What Baseball and Your Spine Have in Common

By Sara Butler

Chiropractic for Athletes

I’m constantly on the lookout for ways that help people to better understand how their bodies work and how chiropractic can make their lives better. Let’s face it -- chiropractic care isn’t something a lot of people are educated about and it’s something far fewer people understand, so an illustration is a great way to help people get it . You know what I’m talking about -- your central nervous system is like a freeway or preventative care is car maintenance. Yada, yada, yada.

Then the other day I was cruising the internet as I sipped my morning coffee and saw a story about a Massachusetts high school baseball team that won a game 82-0. Eureka! Baseball. It’s a game many people understand, right? And while, as a woman, I’m far more interested in the fit of Javier Baez’s uniform and his magical stare (seriously, have you seen it?) than stats and scores, I can understand how the game is played and what equipment is needed.

Baseball is a sentimental thing -- you probably have many baseball memories from your formative years. The spine is not sentimental but no less important to your success in baseball and beyond. When you think about it, baseball is kind of a perfect analogy for spinal health and life too!

It’s Never Too Late

Baseball season is long. And it’s evident that what happens at the start of baseball season has little influence on the outcome. Over the course of 162 games, a lot can happen. Teams can struggle at the start and come out on top at the end. As a lifelong Cubs fan, I know this to be fact. Baseball history is full of jaw-dropping comebacks and chokes. I’m talking to you, Cleveland.

Your spinal health has a long life too. Just because you may have neglected it at some points in time doesn’t mean you should count it out. It’s never too late to turn things around and adopt healthy habits to support a healthy spine, like going to the chiropractor.

Even the Best Stumble

Have you ever tried to hit a baseball? It’s not easy. Even the best players in the league have a batting average of around .300, which means they only hit safely three out of every 10 times at bat. Nobody hits safely four times. Even the guys at the top of their game accept that they’re going to fail -- a lot. And they just keep on playing.

If you’re struggling to keep up with an aspect of your health, exercise, or chiropractic maintenance care, you’re not batting a thousand. In fact, no one is. But that doesn’t mean you don’t keep moving forward and do your best! The overall goal is good health and continued wellness. The chiropractors at The Joint are here to help you that no matter how many times you’ve tried it before.

Caring for Your Glove

A glove is pretty important to a baseball player. I’m sure Bryce Harper lives and dies by the idea that if he takes care of his glove, it’ll take care of him. Of course, I’m sure he has throngs of fans who are willing to help him care for his *ahem* glove.

I have a friend, let’s call him Martin. He doesn’t share his glove with his teammates. He oils it every winter to ensure it doesn’t dry out. He doesn’t toss it carelessly to the bench after each inning, but makes sure to gently hang it up or lay it down. He doesn’t wipe off a base or the pitcher’s mound with his glove, and only gets it dirty if he must tag a sliding runner. Some would call Martin uptight, but I call him smart and a great example of how one should care for his or her spine. You take care of your spine and it’ll take care of you. In fact, your movements, your habits, and your lifestyle choices should reflect care and attention to your spine. Work to keep your spine flexible and free from joint restriction and dysfunction with regular chiropractic adjustments and you will see the difference in your own performance. You wouldn’t ignore your glove and keep it in the lean-to out back where it’s needlessly exposed to the weather, so don’t do it to your spine either. Here’s a bit of managerial advice that’s so good it may as well have come from Joe Torre: you can’t get a new spine by heading down to the sporting goods store, so take care of it; you only get one at the start of the season, and it’s got to last you until the final game is played.

You’re Part of a Team

In baseball, there’s a place for everyone’s strength and weaknesses. A player might play first base because he can’t throw very well but can catch like a rock star. Others might be outfielders because they are fast and have strong arms, or they can hit the ball a mile. A baseball team works together to figure out what their players’ individual roles are and how they can put it all together to find team success.

You and your chiropractor at The Joint are a team. Your common goal is increased health and wellness for the spine and all your connected body parts! In fact, your chiropractor creates a game plan (also known as a treatment plan) that highlights your strengths and weaknesses, using them to help you be at your best. It’s a winning combination that can lead to a happier and healthier life.

Now, I’m going to continue daydreaming about Javier Baez and Kris Bryant helping me with my swing -- you just make sure to care for that spine and get to the chiropractor!

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