What’s chiropractic got to do with riding a bike or running fast? | Care For Health | Godalming Chiropractor | Chiropractic & Physiotherapy
Care for Health Logo
l o a d i n g
FREE Phone Consultation

What’s chiropractic got to do with riding a bike or running fast?

July 4th 2024

As the Olympic Games draw near alongside the Tour de France, which has
already started as you read this, athletes worldwide are gearing up to compete
at the highest level. The Olympics represent the pinnacle of athletic
achievement, where every competitor seeks to perform at their best. While the
Tour makes athletes find another level of determination and skill. Behind these
extraordinary performances is a robust support system that includes a range of
medical professionals, among them chiropractors. Chiropractic care is not just a
luxury but a necessity for many athletes, offering numerous benefits that can
enhance performance and reduce injury risk.

Join me, as we uncover the science behind chiropractic care and its impact on
athletic performance, supported by studies and testimonials from Olympic
legends. Whether you’re an aspiring Olympian or a weekend warrior,
understanding the benefits of chiropractic care can help you reach your full
potential and maintain optimal health. Read on to discover how chiropractic care
can make a difference.

Let’s start with what we know already about chiropractic care and discuss some
of the many benefits being under chiropractic care can offer, not only for me and
you but athletes too.

– Improved alignment and balance: chiropractic adjustments help maintain
proper alignment of the spine and joints. This alignment ensures that the
body’s nervous system operates efficiently, reducing the risk of injuries
caused by imbalances or compensatory movements.
– Enhanced flexibility and range of motion: regular chiropractic care can
improve flexibility and joint range of motion. Flexible joints and muscles
are less prone to strains and sprains. Muscle relaxation: adjustments can
help relax tight muscles, reducing the likelihood of muscle strains and
imbalances that often lead to injuries.
– Increased rate of healing: proper spinal alignment improves the
communication between the nervous system and the rest of the body,
which can speed up the healing process and reduce recovery time.

At the last Olympic games in Tokyo 9% of the 11,300+ athletes competing
incurred at least one injury, so what’s in place for Paris 2024?  Well onsite in the
so called “polyclinic” are 2 MRI’s, an x-ray table and onsite ultrasound, all open
24/7 with specialized consultants and sports medicine experts, just to take care
of the 10,500 athletes! These services will also be used by over 45,000 staff
and volunteers with  some more specialist equipment dedicated for the
400 horses involved.

The chiropractors in Paris, potentially over 100, will be working alongside all
these medical professions as well as physios and massage therapists to build a

comprehensive approach to the care of the athlete. They will be providing
treatment when needed but also supporting the athlete’s performance.

A study published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine found that chiropractic
interventions significantly improved the flexibility and balance of athletes,
leading to better performance and reduced injury rates. Another research article
in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics reported that
athletes receiving regular chiropractic care experienced fewer injuries and
shorter recovery times compared to those who did not receive such care. There’s
a good reason why athletes all understand the performance-enhancing benefits
of chiropractic care.

“If I could put a percentage value on it, I think I compete eight to ten percent
better from regular chiropractic care. I think that is how much of a benefit it is, if
not more. If it wasn’t for chiropractic, I wouldn’t have won the gold medal. Every
track & field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or
another. It’s absolutely essential. Chiropractic care is one of the things I think
that no one can deny or refute. You obviously can’t compete at your fullest if
you’re not in alignment.” Dan O’Brien an Olympic gold medalist and multi time
Decathlete Champion.

Other Olympic legends such as Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps have credited their
chiropractors with being integral to their performance and recovery. Usain spoke
about how his scoliosis has impacted him from being a younger athlete to more
recently, saying “ When I was younger, the scoliosis wasn’t really a problem. But
you grow and it gets worse it really hampered me because I got injured every
year” instead of using a brace or surgery he sought out chiropractic care “As long
as I’m in great shape, nobody beats me, for sure”.

The tour de France is a spectacle unlike any other. A three-week trip across
France, over rolling hills, flat wide roads and goat trails into the mountains. The
Tour offers stunning views of one chateau after another and a host of lovely
villages with imposing cathedrals. But besides the picturesque villages and idyllic
roads, the tour also requires extreme effort from the riders.

A large part of the chiropractor’s job in elite sports is to prevent complaints and
injuries. In cycling, for example, the back gets a lot of abuse. Bent posture and
blows from bouncing the bike can cause subluxations. These subluxations can
then begin to cause a variety of symptoms, some more acute issues while others
can create chronic  issues throughout the entire body. Kevin Reichlin, a
chiropractor who spent 11 years working on the Tour de France describes the
grind of the Tour as intense, spanning 21 stages over three weeks (e.g. 21 days
of racing). The job demanded resilience and flexibility, requiring him to adapt to
the mobile nature of the race, transitioning through numerous hotels – often a
new hotel every night – while maintaining a high level of care for the team.

Therefore, not only is it important to properly remedy these subluxations,
preventing these injuries is also vital. The chiropractor is alert to this, so he
identifies possible subluxations before they start causing symptoms. By then
providing specific care for this in advance, the athlete avoids a lot of pain,
complaints and injuries.

In conclusion, chiropractic treatments offer a comprehensive approach to
supporting athletes by preventing injuries, aiding in faster recovery, and
enhancing overall performance. These benefits are achieved through improved
alignment, better nervous system function, enhanced flexibility, and effective
pain management techniques.
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or weekend warrior, study after study shows
that regular chiropractic care is an essential part of reaching your full potential
as a human. Ready to perform at your peak? Come and chat with us at Care for