when we’re doing all these awesome winter sports.