Optimizing Your Strength with Chiropractic Care
Strength is defined as the capacity for an object, in this case our musculoskeletal system, to withstand outside pressure or force. While there are many different ways to measure and calculate strength, the bottom line is that adequate strength is required for daily activities, hobbies, and sports alike. Without our muscles and the bones they are attached to, our ability to complete daily tasks would look quite different.
With poor general health, aging, or injury, people often experience chronic fatigue or muscle soreness. If you seem to be tired or achy all the time, there is probably more going on with your muscle health and strength than you realize. And it’s probably not as simple as buying a pair of dumbbells or getting a gym membership. Why? Because there are actually a lot of complicated factors that go into determining our overall strength and endurance.
What Factors Affect Our Strength?
The most pure way to measure strength is with a dynamometer, a small device that measures force production when you push against it with a limb or other body part. However, there are a variety of factors that play a role in HOW you might push against and modulate your muscle strength when asked to push, such as your posture and motivation levels. Additionally, there are other crucial factors to consider when it comes to strength like endurance, coordination, and alignment or biomechanics.
Clearly, strength isn’t as straightforward as you may have thought. In fact, did you know a lot of what controls our strength lies within the nervous system? Here are some of the things that influence our ability to be stronger:
- The health of the actual neural connection between the spinal cord and muscles themselves
- The actual number (and size) of muscle cells within a designated muscle group- both will grow with proper activation
- Excitability of the spinal cord for sending direct commands from the brain to necessary muscles when coordinating a movement
- Brain health for modulating appropriate muscle coordination and force creation
- Neural feedback loop efficiency so that the body can continually assess and adjust movement patterns
- Alignment of the spine and mechanics of the body to maximize nerve energy and optimal force output
Spine Alignment and Our Strength
As you can now see, the health of the central nervous system (aka the spinal cord and brain) play a large role in your overall strength, endurance, and coordination of the body. Of course, the health of the muscle itself is important. However, spine misalignment is a common issue that isn’t traditionally addressed when you are dealing with fatigue, achiness, poor coordination, and general weaknesses. Spine misalignment affects nerve energy and signals for modulating strength. Thus, it should be a primary issue that is holistically addressed.
Spine misalignment issues are best addressed by experts in spine anatomy and function like a chiropractor. They are expertly trained to recognize underlying spine issues and restore alignment non-invasively for optimizing overall body function, including strength. The team at North Alabama Spine and Rehab in Huntsville and Decatur, AL are the experts in holistically addressing these issues to help you feel your absolute best (and strong).
Optimizing Your Strength
Once spine alignment is restored, proper nerve energy will resume and the body can work toward reaching its full potential. Secondary to proper nerve flow, the body can now modulate and coordinate muscles strength and movement significantly more efficiently. This unlocks the possibilities for true strengthening techniques. These might include:
- High repetition, low weight lifting for endurance
- Low repetition, heavy weight lifting for brute strength
- Core strengthening for optimizing limb strength and spine health
- Exercising regularly in any capacity (choose what you enjoy)
- Increasing the intensity or length of time with exercising
- Introducing explosive or plyometrics moves into your training (i.e. HIIT training)
- Exercising with a focus on proper form to maximize muscle force generation and biomechanics
Once your chiropractor has addressed any underlying spinal misalignments, you can then discuss with them which of these techniques would be most beneficial for reaching your fitness and life goals. With this approach, you should notice better recovery between workouts and less fatigue throughout the process. This will translate to more energy for your workouts and entire day.
Boost Your Strength with Chiropractic Care
Both North Alabama Clinics believe in the power of building good health by starting with optimal spine health. Often, when these issues are addressed first the rest of the strength equation simply falls into place. We often blame muscle weakness on factors like aging, lack of fitness, and other general health issues. While they play a role, it’s always important to keep spine health in mind too. Get in touch with the team at North Alabama Spine and Rehab to see what they can do for your general health and strength today with regular adjustments and treatment.