Does Chiropractic Work for Muscle Strength & Injury Prevention

Does Chiropractic Work for Muscle Strength & Injury Prevention

Does Chiropractic Work for Muscle Strength & Injury Prevention

Does Chiropractic Work for Muscle Strength & Injury Prevention


            Chiropractic works to trigger the nerves which are liable for causing the contractions of the muscles. Essentially, using chiropractic treatment helps to build muscle strength and prevent injury by activating neural receptors. There are many factors that go into building and maintaining muscle strength, and may go deeper than what it seems on the surface. As chiropractic providers, it is essential for us to determine the root issue that is causing muscle fatigue and possible injuries both new and reinjured.


What Affects Muscle Strength


            There are various ways to determine the muscle strength of the patient. Indicators like coordination, endurance, stamina, and force production are ways evaluate muscle strength in a patient.


Characteristics that can impact muscle strength:

  • Spinal cord stress
  • The capability of the brain to regulate muscle use for proper force
  • The amount and size of the muscle cells
  • The capacity of the nervous system to correlate movement and muscle force.

While we may not be able to determine exact answers to these characteristics for each patient, we can evaluate their presenting symptoms to connect exactly where the problem truly lies. Additionally, the one thing these characteristics have in common lies in the nervous system, which chiropractic treatment treats through spinal manipulation to gain positive nerve flow. It is only once the patient is aligned that we can address actual strengthening techniques. This is because misalignment of the spine can affect the communication between the neural messages and the spinal cord, muscles and brain.


Research study Changes in H-Reflex and V-Waves Following Spinal Manipulation:


  • This study evaluated a group of students that received chiropractic care to outline the optimal functionality that chiropractic treatment provides in the central nervous system, and the dysfunction that happens when the central nervous system is not in proper control of the movement of the spine. There was a control group that was not adjusted, and asked to use their leg muscles showing fatigue throughout the study.
  • The chiropractic treated group showed a change in the way that the brain pushed the muscle stating “there was a change in the H-reflex happening at the spinal cord level. Our results were showing that change isn’t a spinal cord phenomenon. The brain was changing that reflex effect.”
  • The study concluded that in comparison with the control group, the chiropractic group got stronger. The results showed a 60% in electrical activity readings from the targeted muscle groups, a 45% increase in push from the brain to the muscle, a 16% increase in force measures, and a shift in the H reflex curve.

This research is quite profound for the chiropractic legitimacy of its impact on the central nervous system.


Chiropractic Helps with Injury Prevention


            Patients may be under the impression that all that a chiropractor can offer is focused on neck and back pain, but our profession offers much more. The benefit of working with the spine is that it houses and protects a huge part of the nervous system, which is the main factor in injury prevention and muscle strength building. Injury prevention also goes hand in hand with muscle building as due to lack of muscle strength, injuries can happen more often. Our focus as providers needs to remain on specific elements in order to preserve and protect the body from new or further injury.


Chiropractic helps injury prevention by:


  • Decreasing imbalance and muscle tension
  • Maximize nervous system function
  • Increase joint function and mobility
  • Strengthen posture and body mechanics

Maintaining a balanced musculoskeletal system for the patient is what will ultimately make them less prone to injuries. Chiropractic treatment will decrease the risk of future injury while also increasing performance, balance, coordination, flexibility, and range of motion, all of which culminate in decreased injuries.


Recent study done in 2023, Unlocking Athletic Potential: The Integration of Chiropractic Care into the Sports Industry, concluded that chiropractic care being integrated into sports medicine/injury prevention in sports benefits both the athlete and the success of the sports industry overall.


Ways to prevent injury within the chiropractic realm:


  • Align the joints – leaving the joints misaligned will put pressure on the nerves surrounding the muscles causing them to potentially pull and deteriorate the joint.
  • Improve posture – maintaining good posture is vital for every patient for proper spinal health and preventing injuries. When patients utilize proper posture, they will find far less injuries take place.
  • Increase endurance – the study referenced above further proves our knowledge that the nerves in the central nervous system runs through the spine. Therefore, if the spine is misaligned, overall health, and muscle strength will not be achieved.
  • Increase range of motion – misaligned joints won’t allow for fluidity of movement. By correcting the joint position, tense muscles will be released and allow for improved range of motion.
  • Decrease pain – muscle soreness can cause a patient to slack in other areas like good posture leaving more room for a risk of injury.

There are compelling results in current research on muscle strength and injury prevention within conventional medicine, and give patients the peace of mind of functioning optimally in spite of past injuries or muscle tightness. While there is much more research to be done, the proof is in the pudding that patients function optimally with chiropractic care. Muscle strength and injury prevention are proven with chiropractic treatment, and utilizing all tools in our provider arsenal will further prove the benefits of chiropractic that we already know to be true, and its effects on the central nervous system.