TDs and DCs: The role of chiropractors in professional sports

What do all NFL teams have in common? They all use the help of Doctors of Chiropractic (D.C.’s ) to keep their athletes in top shape. Most people associate chiropractic with back and neck pain. Over the years this perception has been rapidly changing. Now chiropractors can help with allergies, headaches, circulation, anxiety, depression, strength and felxibility. Chiropractic care is utilized by all people including expecting mothers, children, and especially professional athletes. The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) reproted that all 32 NFL teams and 23 MLB teams employ DC’s are part of their care arsenal. Studies have been produced dating back to 2002 documenting the effects of chiropractic care on a range of sports and conditions. These studies include athletes from a wide range of sports including football, baseball, soccer, golf, and the olympic games. According to a study conducted by the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapuetics (JMPT), about 1/3 of NFL teams have professional chiropractors contracted with their teams and 77% report regular referal to outside chiropractic providers. Baseball teams and olympic teams seem to follow a similar care regimen. 

So, what makes professional athletes flock to chiropractic care? JMPT reports that sports account for up to 15% of back pain. High contact sports and intensive weight training programs result in an incidence of 75% of low back pain per year among professional athletes. Research has found that chiropractic care significantly improves joint mobility and decreases the number of painful trigger points throughout the body. Another study, published in the Journal of Osteopathic Medicine, evaluating the effect of pre-competition manipulative treatment on athletic performance elaborates on the relationship between chiropractic treatment and sports. The study’s researchers postulate that the positive correlation observed between athletic performance and consistent treatment can be the result of numerous benefits of chiropractic treatment. Specifically the researchers highlight the way that chiropractic care results in the restoration of full musculoskeletal and joint movement, optimization of neuromuscular communications and recalibration of biochemical balancing. These aspects support athletes through treating of pain obtained in the field as well as providing protection from injury and maintenance required to keep the body functioning at a high level.

Professional or not, chiropractic care can be hugely effective in daily life by expanding range of motion and managing pain. If you’re interested in how chiropractic care can affect your performance or about chiropractic care in general feel free to contact us. Santa Clara Custom Chiropractic is always happy to answer any questions you might have. If you would like to schedule an appointment you can do so online by giving us a call at (408)426-4936.


Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics

Journal of Osteopathic Medicine

American Chiropractic Association



Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>