What you need to know:
- For athletes, reaction time is highly important to success as many athletic events can be determined by tenths of a second.
- Outside of practice and training, chiropractic adjustments appear to improve reaction time.
Reaction time is the ability to respond quickly to a stimulus. Not only important in sports, reaction time is important for day to day activities as well. Dependent upon nerve connections and signal pathways, reaction time is the time lapse between a stimulus and movement (i.e. sprint start or hitting the brakes to avoid an accident).
When it come to athletics, practice and training are critical to improving reaction time. Athletes receive stimuli from their eyes (position of other players, the ball, etc), ears (calling from players or coaches), and kinesthetic sense (body position). Elite athletes have the ability to reduce reaction time by selecting the most important information and then anticipate the actions of other players or the path of the ball quickly. In sport, the ability to react quickly provides a competitive advantage.
To have an appreciation of how quickly athletes need to react, here is a short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2knwswvwDI
Nowadays, athletes look for competitive advantage wherever they can gain it. So what if you could boost your competitive advantage by improving your ability to react faster outside of practice or training?
Get ready for some very interesting news: chiropractic adjustments can have a beneficial affect on reaction time. A recent study conducted at the New Zealand School of Chiropractic tested the effects of chiropractic adjustments on reaction time. Two groups were utilized to test reaction times. The first group received chiropractic adjustments to the neck. For comparison, the second group was designated as the control group and received a short period of rest.
Results showed a significant improvement in reaction time for the chiropractic adjustment group over the group that only got to rest. The group that rested did show an average decrease in reaction time of 58 milli-seconds. In this study, that represented an 8% faster reaction time. The group that received the chiropractic adjustment showed an average decrease in reaction time of 97 milli-seconds, representing a 14.8% faster reaction time
The importance of reaction time is not just limited to athletes and on-field performance, reaction time also has importance in other areas of life. The benefits of being able to react faster can make the difference in avoiding traffic accidents and preventing falls. As for competitive athletes who depend on the ability to react quickly to game situations, the addition of chiropractic care can prove to be beneficial. This study can help to explain why many athletes report the ability to perform better when they decide to include chiropractic treatment as part of their routine.
In fact, several athletes are advocates for chiropractic care, including Jerry Rice, Tiger Woods, Joe Montana, Aaron Rogers, Tom Brady, and Maurice Jones Drew. Reggie Bush, current Detroit Lion's running back and former Heisman Trophy winner, had this to say about chiropractic:
"As a professional athlete, I am highly competitive - only accept the best. When it comes to healthcare, chiropractic is an essential service. It keeps on-field performance at its highest level and contributes to the success of the entire team!"
Gallagher Performance successfully treats and trains athletes of all levels, addressing their individual needs accordingly. We integrate services such as chiropractic, manual therapy, massage, nutrition, and sports performance training to help athletes realize their potential.