If you have spent any length of time lifting weights or if you listen to other bodybuilders in the gym talk about their weightlifting journey, then you have probably experienced injuries yourself or at least heard a few horror stories about injuries from others.
Stories involving bodybuilding injuries usually begin something like:
I was doing X when I felt a little twinge. I just ignored it but later….
- Do you ignore small aches and pains?
- Do you feel that you are expected to “push through the pain” in order to get the gain?
- Are you one of those “wait and see” folks who hope that pain will just go away on its own?
Sometimes, that twinge just disappears, it’s true. However, what if it doesn’t?
No one wants to stop training to nurse an injury, which is why it makes perfect sense for you to keep things in check before they become big time problems that lead to serious downtime.
Common Weightlifting Injuries
The demands of weightlifting and bodybuilding can be extreme, especially if you are into competition.
Over-use injuries are the most common and by its very nature, this sport causes an imbalance in the muscles if one does not train properly.
Some of the most common injuries bodybuilders suffer are:
✓ Calf strain
✓ Wrist injuries
✓ Rotator cuff strain
✓ Achilles tendonitis
✓ Elbow tendonitis
✓ Neck pain
✓ Herniated discs
✓ Knee pain
✓ Shoulder impingement
✓ IT band syndrome
✓ SLAP tear
✓ Hamstring pull or tear
Too many bodybuilders mask their pain with anti-inflammatories, over-the-counter pain medication, and just plain old toughing it out. While that might be OK for a short period of time, you are probably doing more damage by masking the symptoms than if you were to see a chiropractor.
Chiropractic Care Offers Bodybuilders 3 Big Payoffs
We want to be completely honest here. Chiropractic care isn’t always the answer. Sometimes resting the injured muscle and taking anti-inflammatories is the right thing to do. There are other times, unfortunately, when surgery will be required to fix a problem.
Most of the time, however, you can prevent injuries and stop little problems before they turn into major issues.
Check out the big payoffs that regular chiropractic care can offer weightlifters.
#1 – Your Chiropractor Can Help You Train Better
Every single muscle and function in your body relies on your central nervous system. When the nerves are damaged or cannot send or receive signals due to some misalignment in the body, nothing will work 100%, including your muscles.
We can begin by redefining what we believe chiropractors do or are. They are not “back doctors”, nor do they simply crack your joints. Chiropractors are spine and nervous system doctors.
When your chiropractor does adjustments (let’s not call it cracking because, seriously, no bones are being cracked in this process) they restore the nerves to their proper function and position. This activates the signals that cause contraction(s) of your muscles. This will lead to an increase in muscles strength and size.
You know that training more on one side of the body than the other will result in an imbalance of the muscles. When the spine or other joints are misaligned, this can lead to an imbalance as well, causing you to work one side harder or more often than the other to keep them balanced.
Weightlifting puts a fair amount of stress on the body. When reaching for a new goal, you push yourself harder to make that happen. Your chiropractor can help your body cope with the stress of exercise, so you get the maximum benefit and less soreness.
Consider this; ALL 32 NFL teams use chiropractors. Approximately 33% of the teams have a chiropractor on staff to treat their athletes, some even treating them on the field. The remainder refer their athletes to outside private chiropractic care.
OK, so they aren’t bodybuilders, per se, but NFL players are all professional athletes who train with weights just like you do. They use chiropractors as a part of their training routine, so why shouldn’t you?
Regular chiropractic care will help you train smarter, not harder. A properly aligned body is subject to fewer injuries, so you get more gain with less pain.
#2 – Preventing Injuries Before They Happen
Perhaps one of the best reasons for making chiropractic care a part of your training program is that your chiropractor can help you avoid injuries before they occur or help stop small injuries from becoming serious ones.
If your spine is in any way unbalanced, you will have improper technique, which can lead to injuries. One chiropractic doctor in Anchorage evaluates his client’s posture and form, which allows him to recommend changes in a weight lifters routine or stance.
When you see a chiropractor regularly, they can also help to prevent injuries by noting changes in your body or subtle signs of pain you might not pay attention to.
Other types of therapy that your chiropractor can offer is physical therapy, massage therapy, even rehabilitative therapy if you become injured.
Speaking of injuries, your chiropractor can help you feel less pain, recover faster, and offer advice on nutritional supplements and anti-inflammatories that can get you back into training quicker.
Always tell your chiropractor if you feel pain or discomfort in any area, but pay special attention to the following:
- Joint pain (especially in the elbow, wrist, knee or ankle)
- Comparative weakness that happens suddenly
- Reduced range of motion
- A tingling feeling or numbness in any area
- Tenderness if you touch a certain area
These signs can be subtle, but they can mean that an injury has happened.
Your chiropractor will advise you on the best treatment option and how long you might need to rest the affected area. They can also offer you advice on how to prevent this injury from occurring in the future.
Regular chiropractic care can help prevent injuries, keep your spine and joints aligned while offering multiple treatment options for healing if an injury should occur.
#3 – Boost Your Performance
Who doesn’t want to be the best of the best? OK, even if you only want to be the best your gym, who doesn’t want to look their biggest, their best, and feel great while they are at it?
This is where chiropractic care comes in. Many people are unaware of just how critical the spine is their game, even in bodybuilding. Time missed out due to injuries can be devastating.
Did you know regular chiropractic care has been shown in studies to reduce the amount of downtime due to injuries, result in fewer strains, and less back pain for athletes?
What if we were to tell you that your chiropractor could also improve your overall performance?
Chiropractors spend years studying the spine, nerves, and muscles. Who would better understand how you could change your position or hold to lessen injury and to improve your overall performance but your chiropractor?
Ideal function is what all bodybuilders strive for. The goal is that each joint can complete its fullest possible range of motion so the muscle tone surrounding that joint can be built up and become stronger without restriction, pain or tightness.
Dysfunction is when that doesn’t happen. Even when weightlifters have no injury and feel as if they are lifting well, chances are there is at least some dysfunction. (Hey, no one is perfect!)
This imbalance will lead to compensation. If your knee hurts, you will compensate with your ankle or your hip, putting more stress on those joints than is necessary. You know where this leads, right? Down the path to injury.
Ice, rest, and compression are the typical methods bodybuilders use to help treat injuries, but why ice that ankle when the real problem is your knee? Most likely because you aren’t aware of the root cause.
Your chiropractor will find and treat the root cause of your problem. By allowing you a complete range of motion and restoring balance to the spine, you will find you have improved performance.
Michael Jordan said “I didn’t know how much I could improve until I started seeing a chiropractor. Since I’ve been in chiropractic care, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds both mentally and physically.”
Perhaps it’s time to think of chiropractic care as a part of your overall routine.
The Bottom Line
Bodybuilders are well-known for how they monitor and care for the bodies they have put so much work into. Heightened body awareness means you pay attention to and consult experts to get the most out of your bodybuilding.
This means you most likely trust a personal trainer, get nutritional advice, and perhaps even consult orthopedic specialists when necessary.
Think of chiropractic care the way Arnold Schwarzenegger did when he said “Bodybuilders and fitness people have been using chiropractic very extensively in order to stay healthy and fit.
I found it was better to go to a chiropractor before you get injured. We are a perfect team – the world of fitness and the world of chiropractors.”