As the cooler months kick in, so too do winter sports and the inevitable strains and injuries that follow. Whether you're a seasoned athlete, a budding half back or a newly elected goalie, keeping your body in good condition stems far beyond the training fields.
Every aspect of movement, involves the spine, so it makes sense to pay attention to the health of the spinal cord, especially when it's engaged in increased activity.
Chiropractic is used in many professional sporting teams for optimising performance, recovery, and injury prevention. Every NFL team in the US has a team chiropractor, as well as the vast majority of NBA teams.
Dr Tim Shakespeare of Life Rebel Chiropractic, says it's only a matter of time before our professional teams adopt the practice.
"Chiropractic is used in sports to ensure proper bio mechanics of the spine and pelvis are maintained. Just like a pit crew keeps an F1 car in tune, keeping an athlete balanced and level will aid in preventing injury and assist in a speedy recovery," says Dr Tim.
A recent study from world renowned researcher Dr Heidi Haavik, in the European Journal of Applied Physiology showed that a single session of spinal adjustment resulted in an increase in muscle strength and corticospinal excitability to the muscles of the leg, giving increased strength, greater coordination and balance.
"We have looked after everyone from champion bmx racers, to dancers, to junior Jets and Knights players. A thorough look at the individuals' history gives us an idea of the forces involved and previous injuries, we then carry out a myovision scan to assess where the body is trying to correct the issue and detect any compensation patterns."
A neurological examination gives Dr Tim and his team information about if and where the nervous system is affected and causing weakness, with some cases requiring X-rays for further investigation.
Contact sports can place the body under strain or result in injury and injury from collisions on the pitch are common.
"We see hamstring strains caused by pelvic imbalance, headaches from collisions effecting the neck, concussion injuries, and neck injuries especially from heading the ball in soccer.
Ensuring that the spine is functioning well is key.
"A good analogy is the F1 race car; they require a team around them to keep them on the road and functioning at their best. It's the same for athletes, without a support team their playing career will be limited and their performance will suffer.
"Consistency is key; getting into routine during the off-season is invaluable, so when the season starts, you're ready."