Formerly Shea Family Chiropractic

Every car comes with built-in shock absorbers, and with good reason. Our roads hold all kinds of hazards, like pot holes, cracks, and even the random pieces of debris. If you ever take your truck or SUV off road, those shock absorbers come in extra handy as you travel over uneven ground and maybe tackle a boulder or to. What would happen is a car didn’t have shock absorbers? Woe to the unfortunate passengers. The car would bounce and rock painfully with every little bump and stop. Our body also has built in shock absorbers that help us dissipate impacts evenly and harmlessly. After all, throughout our history, we humans have had to run, leap, and lope for survival. If we couldn’t handle some wear and tear, our species would have never lasted this long. If you’ve ever seen a realistic model of the human spine, then you know that it is not straight. It actually has four curves. The cervical curve is the neck and the thoracic curve is in the mid back. Many of us in CrossFit are familiar with the term “lumbar curve” which is the curve of the lower back. The final curve, the sacral curve is at our tailbone. These four curves are the main shock absorbers of the human body. Wonder how they work? Think of a rollercoaster going down a track. The rollercoaster hurtles down a big hill, but it never crashes, because the rails curve up or around, carrying the force of the rollercoaster’s momentum along the curves. The curves of the spine work in a similar away, allowing the force of an impact to dissipate as it travels. Those four curves are incredibly important, and if something happens to them, you could be in as much trouble (and pain) as a driver in a car without shock absorbers. When someone has a subluxation, or pinched nerve, the spine can actually straighten over time. In the worst cases, the vertebras actually begin to fuse. Not only is this extremely painful just by itself, but it also weakens the spine’s ability to absorb impact. Think about what would happen if, instead of a curve at the bottom of a rollercoaster track, there was a 90 degree angel instead. The rollercoaster wouldn’t be able to overcome its momentum and would crash each time at the bottom of the hill. When a spine begins to straighten, the force from a foot

I recently wrote a blog post about why I don’t think CrossFit is an inherently dangerous sport as long as athletes perform movements using good technique and a weight their body can handle. In this post, I want to expand upon a point I made toward the end of that article, which is that eventual injury is almost assured if you participate in a sport while misaligned. Most U.S. adults who are not currently under chiropractic care have misalignment’s, or joints that are out of place in their bodies. Misalignment’s can arise from anything, including a traumatic fall, a football tackle when you were in high school, a car crash two year ago, the way you slept last night or just from the fact that you spend eight hours a day sitting at a desk. Just because you are not in pain doesn’t mean that you aren’t misaligned. As I’ve mentioned in my previous blog posts, your body is a master at compensating for misalignment’s to prevent you from feeling pain. Your body will pretty much do anything and everything to keep you from feeling pain, including pushing your head forward, tilting your pelvis, lifting one shoulder, etc… Trust me, I’ve seen it all. When you do feel pain that means your body is at the point where it just can’t find any other way to compensate for misalignment’s. You could have been misaligned for years or even decades before you feel pain. Imagine what will happen when you participate in a sport if you are misaligned. Say that you are a runner, and your spine is misaligned. Normally, every time your foot impacts the ground, the impact travels through your bones, joints and muscles evenly. This impact is a good thing – it helps keep your muscles, bones and joints strong.  But if you are misaligned, then each step sends the impact in the wrong direction. Maybe your pelvis is tilted and you’re running too forward. Maybe your shin is absorbing all of the impact, or all that force is landing in your low back. Over time, you’ll start to develop shin splints or low back pain and wonder what is going on. This can happen in any sport. Think about the injuries you could cause doing kettle bell swings with a misaligned spine or a 200-pound deadlift! You could even injure yourself doing a “gentle” sport like yoga if you are misaligned. I work with many