Chiropractic and the Critical Edge
By Dr. Tim Fargo
When we talk about being able to perform at our best, or to be able to have the needed resilience to stave off infection or disease processes, we are really talking about pushing the margins of what the body is capable of. These margins are the edges of either performance and optimal health on one end, or losing the game and succumbing to disease on the other. I call these margins the “critical edge”. I think it is important to understand that what happens at this critical edge will determine whether or not a person succeeds athletically and in life, or fails to one degree or another.
As an example, there is the fact that a large percentage of elite and professional athletes utilize chiropractic care. Some do so because they have specific injuries that require treatment, but many also use chiropractic care to create a critical edge in their performance. Whether we be talking about professional golfers, track athletes, basketball or football players, runners, triathletes, gymnasts and a myriad of other Olympic endeavors, chiropractors have long served both of those functions. I personally spent 15 years working with over 100 of the Minnesota Vikings football players, and I can attest to the fact that not only did I help them recover from injury, but I also provided them with something that they could not get through conventional, allopathic (medical) means.
Aside from the more or less obvious fact that chiropractic care creates mobility, improved posture and proper alignment/function of spinal and extremity joints; it also improves and maintains the body’s ability to regulate all of its functions. The body controls and regulates itself in large part through the communication that travels to and from the brain and across nerve channels. The spinal cord (an information superhighway) and the associated nerves are the communication pathways to and from the brain. Those pathways are in very close proximity to and are impacted by the alignment and function of the spine. When people have misaligned or dysfunctional joints in the spine there is a negative impact on the flow of communication between the brain and target tissues. If we are talking about athletic endeavors, then the ability of the athlete to engage, recruit and utilize muscles to their fullest extent is significantly impacted by this communication. Elite and professional athletes are operating in an environment where the competition is fierce and most of the people that they face on the field of play are almost equally endowed with ability. When you have such an equality of ability, then the critical edge of performance can make all the difference in the result. Because chiropractic care improves spinal function and the ability of the nervous system to convey communication to and from muscles and joints, it can and does often provide the critical edge.
You may wonder what relevance a discussion of chiropractic and the critical edge it can provide to elite and professional athletes might have for you, if you are not such an athlete. The answer is that we all need such a critical edge in life. It is not just about the communication between your brain and your muscles; it is also about the communication that flows to and from critical internal organs. Digestive and reproductive function, sleep efficiency, brain chemistry, glandular output and even immune function are impacted by your brain’s ability to effectively communicate with those body parts. Most of us can recall a time when we were a little bit too stressed, under slept, poorly nourished and generally down. It is at times such as those that we become susceptible to infection such as colds, influenza, and now COVID-19. If, at times like those, the body can be provided with a critical edge in the battle against infection, then doing so would be very beneficial. Because chiropractic care reduces stress on the nervous system and thus expands its capacity to handle the other stresses of life, it can then mean the difference between you maintaining balance in the midst of life’s storms or losing balance and succumbing. In saying this, I am not claiming that chiropractic care “cures” or even prevents disease. What I am saying is that it is a powerful method of marshaling one’s internal resources so that one performs at the highest level both on the field and in life. There is a greater need than ever for each of us to closely examine our lifestyle choices and do everything that we can to improve our odds of staying healthy. Chiropractors are here to help you do that.
Dr. Tim Fargo is a chiropractor who practices in Edina, Minnesota, and has done so for the past 38 years. He is the clinic director of Chiropractic Health and Wellness and the founder of ScoliTech™, a company devoted to the care of patients with scoliosis and other spinal disorders. He enjoys caring for people of all ages, but specializes in the treatment of scoliosis and postural imbalances. In addition, he has had extensive experience in treating hundreds of elite and professional athletes, including 15 years spent as the chiropractor for the Minnesota Vikings. He is a passionate educator who actively mentors chiropractic students and has delivered literally hundreds of lectures to the community on various wellness-related topics.