Surfing: Balance, Stability and Coordination

Written by Dr. Daniel Kimbley

Every surfer knows just how important balance, stability, and coordination are to performance when that nice summertime swell hits.

You can’t control the swell, the wind, or the water temperature, but you can control your response to the swell when the sets roll in. How prepared you are to paddle hard, drop in, bottom turn and hit the lip will determine how you adapt to the rolling sets.

Obviously you can train all year long to stay in paddling shape, you can work on your cardio and balance as well. There’s one key to your most successful surf season yet, that many people ignore.

The most cutting-edge neuroscience and research on the brain is finding that stimulation and nutrition to your brain requires properly moving joints of the spine. 

In Brain Research, Yates describes the importance of proper nervous system function on balance, posture and breathing. He writes, “In addition to maintaining stable eye and body position during movement, the vestibular system influences cardiovascular and respiratory control; vestibulosympathetic and vestibulorespiratory reflexes may be important in correcting posturally related disturbances”.1 In other words, proper posture and nervous system function are directly related to balance, eye movements and control over your breathing pathways. 

What surfer wouldn’t want better hand-eye coordination, balance, and ability to take in oxygen during the high demands when the surf is pumping? Having a properly functioning nervous system is sure to give you the extra edge on your competition. 

Restricted motion in the spine, called vertebral subluxation, causes interference in the nervous system and increases stress hormones in your body, leading to a variety of dysfunctions, including decreased immunity, digestion problems, infertility, lack of focus, and low energy.2 

What we do here is about so much more than pain. By allowing the joints of the spine to move properly, we increase reaction time and coordination. Researchers found that following a single chiropractic adjustment, reaction time improved by an average of 38% demonstrating an improvement in central nervous system control of muscles associated with joint stability.3

Whether you’re looking to compete at a higher level or simply looking to stay in the water, able to surf for a lifetime. The care we provide in our office will help get you there. 

This summer surf season, make sure you’re performing at the top of your game. Regular chiropractic care as a part of your already healthy lifestyle is sure to help you have more balance and stability and help you heal better. Have your nervous system checked today to increase your function and performance.

1 Yates, B.J., Siniaia, M. & Miller, A.D. (1995). American Journal of Physiology. Descending pathways necessary for vestibular influences on sympathetic and inspiratory flow. 268, 1381-1385.

2 Korr IM. The spinal cord as organizer of disease processes. J Am Osteopath Assoc. 1976 Sep;76(1):35-45.

3Haavik H, Holt K, Murphy B. Exploring the neuromodulatory effects of the vertebral subluxation and chiropractic care. Chiropr J Aust. 2010;40:37-44

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