When you witness a crushing tackle during a game of Monday Night Football, you probably wonder how these guys can continue to get out and play again the following week. Besides simply being big and tough, one way players in the National Football League (NFL) get back on their feet is through chiropractic treatment. Sports chiropractors focus on treating injuries of the muscles and bones. With back pain alone appearing in as many as 75% of professional athletes every year, and possibly even a greater percentage of football players, NFL players are requiring chiropractic care for their aches and pains.
To determine the use of chiropractic in the NFL, a questionnaire was sent to the head athletic trainers of every team in the league. The questions related to frequency and type of treatment used to treat injured players. Of the two-thirds of all trainers who responded, the results indicate a strong use of chiropractic:
- 45% of the NFL trainers had personally seen a chiropractor;
- 77% of trainers had referred players to a chiropractor; and
- 31% of NFL teams had an official chiropractor on their staff.
The trainers surveyed in this study in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics predominantly referred players to chiropractors for low back pain, neck injury, and headaches. With professional sports organizations beginning to embrace chiropractic, perhaps more of the general public will seek out this natural, safe alternative to drugs and surgery.
Stump JL, Redwood D. The use and role of sport chiropractors in the National Football League: A short report. Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics 2002:25(3), p. e2.