The sport of power lifting is increasing popularity, with gyms installing more squat racks, benches and dead-lifting platforms. But how can Chiropractic help a power lifter?
Powerlifting consists of three lifts; the squat, the deadlift and the bench, however many power lifters will incorporate many more movements into their lifting programs such as shoulder press, front squats and safety bar squats to name a few. Many of these lifts cause compression of the spine especially the lower lumbar spine. This can result in low back pain, particularly lumbar disc injuries.
Chiropractic care can help to unload and decompress your spine, which will insure lifters longevity in the sport. There are many different techniques that chiropractors can use to help power lifters but here are just a few.
Restoring range of motion to the joints where they have become restricted from repetitive lifting will alleviate almost instantaneously some causes of spinal pain as well as dramatically increasing ones ability to lift. Special attention to the sacroiliac joints [SIJs], hips and thoracic spine will see the most impressive results.Improving range of motion at the SIJs and hips helps with the depth of squatting. Freeing up the thoracic spine will enable a more comfortable bar position during squatting, as well as enabling better posture during squatting and dead lifting.
Mobilisation techniques are similar to manipulation techniques in that they improve joint range of motion. Mobilising the hip joints will provide a very beneficial stretch to the joint capsule. When addressing lower back complaints, a lack of hip motion can cause compensatory motion in the lumbar spine which in turn leads to increased shear stress and load to the spinal soft tissues.
3. Active Release Technique
This gold standard of soft tissue treatment is extremely effective for treating muscles, ligaments and nerves throughout the body. There are areas within the body which when treated, will greatly enhance performance of powerlifters in their sport. Treating the latissimus dorsi in combination with the lumbar erector spinae and lumbopelvic fascia will reduce tissue immobility and tightness. It also restores any irregularity in the normal functioning of these structures that can cause imbalances at the lumbopelvic region.
The dreaded tightness that follows tough workout sessions in the gym is a phenomenon powerlifters know all too well. Discomfort experienced when trying to tie shoe laces, bending forward or even moving to sit down on a chair can become very frustrating. This tightness can also be the reason for not returning to the gym sooner. A regular massage can help flush the body of the metabolic by-products of exercise and see you returning to the weight lifting room earlier and with reduced potential for incurring injury.
Individual rehab programs help powerlifts with any mobility or motor control (stability) issues that they have. Getting on top of these dysfunctions will help powerlifters to prevent injury and enhance their performance. See our previous blog post (hyperlink) for rehab exercises that will help with decompress the spine. Competitive powerlifters in particular, should seriously consider receiving regular treatment from a health practitioner. In the same way that your car needs servicing every six months or 10,000kms (whichever occurs sooner), so too does your body. You probably use your body more so than your car so book it in for a tune-up regularly and reap the benefits of preventative therapy that keeps you lifting longer and stronger.
If you have any questions about how chiropractic can help you give the clinic a call on (02) 99226116 or visit our clinic on the Ground Floor Suite 6, 157 Walker Street North Sydney for more information.
*DISCLAIMER: This discussion does not provide medical advice. The information, including but not limited to, text, graphics, images and other material contained in this discussion are for informational purposes only. The purpose of this discussion is to promote broad consumer understanding and knowledge of various health topics. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health care provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition or treatment and before undertaking a new health care regimen, and never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have read in this blog.