Chiropractic Enhances Sports Performance

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As a chiropractor most of my patients initially come for help with their back pain, neck pain or headaches. Chiropractic has an amazing success rate with these things due to its functional approach. While under care patients’ often realise that other aspects of their health have improved as well. This is usually due to the fact that when we improve the function of the spine, the nervous system can work better and therefore control your body better.

This is true for Mums and Dads, young and old, sedentary workers and manual labourers, and also for all people that play sports. Athletes from all the football codes are susceptible to injury, the most common being hamstring injuries. 16% of Aussie Rules players in the AFL are afflicted annually by hamstring injuries which cause 3.4 missed games per injury. Conventional injury prevention has focused on local factors such as poor hamstring flexibility, fatigue and lack of warm-up. However, a recent study from Sydney has addressed non-local factors that are typically addressed by chiropractors such as bio-mechanics and postural control mechanisms of the lumbar spine and pelvis. The results were astounding.

The study split 60 semi-elite Aussie Rules players into two groups: one group received normal sports medicine care, the other received sports medicine care plus chiropractic care. The experiment ran over one season and the participants were monitored over 32-weeks. The two groups were compared by the number of games missed during the season due to: 1. Lower limb muscle strain; 2. Hamstring Injuries; 3. Non-contact knee injuries. In the group that received chiropractic care, missed games for the respective categories was 4, 4, and 1. In the group that didn’t receive chiropractic care missed games for the respective categories was 21, 14 and 24.

The chiropractic care group had a statistically significant improvement in current and overall low back pain. Of significant note were the improvements the chiropractic group obtained in their general health status, specifically on the measures of bodily pain, general health and physical summary score. As you can see there was a massive advantage to the players that received chiropractic care which reinforces the importance of optimal spinal function for optimal performance on the sports field.

If you have not had your spine checked recently call us for an appointment.

Hoskins W, Pollard H (2010) The Effect of a Sports Chiropractic Manual Therapy Intervention

on the Prevention of Back pain, Hamstring and Lower Limb Injuries in Semi-Elite Australian

Rules Footballers: A Randomized Controlled Trial BMC Musculoskeletal Disorders 11:64.