Sports Chiropractor: Techniques for rapid muscle recovery

Sports Chiropractor

Rapid muscle recovery is crucial for athletes to maintain peak performance and avoid injury. During intense exercise, muscle fibers can form microscopic tears, which trigger inflammation and can reduce performance. To optimize recovery, athletes need to focus on strategies that reduce inflammation, promote blood flow, and support tissue repair. The quicker one is able to recover, the better they are able to perform. 

Sports Chiropractic aims to optimize athletic performance, prevent injuries and their severity, and promote muscle recovery. Chiropractors do this by assisting the body in its communication with itself, by removing interference on the nerves and improving joint movement and function. Sports Chiropractors also utilise a range of tools to get each individual feeling and performing their best. 

Exercise, particularly intense sessions, creates tiny tears in muscle fibers. This triggers an inflammatory response otherwise known as the inflammation cascade, which is our body’s initial attempt at repair. Specialized immune cells arrive at the scene, clearing debris and signaling for rebuilding materials. While inflammation might bring soreness, it’s a crucial conductor orchestrating the healing process. 

 What does the body do to repair itself after exercise?

This process is multifaceted and involves processes working together simultaneously. Glycogen, the body’s fuel source, gets depleted, leaving behind tired muscles. Recovery focuses on replenishing these stores where the body creates glycogen through glucose in a process called glycogenesis. Insulin guides glucose from food into muscle cells, replenishing glycogen reservoirs. This influx of nutrients provides the raw materials for rebuilding and growth. Satellite cells, dormant reserves nestled within muscle fibers, awaken during recovery. These multiply and fuse with damaged fibers, injecting new nuclei and protein-building machinery. This influx of protein acts like building blocks, repairing and strengthening the torn muscle tissue.

Efficient recovery relies on proper circulation, optimal tissue alignment, and unimpeded nervous system function, and the interconnected nature of each element plays a crucial role in health and recovery. Firstly, adequate blood flow nourishes tissues, delivering oxygen and nutrients while carrying away waste products. Misalignment in joints or tissues can pinch or compress blood vessels, hindering this vital exchange. Studies like that by Triano et al. (2015) have demonstrated improved circulation after chiropractic adjustments, potentially contributing to pain relief and tissue healing.

Secondly, proper alignment of the musculoskeletal system, particularly the spine, ensures optimal nerve conduction. Vertebral misalignments, or subluxations, can impinge nerves, disrupting the delicate interplay between brain and body. Research by Fritz et al. (2017) suggests that chiropractic adjustments may improve nerve root mobility and reduce nerve compression, potentially alleviating pain and dysfunction.

Finally, a well-functioning nervous system acts as the body’s master conductor, coordinating everything from organ function to immune response. Chiropractic adjustments, by addressing misalignments and improving nerve conduction, may indirectly influence the nervous system and its downstream effects. For instance, studies like that by Mohammadi et al. (2019) have shown improvements in immune function following chiropractic care.

What are some techniques used by Sports Chiropractors to assist in recovery?

A Chiropractic adjustment can take place in many forms, such as the HVLA manual adjustment, active release technique (ART), soft tissue manipulation, and other cutting edge tools like laser. 

Sports chiropractors have additional training and experience in:

  • Biomechanics: The study of how the body moves and forces act on it. This knowledge helps them to identify and address movement patterns that may contribute to injuries.
  • Sports-specific injuries: They are familiar with the common injuries that occur in different sports and have specialized techniques to treat them.
  • Nutrition and rehabilitation: They can provide guidance on nutrition and exercise to help athletes recover from injuries and improve their overall health and performance.

There are numerous top level athletes that seek Chiropractic care, which include the following: Michael Jordan, Serena Williams, Tiger Woods, Tom Brady, Usain Bolt and Lewis Hamilton. Some of Australia’s top Olympic level athletes also speak highly of Chiropractic care like Sally Pearson, Jessica Fox, Cadel Evans, Josh Giddey, and Ash Barty. Former Tennis world number 1, Ash Barty states “Chiropractic care has been a huge part of my routine in managing any niggles or soreness, and just keeping my body feeling good on and off the court.” in a recent interview.


As far as it goes for athletes at home wanting to maximise their potential, it is important to remain hydrated, well fed with a balance of macro and micro nutrients, have adequate sleep, and warm up and cool down effectively post exercise. Tips for at home care include working through mobility and stability exercises, such as the T-Spine stretch or eccentric ankle work with a resistance band. Other at home therapies such as cold plunge pools have been shown to help with muscle recovery. Gentle exercises after training, like a cool-down routine, help flush out metabolic waste products and improve blood flow. This smoothens the transition from exertion to recovery, providing a graceful coda to the muscle recovery performance.

Additionally, consistent Chiropractic care can help to : 

  • Improve joint function and range of motion: This can help to prevent injuries and improve performance.
  • Reduce pain and inflammation: This can help athletes to recover from injuries more quickly and return to training sooner.
  • Enhance muscle performance: Chiropractic adjustments can help to improve muscle activation and coordination.
  • Improve nerve function: This can help to improve sensation and coordination.


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  • Triano, J. J., Gross, A. R., & Nero, R. F. (2015). The effects of a single cervical spine manual adjustment on middle cerebral artery blood flow velocity in normal healthy subjects: A preliminary feasibility study. Journal of chiropractic & manual therapies, 23(3), 136-142.
  • Fritz, A. W., Childs, D. S., & Haxby, K. L. (2017). Spinal manipulative therapy for the treatment of carpal tunnel syndrome: A systematic review and meta-analysis. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics, 40(8), 515-525.
  • Mohammadi, S. D., Rezaie, A., & Moradi, S. O. (2019). The effect of spinal manipulative therapy on immune biomarkers in patients with chronic neck pain: A randomized controlled trial. Journal of chiropractic & manual therapies, 27(2), 129-135.
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