By Dr Deed Harrison, DC
All 32 teams in the US National Football League have chiropractors on staff. So do 27 of 30 Major League Baseball teams and most teams in the National Basketball Association.
Athletes from Tiger Woods to Michael Jordan have publicly praised chiropractic for preventing injuries and improving performance.
What do professional athletes know that weekend warriors don’t?
They believe that chiropractic gives them an edge. And studies show they may be right: chiropractic can enhance athletic performance and prevent injuries.
In a 1991 study of 50 athletes, one group received chiropractic care; the other did not. Researchers then tested the athletes in 11 different areas, including agility, balance, perception of body movement, power, and reaction time.
The group under chiropractic care improved significantly in all 11 areas after six weeks. The control group measured only minor changes in eight of the 11 tests.
A study conducted at the New Zealand College of Chiropractic in 2014 provides a reason for the earlier findings. The research indicated that failure to properly activate your core muscles during exercise can lead to spinal injuries.
Dr Heidi Haavik, director of research at the college, says this occurs when the brain fails to predict what will happen during certain movements. “There is now accumulating evidence that chiropractic care may play a part in improving the ability of the brain to engage the core muscles appropriately and stabilize the spine,” she explained.
She went on to say, “Chiropractic care improves the communication between the brain and body, and results in better control of the core muscles during body movements, so that your spine is at less risk of injury.“
So if you’re a weekend warrior, consider taking a leaf from the professional athletes’ playbook. As Michael Jordan puts it, “Since I’ve been in chiropractic, I’ve improved by leaps and bounds, both mentally and physically.”
Your nervous system transmits messages from the brain to every muscle, bone and organ in your body. As New Zealand’s Haavik noted, chiropractic keeps the communication system operating at peak efficiency. That’s because it eliminates spinal misalignments that put pressure on the nerves and interfere with their ability to communicate with the body.
Professional athletes get to experience this through their chiropractic care. As an athlete it is a no brainer…the athletes who have integrated chiropractic care into their regimen have an edge. If you’re looking to enhance your athletic performance and prevent injuries make sure you are visiting your chiropractor.
We provide care for a number of high level athletes, with many of them training for the 2020 Olympics.