The Core and the Cricketer
It is a great pleasure and privilege working as a Chiropractor with people of all ages. One particular passion of mine is sport and I really enjoy working with people who are also passionate about their sport. It is such a great way to express our bodies potential, not to mention the minds. This summer we once again are the proud sponsors for the Men’s Parnell Premier Cricket team and for the first time the Women’s Premier Team.
In our care of these teams we do this on performance basis not just an injury treatment basis. What this means is the players are seen regularly each week through the season to have their spine and nervous system assessed. Our objective is to ensure their brains are communicating effectively to their bodies by an efficient nervous system. If there is any interference at the spinal level, the brains messages are distorted as it tries to get its communication from brain to body and the body back to the brain. A common yet serious and usually asymptomatic problem occurs called a Vertebral Subluxation that jeopardises this signalling pathway. In chiropractic we use a technique called an Adjustment to correct this.
Three ways in particular how Chiropractic care helps our cricketers perform have been validated through published Research.
- Switching on of the core muscles prevent low back and extremity injuries.
- Joint position sense ( knowing where your limbs are)
- Muscle fatigue
Muscles deep in the abdomen are part of your core stabilising system, and they need to be ‘turned on’ before you lift your arms, so that you remain stable. This should happen very fast and without your conscious awareness.
This is called ‘feed-forward’ activation, because it is pre-planned by the central nervous system. It ensures that movement of the body is balanced, so that no injury takes place.
The researchers found that in a group of 90 healthy students who were Cricketers, 17 of them could not pre-activate their abdominal muscles before they moved their arms. That meant they were more prone to injury. Six months later, the researchers tested 13 of the affected students again, and found that they still couldn’t do it.
So what was going on with these students? To find out, they were given chiropractic assessments, and it was discovered that they all had tightness and restriction of joints in their pelvis. They were subluxated.
And guess what? After Chiropractic adjustments’, there was an almost 40% improvement in their ability to pre-activate their core abdominal muscles. That’s pretty phenomenal!
This study is really important because it has big implications. These students had no existing pain at all. But scientists think that poor control of the core muscles may be the cause of people developing pain or sustaining an injury in the future.
We know that people who have low back pain have delayed activation of their core abdominal muscles when performing various movements. (Just think how one sided bowling is and batting too for that matter). We also know that their brains are much less aware of what is going on in their lower backs.
This means that their brains are not receiving or processing accurate information from the small muscles close to their spine, so their brains have to guess what is going on, and therefore may not be controlling the lower back in an ideal way, which can damage the back further.
This is why chiropractic care is important. It can restore proper communication between your brain and your body, so your brain knows accurately what is going on, and can control your whole body in the best way possible.
This is just one reason why we check the teams regularly through the season and not just wait for injuries to occur like the ambulance at the bottom of the cliff. It is hard to be a great cricketer when you are not on the park!
Call the practice today if you would like to be assessed to get the most out of your season and your kids season.
Dr Simon Kelly
Mt Eden Chiropractic