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Chiropractic in Sport ( Reading time 4,5 minutes)

Sports chiropractors specialise in the treatment of musculoskeletal and nervous system injuries, including prevention. This chiropractic specialty is an excellent resource for athletes. They have an in-depth knowledge of sports and sports-related injuries. Because of the long-term effects, non-use of medication, effective recovery and performance, all types of athletes find sports chiropractic an important way to keep their bodies in top shape. It is estimated that at least 90% of elite athletes use chiropractic regularly to prevent injury and improve performance.


Although many chiropractors have worked with athletes or clubs, it was not until 1976 that a chiropractor was involved in the Olympics[1]. In fact, Leroy Perry D.C. followed the Aruban team and was selected for the Montreal Olympics. 4 years later, George Goodheart D.C.. (He developed the A.K. technique) was integrated into the American medical team for the Olympics. And today, chiropractic continues to evolve in the world of sports.

Here are some important dates:

- 2000: Inauguration of a 420 m2 chiropractic clinic at Life University in Costa Rica to treat athletes. [2]

- 2012: London Olympic and Paralympic Games: chiropractic care was offered as one of the core services for athletes, which was very well received by teams and athletes.

- 2014-2015: Every NFL team had an official chiropractor [3].

- 2016: Rio uses the same concept as London [4].

Nowadays, many countries send their own chiropractors to major sporting events. The US team alone sent over 100 chiropractors to treat their athletes at the last Olympics.

Some names of athletes treated by chiropractors[5] :

- Michael Jordan - Basketball "Since going to chiropractic, I've improved by leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically."

- Usain Bolt - Sprint (8x Olympic gold medalist) "Whenever I had a little problem with my body, I would always run to one. That's how I found out that it's best to use chiropractors, not just after injuries but before. "

- Tiger Woods - Golf "I've been going to the chiropractor for as long as I can remember. It's as important to my training as practicing my swing."

- Arnold Schwarzenegger - Body Building "He [the chiropractor] corrects my wife, my kids, me, everybody. And we always feel good when we leave."

- Tom Brady - American Football "Chiropractic makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I've grown three inches and everything is in place. As long as I go to the chiropractor, I feel like I'm one step ahead."

- Michael Phelps - Swimmer (He is the winningest and most decorated athlete in Olympic history).

- Joe Sakic - Ice Hockey "I see a chiropractor regularly. I find that I have better flexibility and range of motion after my treatments. I recover faster from injuries. I have more 'bounce' in my game and it improves my performance."

- Joe Montana - American Football

- Evander Holyfield - Boxing "I have to have an attitude before I get in the ring. Most boxers go in to get that edge."

- Barry Bonds - Baseball.

- AND the list goes on ....

Chiropractic in athletic performance:

As numerous scientific studies show [6]

Chiropractic works in several areas:

- Prevent lower back pain, lower extremity injuries and hamstring injuries [7].

- Increase range of motion [8]: A movement that is restricted in its range of motion will be less effective as more muscles need to be recruited for the same action/movement.

- Pain reduction: More and more scientific studies show that a chiropractic adjustment of the spine is an effective form of pain reduction [9].

- Shortening recovery time: After a major physical exertion, the body needs 1 to 2 days of rest to allow the micro-injuries of the muscles to repair themselves. However, after a game or competition, the chiropractor can use techniques to work the soft tissues and joints to shorten the recovery time.

- Improved endurance[10], balance and strength: In a study where military personnel suffered from low back pain and were treated by a chiropractor. At the end of the month, there was an improvement in all three factors.

Studies are still underway to prove the benefits of chiropractic care for athletes. This article will be updated as soon as a new parameter is scientifically proven.

[1] Press, DC, PhD, Stephen J. (2012). The History of Sports Chiropractic [2] [3] John L. Stump DC, OMD, EdD; Daniel Redwood DC (March 2002). "The use and role of sport chiropractors in the National Football League: A short report". Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. [4] [5] [6] [7] [8] [9] [10]

Photo credits : Photo by Gentrit Sylejmani on Unsplash

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