If you are a CrossFitter in Austin, chances are, you have met Mike McCalister at a competition, worked out with him in class or visited him at the downtown Next Level Chiropractic office.. He is the Sports Chiropractor at the Next Level office inside of CrossFit Central Downtown, a CrossFit athlete and most recently traveled with the CC competition team to Regionals to work on the athletes in between events. Mike is originally from Shreveport, Louisiana where he also attended undergraduate school, at LSUS. Shortly after he moved to Dallas to attend Parker University and eventually made his way to Austin in 2012 to begin a career with Next Level Chiropractic.
We wanted to get to know Mike a bit better and find out a few things CrossFitters can do to improve their performance in the gym. Check out the Q&A below
What drew you to a Chiropractic Profession?
I always had a passion for the muscular and skeletal system, how it moves and rehab. I liked watching people move, figuring out what was wrong and finding a way to help them correct it.
What are common things CrossFitters come to you for?
Low back. A lot of people that have low back symptoms in CrossFit typically have a tendency to move too much through the lumbar spine of the low back and they don’t really have the ability to move their hips and upper back. All of that can add up to give someone low back pain whether they are deadlifting or squatting. So we make sure the hips, T-Spine and shoulders move well.
Anything you would recommend that CrossFitters can do daily to help their mobility?
Rolling out the hips and stretching out the hip flexors is probably one of the biggest things that people have limitations with. Also utilizing the glutes. When you have really tight hip flexors you can’t really get to hip extension. That where you get all of your power, strength and stability from – your hips. You should be rolling out before or after class. Depending on how active you are in CrossFit, you need to be rolling 3-5 days a week. The more activity you do, the more time you need to spend on your body.
Should CrossFitters see you only when they have an injury? Or come to you for preventative work?
They should come in for preventative work! You can see a lot by the way someone moves and their limitations and we can help correct a lot of these things before they become an issue. It’s not just about how mobile you are but it’s also about how well you stabilize. Stabilizing your core, hips and your knees are all important.
What would you say to people that when they think about seeing a Chiropractor, their initial response is “will be painful?”
The thing about it is that whenever you have tissue that’s been beat up over time it gets fibrotic, it gets hardened. If you look at a histologic study of scar tissue it actually has more sensation to that area, it has more nerve ending, so it’s going to be more sensitive. Whenever you go to push on these spots that need to be broken up and broken down, it’s going to be painful. I can be really soft on you and be really light, but you will not get the kind of results that you want. Anytime that you break down scar tissue and fibrosis, you’re going to create a inflammatory response, but that’s also how the body heals itself. Manual therapies make the tissue stronger, it literally transforms the tissue. The more pressure you apply, the better results that you get.
pictured below: photos of untreated and treated scar tissue
Find out more about Next Level Chiropractic & Rehab -> nextleveldr.com