Does Body Structure Affect Function and Performance?

“I’ve been going to chiropractors for as long as I can remember. It’s as important to my training as practicing my swing.” – Tiger Woods

There are many factors that go into what separates elite athletes from the rest of the pack- lifestyle habits, practice habits, mentality, the will-to-win, being in the right place at the right time, avoiding major injury- to name a few. But what effects does the structure and organization of the human body itself have on its ability to perform at an elite level? Well, let’s see…

When it comes to organization of the human body, we must start with the “backbone”- our spine. Our spine not only gives us our structure, it also protects the major communication that is responsible for every bit of life and function in the body- the nervous system. When there is abnormal stress or tension in the nervous system there are many responses that can occur. Pain is usually a warning signal response to alert you that something isn’t right. Sometimes we let the pain come and go without doing anything about it until we get another, more significant response: numbness, tingling, muscles spasm, loss of function, injury. Wouldn’t you like to know if your body was at risk for disease or injury before it occurred? Of course you would.

The structure of our body, sometimes thought as our posture, gives us a tremendous amount of insight as to how our body will be able to function.

Figure 1: Neutral spinal position in relation to common spinal faults.  (Starrett, Kelly. Becoming a Supple Leopard. (2015) Pages 56,58,59)

Figure 1: Neutral spinal position in relation to common spinal faults. (Starrett, Kelly. Becoming a Supple Leopard. (2015) Pages 56,58,59)


Anytime we are positioned outside of neutral spine we are putting undue stress in areas of the body to compensate for the structural fault.

Now imagine if you add in external forces (exercise) to a disorganized spine... ouch!

Who is the expert?

We like to think we are. As chiropractors specializing in structural correction and rehabilitation, we look at each individual as a whole-functioning being. Whether you present with low back or shoulder pain, there is a lot more to you than your low back or shoulder. It is important to get the entire picture of how your body is organized to determine why it is functioning the way it is and how we can get you functioning optimally.

Whether you are dealing with an acute or chronic injury, you’re looking to take your health to the next level, or you are just curious, it is never too early to get checked.

Kayla Clark