|Chiropractic's Role in
As more athletes discover the benefits of chiropractic
care not only for injuries but additionally for
increased performance, more athletes and teams are using
chiropractic to gain an important edge. A recent study
published in the March/April 2002 issue of the Journal
of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, (JMPT)
examined the usage of chiropractic care by National
Football League teams throughout the US.
The Journal article reported on the results of a survey
of NFL trainers on their usage and referral to
chiropractic care. Participants of the survey were head
athletic trainers of the 36 National Football League
teams. They were all men, and all had at least 17 years
of experience and had served with their present team in
their current position for a minimum of 1 year .
The results of the survey showed that 45% percent of the
trainers themselves have been treated by a chiropractor.
Presently 31% of NFL teams use chiropractors in an
official capacity as part of their staffs. However, even
though not necessarily on the staff of the NFL team a
full 77% of the trainers have referred to a chiropractor
for evaluation or treatment. Probably the most telling
result of the survey is that 100% of trainers agree that
some players use chiropractic care without referral from
team medical staff.
Several other questions were also asked in the survey
and the answers were as follows:
Should trainers refer players with suspected spinal
subluxations to chiropractors? - Five percent of
trainers strongly agree, 48% agree, 24% disagree, and
19% have no opinion.
Is there a role for the doctor of chiropractic in the
NFL? - Eighty-one percent agree that there is a role for
the chiropractor in the NFL, 5% strongly agree, 14% have
no opinion, and none disagree.
Is the role of the sport chiropractor different from
that of the team physician? - All (100%) of the trainers
see these roles as different from each other.
In addition to NFL players, many athletes from many
sports depend on chiropractic care. One such athlete is
John Stockton, a professional basketball player and
future hall of famer with the Utah Jazz. In an April 2,
2002 article that appeared in the Toronto Star, writer
Doug Smith asks and answers the question concerning John
Stockton's longevity, "What is the secret to John
Stockton's continued success on the NBA basketball court
at age 40? A Good Chiropractor." When asked to explain
his usage of chiropractic John's response was, "I'm not
a good enough expert on what that (chiropractic)
entails, but it's not just adjustments, it's balancing
muscles and overall health." John then added, "it's been
great for me, and for my family." The article reports
that along with chiropractic, Stockton says that a love
for the game and fun with his family are two other
secrets to his continued success.