Olympians' Spines: Are They in Danger?
By Krista Elliott
So, the Olympics are underway, and everybody is enjoying watching their favorite athletes perform at their best. Whether it's gymnastics, swimming, or shirtless Tongan guys (hey, it raised my heart rate, so it counts as a sport), there will be plenty of amazing displays of athleticism to watch over the next little while.
It can't be denied that Olympic athletes are in top physical condition, at the peak of fitness and strength, and a testament to what the human body can accomplish with enough determination and skill. However, it can't be denied that some of these sports are incredibly punishing to the body, specifically to the joints and spine.
All sports are not created equal, however. Some sports may be grueling and physically demanding, but are relatively kind to the back and joints. Other sports put the athlete's spine and joints through sheer hell, creating the potential for major issues down the road.
So, Whose Backs are at Risk?
One of my favorite sports to watch is gymnastics. It's always amazing to see the pure strength and agility of these athletes as they slap gravity around mercilessly. However, what is also merciless is the results of serious gymnastics training on the back and joints. The twisting, flipping, and landing creates a ton of stress on the spine, especially as many gymnasts are adolescents with still-developing joints. A good friend of mine did competitive gymnastics for years. At the age of 40, she's been told she has the spine of someone decades older.
Tennis is always a great sport to watch. Tennis players exhibit pure power and tenacity as they dash around the court, smashing the ball back to their opponent. Unfortunately, it's a high-impact sport with a lot of bending and twisting, which increases the odds of herniated or bulging disks.
The speed and adrenaline of running competitions is always exciting. However, running (and sports that involve a lot of running, like basketball) definitely poses dangers to your spine, as do any high-impact exercises.
With all of this, it's no wonder that so many professional and Olympic-level athletes rely on chiropractic treatment to offset their sport's damage to their spine and joints. By manipulating the spine into its natural and neutral position, elite athletes reduce the odds of career-damaging injuries and effectively treat any injuries that have occured. Professional chiropractic treatment, like what you get at The Joint Chiropractic, helps the entire structure of the body work in harmony, helping to reduce pain and improving the overall efficiency and performance of the body's muscles and joints.
No matter your level of athleticism, a gold-medal spine can be yours. Contact The Joint Chiiropractic today.