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Can Chiropractors Adjust Bodybuilders & Powerlifters?

The IFBB or International Federation of Body Builders operates in 170 countries and holds around 2500 events every single year. Powerlifting has not quite reached the Olympics yet, but weightlifting is a very popular event there.

While not everyone wants to compete, there are still many participants in bodybuilding and weightlifting who do so to build muscle, and because they like the appearance and strength that it brings. Sometimes though, injuries can occur due to the nature of these activities.

The World Natural Bodybuilding Federation promotes drug-free bodybuilding and weightlifting. Chiropractors also follow similar natural plans for helping patients with back and muscle problems in that they don't prescribe medications or drugs.

Could chiropractors use their techniques to aid someone with a weightlifting injury then, or are other measures needed?

Is weightlifting good or bad for backs?

Using weights can improve the general health of an individual's back if done correctly. A minor injury may also benefit from some weight training, although advice should be taken from an instructor or doctor first. Some problems such as sciatica may not improve from weight training, and may even worsen.

Generally speaking though, weight training can improve a number of areas of the back including improving spinal mobility, and increasing core and back strength. Lean muscle mass will increase as will muscle strength. This will result in your back having more support, and you will also decrease your body fat.

However, injuries can occur from time to time. And some people will find they suffer from recurring lower back pain and need assistance.

How can chiropractors help with bodybuilders and powerlifters?

Many bodybuilders indeed ignore injuries and pain so that they can continue on towards their personal goals. In the long term, this can lead to serious muscular or spinal problems.

Just as bodybuilding is about improving fitness and strength, chiropractors are also involved in making a person healthier and more mobile. The two areas can be considered similar in their goals.

Chiropractors are about helping the entire musculoskeletal system through manipulation, and treatment of soft tissue injuries. Commonly, weightlifters and bodybuilders can suffer from mobility problems and stiffness in certain areas.

They can of course also suffer spinal problems due to the stress that lifting heavy weights puts on the back and different joints.

Chiropractors can help realign the body and structure, diagnose soft tissue damage and help improve injuries. For anyone who is using heavy weights, a visit to a chiropractor can result in improved performance in training and less chance of future injuries.

What are the common problems caused by weightlifters?

The NCBI performed a small study on weightlifting injuries. This showed a high percentage of participants suffered from localized lower back pain due to their weight training exercises. In many cases, this would have been from incorrect techniques being performed, or from excessive weights being used.

Typical issues that bodybuilders and weightlifters report are lower back pain commonly, along with the following:

Muscle pulls


Aching joints

Frozen shoulder

Knee problems

Hip tightness/lack of movement

Neck, back, and shoulder pain are quite common from weight training. This is sometimes due to lack of stretching but can be from overtraining also.

Can you continue to train after an adjustment?

There are some rules surrounding training with an injury, and one is to listen to your body. If you are experiencing pain then it is time to stop and rest.

Some chiropractors will advocate exercise very soon after having an adjustment, but others will advise a little more caution. Weight training is a different beast from taking a leisurely jog around the park, and some care should be taken.

If you have had a chiropractic adjustment, then hopefully some good work has been done. It is possible that if you head straight to the gym to power lift, you could put all that work back to square one.

Talk to your chiropractor, and follow the exercises they give you. You should be training again in no time, and you should also find that you are much more productive after treatment.

Will the adjustments be permanent or is there a need for ongoing treatment?

Some people will see a chiropractor once, or perhaps very irregularly. Others may find that they need to visit their practitioner on a very regular basis.

However, for bodybuilders and powerlifters, there is a benefit in using a chiropractor often. Overall health and fitness can be aided by the employment of a chiropractor, and when performance means everything, this could be considered an extension of your training routine.


Understanding about back development is a major part of bodybuilding, but from time to time, pain and stiffness can occur. A chiropractor can help with the common problem areas such as knees, neck, back, and hips, that bodybuilders suffer from.

A chiropractor will help to put the structure of the body back into alignment, but they will also help the patient be able to perform much better and thus reach their fitness goals more effectively.

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