According to the American Chiropractic Association, Doctors of Chiropractic are used by all 32 professional football teams. The chiropractors treat musculoskeletal strain injuries, such as neck and back pain, strains, and whiplash injuries, which helps reduce the use of prescription pain medications.
Chiropractic care for professional athletes become well-known when San Francisco 49ers quarterback Joe Montana was treated by a chiropractor during the 1989 Super Bowl. By 2002, 31% of the National Football League used a chiropractor in an official capacity. In 2006, a study analyzing Division I NCAA collegiate athletes revealed that 29% of respondents visited chiropractors for help.
Football players are not the only ones who benefit from chiropractic care. In 1980, chiropractic care became an official part of Olympic training’s sports medicine program. Twenty-seven of 30 Major League baseball teams have an official team chiropractor, while almost every National Basketball Association team has an official team chiropractor as well.
Many other professional athletes, such as Jerry Rice, Michael Jordan, and Tiger Woods, have made statements about their use of chiropractic care and how it’s helped them.
Chiropractic Care Benefits for Athletes
Most people think that chiropractic care mainly involves getting adjustments due to back and neck issues. However, for athletes, seeing a chiropractor is about dealing with injuries as much as it is about prevention. Here are a few ways that athletes can benefit from regular chiropractic visits.
- Increasing range of motion – When the spine is out of alignment, muscles can spasm and cramp up, which can decrease your range of motion. Relieving misalignments can help free up areas of tension, reduce pain, and improve mobility, thus improving your form.
- Promote faster healing – Misalignments can slow down the healing process. Chiropractic care can speed up the recovery process by using various techniques for not just realignment of the spine, but techniques that help with muscle tension and spasms.
- Noninvasive and drug-free treatment – Athletes need to be in the right mindset to get on the field, which is why it’s important to be clear-headed and free of drugs, including prescribed medications like muscle relaxants or opioids. Chiropractic care is one way to decrease pain from an injury without the need for drugs or surgery.
- Improves balance and coordination, as well as energy levels – Playing sports day in and day out can leave anyone feeling drained. Along with improving balance and coordination, chiropractic visits can help players recharge.
Many athletes schedule routine visits with their chiropractor. The term “athlete” isn’t reserved for only those who play professional sports, it’s also for anyone who engages in any type of sport – from powerlifting to gymnastics to cheerleading.
If you are an athlete and want to learn more about how a chiropractor can help you, schedule an appointment with a ChiroCare doctor today.