Tennis is a sport that people the world over use for fun, friendship and fitness. For being a low-impact sport in terms of physical contact, it is actually quite a high-impact sport in terms of detriment to the joints. As a sport that involves a lot of unique movements, it places unique stresses at local points in the body, as well as increasing the level of stress on your body as a whole. Chiropractic is a modality that understands the unique demands of tennis, and one that helps people maintain a high level of performance while lowering their chance for injury. Let’s take a look at chiropractic‘s role in the great game of tennis.
Aging is felt most keenly in the spine. From our early twenties onwards, many of us gain an awareness of back pain and stiffness that will remain with us until the end of time. Everything from the daily commute and the toil of office work, to the strains of exercise and taking care of a family, add to the burden. An alarmingly small percentage of the population takes proactive care of their spines; they wait until pain or dysfunction strikes before they do anything about it. So here is lesson 1: if you are fortunate enough to have full range of motion and a spine free of pain, take steps to maintain this blessed advantage.
Sleep is a cornerstone wellbeing. There is a reason we spend up to one-third of our lives doing an activity that literally involves doing nothing. But as soon as sleep quality suffers, we feel it. The ripple effect has ramifications in happiness, productivity, digestion, pain and a number of other factors. Take weight for example: many studies have discerned a link between sleep inhibition and weight gain. As an office of chiropractic, this concerns us because obesity is one of the key factors that accelerates spinal degeneration.
The network of muscles that support your lower back can also contribute to back pain if they are mismanaged. The greatest problem we face is insufficient strength: unless we regularly condition the muscles involved in core stability, they are going to weaken in relation to your body weight. That increases the burden on the actual vertebrae and, in particular, the intervertebral discs. But even people who take core stability seriously forget that this network extends to the glutes; indeed, the gluteus maximus is considered a minor, or auxiliary, core muscle.
Pain is a signal, and it is always worth investigating. The standard prescription for back pain in America is to just ignore it- it will go away eventually. There are even blogs and news articles advocating this very technique. Unfortunately, the logic is flawed; it relies on the idea that most mechanical back pain heals itself. And this is true- to a certain extent. Back pain will usually go away, but that does not mean the underlying cause has been solved. If you don’t take steps to maintain a healthy lifestyle, this back pain is likely to compound and recur with a vengeance. Part of maintaining that healthy lifestyle is listening to your back pain, and learning more about it so that you can prevent it from compounding down the line.