Are you getting back into sport or exercise after taking a break? Worried about how long it takes for you to recover from muscle soreness? Want to bounce back quicker and perform better?
Having a post-activity recovery plan is just as important as perfecting your sporting technique and there is evidence that supports combining chiropractic treatment and remedial massage as part of that plan.
Ideas about how chiropractic may help with sporting performance include looking at nerve compression, neurological reflexes, and endogenous mechanisms of pain relief, among other things1. Massage has been shown to reduce pain and improve function in areas including shoulders, knees and lower back2 – key areas for athletes to look after.
Below, we take a look at a couple of the major benefits of chiropractic and massage in combination.
Improved blood flow
One way that combined chiropractic and massage helps you recover after an intense workout is by improving local blood flow. This is due to a process called capillarisation, which is where blood vessels increase in density due to friction against the skin and increased skin temperature.
This improved blood flow has major benefits including moving oxygen and nutrients around your body more effectively. If you’re recovering from an injury, blood flow can be increased to the site of the damage, speeding up recovery.
It can also help break down scar tissue. Though scar tissue is a normal part of healing and protects an injured body part by keeping it immobile and strengthening surrounding tissue, it can lead to poor structural organisation of tissue and a lack of flexibility. As blood flow improves, scar tissue is broken down more effectively, restoring flexibility to the muscles.3
Muscle and joint recovery
Chiropractic and massage treatment can also improve flexibility of your muscles and range of motion in your joints. This has long term benefits, including optimising athletic performance, preventing the build-up of muscle strain over the long-term and ultimately, making you more resilient to training in the future. All of these things contribute to ensuring you can bounce back quickly and keep performing at your best.
Manual adjustments work towards maintaining or restoring full range of motion in joints, reducing pain and allowing for high motor control and balance.1
Other benefits that may be gained through chiropractic and massage include:
Reduction of muscle inhibition – Multiple studies have found evidence that chiropractic joint manipulations can reduce muscle inhibition. It’s possible this occurs through activating mechanoreceptors and proprioceptors around the impacted joint.1
Muscle strength modulation – Many chiropractic researchers look at the improvement of neurological integrity as one of the main benefits of chiropractic adjustment. This may have a relationship to improving muscle strength and health.1
Reaction time and motor training improvement – Researchers have found that there may be a link between improved reaction time and spinal adjustments, though more research is needed to confirm the benefits.1
So, if you are an athlete looking to recover faster after training, and improve your performance in general, book in with our chiropractors and massage therapists today to see how we can assist you.
1 A Miners., Chiropractic treatment and the enhancement of sport performance: a narrative literature review, J Can Chiropr Assoc, 2010
2 D Bervoets, P Luijsterburg, J Alessie, M Buijs, A Verhagen., Massage therapy has short-term benefits for people with common musculoskeletal disorders compared to no treatment: a systematic review, Journal of Physiotherapy, 2015
3When can massage help?,physio.co.uk, 2022