Taekwondo is a Korean martial art that emphasizes kicking techniques that often involve high kicks, jumps, and spins. Improper technique and poor or excessive training can lead to painful injuries to the neck and spine, which may often be first diagnosed and treated by a local chiropractor in the area that treats Taekwondo athletes.
Why are some activities in Tae Kwono conducive to back and neck pain?
Tae Kwon Do is a style, or rather a group of similar styles, of martial arts, so the obvious danger to the spine and neck is from being kicked or punched. Although intentional strikes to the neck or spine are not allowed in training or competitions because of the risk of serious and permanent injury, strikes do occur.
Kicking, especially high kicks, requires good timing and coordination to avoid stress to the spine. Proper kicking technique involves intricate footwork and turning of the body to add power to a kick. When technique is poor, the force exerted is instead absorbed by the knees or back muscles as they twist with the thrust of the body.
Spinning and jumping kicks add other variables that require precise timing both to deliver the kicks and to recover properly afterward. Spinning kicks rely on centrifugal force to add power to a kick, and rely on the lower back to act as a pivot point as the body spins and whips the leg around in a circular motion. This can place strain on the lower back, and relies on precise timing and footwork to avoid twisting the back.
Jumping kicks add additional stress to the spine, as the force of the participant's entire body weight hitting the floor tests the spine's ability to remain in alignment. Some advanced Tae Kwon Do forms require multiple jump kicks to be performed within a short period of time, and these forms must be practiced repeatedly until perfect to reach a higher ranking belt.
How can a chiropractor help with pain from Tae Kwon Do injuries?
These basic activities in Tae Kwon Do practice may cause the spinal vertebra in the neck or spine to become misaligned, which can result in temporary or recurring pain. Neck vertebra misalignment can result in intense headaches, while spinal issues in the back may result in lower back pain or sciatic pain, which radiates from the lower back to the feet.
Proper alignment of the spine from the neck to the lower back can reduce or eliminate these issues. Repeated chiropractic treatments are often needed for ongoing Tae Kwon Do practice, as additional misalignments occur.
As in all athletic practice, especially contact sports such as Tae Kwon Do, proper training and fitness is essential in helping to avoid injuries. Core muscle groups, which help to support the spine, should be strengthened, with as much emphasis on lower back muscles as with front abdominal muscles. Strong abs won't be of much use if you can't bend over because of back pain.
To learn more, contact a massage therapist by Cabana Court Chiropractic.