Wrestlers are used to living with pain, from the training to the punishing forces at competitions, their body is constantly being impacted. If their spinal vertebrae are out of alignment, their range of motion will be limited and their pain will be increased.
Also, because of the nature of their sport, wrestlers have unique conditions that are caused by the forces on their joints that are not experienced in the course of everyday living or most other sports.
Chiropractic care can help wrestlers reduce their pain, maintain their strength, avoid injury and be able to perform at their peak ability throughout their season.
Here are three areas in which wrestlers may experience unique conditions and how chiropractic care can help to resolve them:
1. Cervical Spine
Wrestling puts excessive pressure on the cervical spine. If any vertebrae are out of alignment, there will be weakness at that point and this could easily result in a sprain or ligamentous injury. These types of injuries destroy the cervical spinal curve and result in loss of motion. Arthritis, or bony bridges (bone spurs) may develop to stabilize the cervical spine due to ligamentous injury, causing lifelong problems.
Excessive force is often used on the neck when a wrestler bridges their neck backward when an opponent is on top of them trying to pin them to the mat. One or two cervical vertebrae in their neck may get jammed out of place. This could cause edema and swelling in their neck, reduce their range of motion, and weaken their neck muscles.
Cervical chiropractic adjustments realign the cervical spine, putting the vertebrae back into their proper position, restoring their range of motion, reducing edema and swelling, and allowing the muscles to regain their strength.
2. Mid and Low Back
Upper and lower back pain and injury may be caused by an opponent pushing his head or knee into the thoracic or lumbar spine. This lateral force can also displace ribs, making it difficult to breathe deeply.
When wrestlers need to lift their opponent off the mat, they need power from their legs. The lumbar vertebrae innervate the leg muscles. When a lumbar vertebra is out of place, the leg muscles become weakened. The wrestler may also experience sharp back pain when lifting and stretching. Chiropractic adjustments restore the alignment of the lumbar spine, relieving back pain and helping the leg muscles regain their strength.
When a wrestler needs to twist to get out of the hold of their opponent, their ribs must be functioning correctly. If a rib is out of place, a wrestler is unable to twist effectively without experiencing a sharp pain. They may experience trouble breathing on and off the mat. Chiropractic adjustments restore the rub to its proper alignment so that they may breathe easily again and twist and turn without pain.
3. Extremities (Arms, Legs, Hands, Feet)
Arms and legs can be compromised by an opponent torquing or twisting these extremities. This can cause injuries to the vulnerable shoulders, elbows, hands, hips, knees and ankles.
A wrestler’s shoulders, elbow, wrists, hips, legs, knees and ankles all experience pressure and torquing, or twisting, in a meet. Wrestlers need these extremities to function properly in order to apply their different offensive and defensive techniques in their matches. If their joints are out of place, this can result in ligamentous injury to the extremities, which destroy their performance and, if severe, can end their competitive season early. Chiropractic care can keep these joints functioning at their best ability by improving the integrity of the joints and can restore them to their proper position, allowing them to heal after mild injuries.
Additional Benefits of Chiropractic Care for Wrestlers
In addition to resolving injuries, chiropractic adjustments and stretching increases mobility, enhancing a wrestler’s ability to execute moves and to experience less pressure on their joints and less pain while doing so. This also allows wrestlers to perform moves that might otherwise be impossible for them. A small difference in mobility can allow for a great change in ability.
Chiropractic care helps to reduce inflammation, allowing your body to recover more quickly between matches. Chiropractic adjustments also enhance reflexes, allowing a wrestler to react more quickly to changes during a match.
Wrestlers may also receive an increase in cognitive ability, helping them to mentally react more quickly during matches. Research has shown that a chiropractic spinal adjustment can improve cognitive function in the prefrontal cortex by almost 20 percent on average.1
Benefits of Regular Chiropractic Care
This improved ability to think, react and perform with less pain, along with chiropractic’s natural resolution of injuries, are among the reasons that professional wrestlers rely on regular chiropractic care to enhance their performance.
Dr. Hunter Greenwood DC ND has been helping athletes, including wrestlers, recover from injuries and increase their competitive abilities for over 38 years. At Chiropractor Plus in Nixa, Missouri, Dr. Greenwood utilizes state-of-the-art equipment and a variety of adjusting techniques, including some he has developed himself, to help athletes recover from injuries and operate at their peak performance ability. His early (open from 5:00 AM) and late office hours make it easy for student athletes to receive the care they need without missing school or practice.
Call Dr. Hunter Greenwood today at 417-725-6655 and find out how he can help you or the wrestler in your family.
Isn’t it time YOU felt good again?
1. Lelic, Dina, et al. “Manipulation of Dysfunctional Spinal Joints Affects Sensorimotor Integration in the Prefrontal Cortex: A Brain Source Localization Study.” Neural Plasticity, vol. 2016, 2016, pp. 1–9., https://doi.org/10.1155/2016/3704964.