Chiropractic & Rugby
The Rugby World Cup has kicked off and is in full swing. The most prestigious event within the sport is taking place in Asia for the first time ever. More specifically, Japan.
The sport is known to be of high impact and injuries are common. The most important thing for beginners, amateur’s and even professionals is to prevent injury. The main way to reduce injury is to get regularly checked for spinal dysfunction. The body is a self-healing, self-regulating organism but in order for this to work effectively the body needs to be properly aligned. The nervous system controls everything and interference to the system can cause dis-ease and therefore cause pain, weakness, tightness and spasms.
Interference in the nervous system is caused by stress. Stress can be divided into three main areas, mental, physical and chemical stresses. Being a high impact sport there are many physical stressors being put onto the spine, particularly by the forwards in the scrum. The shear axial compressive force onto the spine within the scrum can have a major effect in function for a rugby player. Having the wrong posture within the scrum can overload weaker areas and pinpoint the stress to an area. Stress onto the spine interferes with nerve transmission and therefore can reduce the muscle performance of a player. To visualise this more effectively think about a hosepipe and what would happen if it were to be compressed or kinked. There would be a reduction of water leaving the hosepipe and therefore your garden would not get the much-needed water to thrive. Sufficient nerve transmission allows for the central nervous system to aid in efficient injury recovery. The reason behind this is to allow the body to communicate with itself. Injury to an area will need the necessary cells and chemicals to help with healing and sufficient nerve transmission will make sure this happens effectively.
Chemical stressors will include nutrition and if one were to play rugby the right nutrition will support the body and reduce the stress onto the spine. It is important to stay hydrated on and off the pitch and also make healthy food choices, helping in repair and recovery after big matches.
Mind-set is important in sport and not having the correct mind-set can cause injury. To prevent injury you will need to tackle effectively and this can stem down to the correct mind-set. Going in for a half-hearted tackle can cause greater injury, as your body is not prepared for impact. The muscles are not contracting and therefore can allow the ligaments and tendons to be over stretched leading to pain and dysfunction.
Chiropractors don’t just assess the spine they also examine and analyse the whole body. For example misalignment of the foot and ankle will have an effect on the knee, which can then have an effect on the hip. More loading onto a misaligned joint can cause inflammation to a tendon also known as tendinitis. Tendinitis is one of many conditions that chiropractors can treat. The main focus is on prevention of injury and with regular checks by a chiropractor pain and dysfunction can be reduced.