Chiropractic is used by top professional players in a variety of sports ranging from golf, tennis, football, volleyball, surfing, rowing, running, cycling, sailing, weightlifting, handball and more.1 In addition to serving athletes at the World Games 2009 in Kaohsiung, Taiwan, for the first time in Olympic history, chiropractic care was fully integrated in caring for athletes at the 2010 Winter Olympic games in Vancouver.2-3 Chiropractic care is so popular among athletes for two main reasons:

  1. Chiropractic helps improve and enhance athletic performance.
  2. Chiropractic helps keep athletes on the field and may prevent injuries from becoming major ones.4

According to an article in 2002, in US professional football, only 31% of NFL teams had a chiropractor officially on staff.5 By 2012, all 32 NFL teams had at least one, if not two, team chiropractors.6 The need for chiropractic care to release stress from the spine and nervous system is more important than was realized before. The collisions sustained by players cause head trauma that can result in brain damage. A study commissioned by the NFL of more than 3,500 former players found that former NFL players are more likely to die from neurodegenerative diseases like Alzheimer’s and ALS.7

In one study, fifty athletes were divided into two groups – one that received chiropractic care, and one who did not. They were tested on agility, balance, power, speed, and hand reaction time. After 12 weeks, the group that was receiving chiropractic care improved 16.7% including a 30% improvement in reaction time. “The [chiropractic] athlete reacts faster, coordinates better, executes fine movements with improved accuracy and precision, amounting to an overall better athlete.8 For many professional and amateur athlete’s chiropractic has become a key part of recovery and training. For example, 75% of the San Francisco 49ers received chiropractic care the day they won the 1990 Super Bowl.9 The University of Tennessee’s track team won the men’s NCAA title after receiving care from team chiropractor Dr. Michael Petty. After an adjustment from Dr. Petty, decathlete Blake Sabo discovered chiropractic’s performance enhancement benefits, and stated that “He actually had six personal bests out of ten events at the meet,” said Dr. Petty.10 Richard Quick, the Olympic head coach of the University of Texas says: “Chiropractic is playing a larger role in all forms of athletics…[it] helps athletic performance.” Brian Campbell, DC, a chiropractor who treats USC, UCLA, and USA swimming athletes says, “If you…want optimum performance, chiropractic helps with that.”11  Explore chiropractic and natural methods first. Joe Montana stated, “I only wish I had tried chiropractic care a few years ago when I first started having back pain, and maybe this surgery would never have happened.”12

You do not have to be an Olympiad or an athlete to benefit from chiropractic care; Americans suffer from millions of sports-related injuries each year12. Your chiropractor balances your structural system and relieves stress on your muscles, ligaments, tendons, and nerves. Almost without fail, sports injuries jar and misalign your spine and structural system. Most victims of trauma may end up leaving the hospital with serious subluxations from their accidents because MDs are not trained to locate and correct this form of damage. That is the realm of chiropractic care! Any and everyone should make it a priority to see their chiropractor regularly, especially those with injuries.


  1. Belov D. PGA championship and summertime sports chiropractic. August 11, 2007.
  2. Federation Internationale de Chiropractique du Sport Newsletter. March 31, 2008.
  3. 2010 Winter Olympics Games Business Plan and Games Budget. 151.
  4. Haldeman S. Spinal manipulative therapy in sports medicine. Clinics in Sports Medicine. 1986;5:277.
  5. Stump JL, Redwood D. The use and role of sport chiropractors in the National Football League: a short report. JMPT. 2002;25:E2.
  7. Lehman EJ, Hein MJ, Baron SL, Gersic CM. Neurodegenerative causes of death among retired National Football League players. Neurology. 2012;79(19):1970-1974. Epub 2012 Sep 5.
  8. Lauro BM. Chiropractic effects on athletic ability. Chiropractic: The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigations. 1991;6(4)84-87.
  9. News release. International Chiropractic Association Review. March/April 1990.
  10. Painter J. Peak performers: well-adjusted UT volunteers capture NCAA track and field championships. Today’s Chiropractic. September/October 2001;52.
  11. News and World Report. July 31, 1989;56.
  12. Stott MJ. Back in the water. Swimming World Magazine. August 2003.
  13. Interview with Nick Athens, DC. Today’s Chiropractic. March/April 1989;60-63.