By Dr Ryan Burkhart

Can chiropractic care make you stronger?

Whether going for training for a race, jogging to de-stress, or looking to be healthy, everyone should aspire to be at their best. Many professional athletes such as Michael Jordan, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Tom Brady, and Usain Bolt have stated the importance of chiropractic care to their athletic success. Does chiropractic care help athletes and everyday casual exercisers? Why would changes of the spine be such a vital part of performing at your best?

New research may shed light on this topic. The mental and physical changes in performance are likely related to changes of neurology. Going back to the late 1800s, it has been theorized that chiropractic care has an effect on the neurology of the body. The original philosophy was that the nerves of the body cause the change by increasing or decreasing tension (not too much or too little). More recent studies show that the changes likely occur at the brain (frontal and pre-motor cortex) rather than only at the spinal nerves. When the spine is adjusted changes allow for better muscle recruitment and improved strength.1 According to the autor, Dr. Haavik, a six to sixteen percent increase in muscle strength has been noted in healthy individuals with a sixty to ninety percent improvement was noted in patients with injuries to the body. Improvement has also been noted in muscle endurance as well.2 Maximal contractions were noted to have a longer duration with less fatiguing as a result of spinal adjusting. Together, this allow for peak physical performance. Gains in mental clarity, mental health3, and response time4 have been studies as well with positive findings. The mental gains with improved muscle control give a good reason why so many rely on chiropractic care to keep them at their peak performance.

At Burkhart & Chapp Chiropractic, we our care is individualized with each patient’s goals and lifestyle in mind. To find out more about how we can help you reach your goals, give us a call at 616-698-0046.



  1. Haavik, H., et al.(2016).  Impact of spinal manipulation on cortical drive to upper and lower limb muscles. Brain Sci, Dec 23;7(1).
  2. Niazi, I. K. et al. (2015). Changes in H-reflex and V-waves following spinal manipulation. Exp Brain Res, Apr;233(4):1165-73.
  3. Roth, L., et al. (2013). Upper cervical chiropractic care as a complementary strategy for depression and anxiety: A prospective case series analysis. J Upper Cervical Chiropractic Research, 49-59.
  4. DeVocht, J. W., et al. (2016). The effect of chiropractic treatment on the reaction and response times of special operation forces military personnel: study protocol for a randomized controlled trial. Trials, 17(457).

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