Playing sports can cause all kinds of injuries for children as well as adults. Chiropractic care is critical to keep you on top of your game and performing at your best.

Poorly fitting athletic shoes can hurt your stride and therefore your spine. This information was reported in a Dec. 6, 2005 release appearing on PRNewswire. According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), footwear plays an important role in the functional biomechanics of the human body.

The article also reports that improperly-fitting shoes can do more than hurt a runner's stride, they can upset a person's overall biomechanics and lead to pain throughout the body.  Dr. Jeffery Solomon, president of the ACA's Council on Sports Injuries & Physical Fitness noted, "Your feet are the foundation of your body, and if they are not properly supported you can have problems anywhere from the bottom of your feet up through your neck."

The article posted several tips to consider before a runner should purchase their next pair of running shoes. These are:

- Be sure to match the right shoe to the right activity. If possible, purchase running shoes from a specialty store or from someone knowledgeable about matching the correct type of running shoes to your foot type and stride pattern.

- Select shoes with adequate cushioning in the soles, which helps absorb the shock of your feet hitting the ground. Cushioning is especially important when running on hard surfaces, such as pavement or sidewalks.

- Check for adequate room at the widest part of your foot. The shoe shouldn't be tight, but your foot shouldn't slide around, either.

- Consider custom made orthotic insoles. Orthotics can address structural abnormalities in the feet and the resultant biomechanical faults.

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.

Thomas Bjorn is a professional golfer from Denmark who made a bit of sports history at the 87th PGA Championship when he shot a round of 63 and tied the record for the lowest score in a major PGA tournament. However, this accomplishment of sports history and Bjorn's second place finish in the 2005 PGA Tournament might not have been possible without the chiropractic care Bjorn received during the practice rounds prior to the start of the tournament.

The August 15, 2005 Daily Record of New Jersey tells the story of how a local Morris County chiropractor can take at least partial credit for Thomas Bjorn's record-setting round Saturday at the PGA Championship.  Dr. Patrick Ryan was seeing patients when he received a call from a colleague in London who was the chiropractor for Bjorn. Shortly after this Bjorn, drove straight to Ryan's practice in Randolph NJ, complaining of a restriction in his neck that kept him from turning his head properly in his swing. According to the Daily Record, Bjorn had been forced to stop practicing after six holes prior to the tournament because of pain in his neck that affected his swing.

Dr. Ryan performed scans on Bjorn and reviewed information from his London chiropractor and came to the conclusion that Bjorn was suffering from a subluxation of the first thoracic vertebra, the point where the head and shoulders meet. This created severe muscle spasm at the base of Bjorn's neck and prevented proper rotation.

Bjorn then received an adjustment, and asked to return the next day. On the following visit a new scan showed Bjorn's imbalance had improved from severe to mild. Bjorn reported that he felt terrific. On Saturday, Bjorn shot a 7-under-par 63. That score tied the record for the best round of golf ever in a major tournament. In interviews after the tournament, the Danish pro credited a new pain-free swing.

A feature story appearing in the June 30, 2005 edition of the Catonsville Times in Maryland celebrated the 10 year anniversary that a chiropractor had been helping the Baltimore Ravens Professional Football team. Ten years ago the Ravens came to town.  At that time Dr. Doug Miller (right) started his relationship with the team that has lasted since then.

Dr. Miller became the team's chiropractor by contacting the Ravens shortly after their move from Cleveland and telling officials about the services he provided to other sports teams in the area. He was on the playing field when the Baltimore Ravens won the 2000 Superbowl.  He can also be found in the locker room and on the field on most Sundays during football season.

Raven's trainer Bill Tessendorf, refers most of the players that Dr. Miller sees for chiropractic care. Tessendorf, who has 32 years of experience as an NFL trainer explained, "A player favoring a knee or an ankle can cause alignment problems elsewhere. A chiropractor can help with a lot of those issues."

Dr. Miller explained that chiropractic care still remains misunderstood. Most of his services are not necessarily related to the treatment of injuries. He explains, "It's not just about relieving pain from backaches and injuries," he said. "It's about achieving optimum health. We can do a lot to help with the conditioning of muscles and joints."
The article notes that presently almost every NFL team has a chiropractor on staff.

The above headline excerpt is from the June 10, 2006 "Giants Notebook" section of the San Francisco Chronicle. This story reports on Dr. Ron Mitchell, a chiropractor who travels with the San Francisco Giants baseball team as their team chiropractor. The story starts by noting that Dr. Mitchell loves to watch Bonds hit home runs and during Bond's recent chase of Babe Ruth's record, Mitchell would stop adjusting, and run outside to see Bonds at bat. (Photo by Agncia Brasil)

Dr. Mitchell is present at the games adjusting players.  The story also notes that pitcher, Jason Schmidt, also loves to get adjusted and typically does so during the games to avoid the rush of other players who get adjusted before the games. Ironically, Dr. Mitchell missed both Barry Bonds' 715th and 716th home runs as he was in the clubhouse adjusting Schmidt.

The story noted that Jason Schmidt offered to halt the chiropractic session when Bonds was at bat chasing home run number 715, but Mitchell showed his dedication and responded, "No, let's do what we've got to do. Let's get you treated and get you ready."  The article reported that a few pitches later Bonds hit his 715th home run. After missing seeing the historic home run Dr. Mitchell commented, "Schmidty looked and me and laughed, and I laughed, and we kind of blew it off and that was it."

It was a few days later when Dr. Mitchell was once again adjusting Jason Schmidt while Bonds was at bat that Bonds hit number 716. After this repeat performance all Dr. Mitchell could say was, "There goes the next one."
In typical baseball superstition, the players even joked about it saying that they were going to schedule Schmidt for an adjustment with Dr. Mitchell whenever the Giants are behind so that Bonds would hit a home run and win the game.

Even Barry Bonds himself found the situation amusing saying, "I'm going to have to get on the table with him." Jason Schmidt, however, felt bad having caused Dr. Mitchell to miss two historic sporting events. Schmidt commented, "I kind of felt bad. ... He takes a lot of pride on working on Barry, so I felt kind of bad he wasn't able to be out there at the time. He's been out there so many times, and it's like, it's not going to happen this time, so let's take our chances."

From the March 12, 2003 new website comes a short feature story on chiropractic care for professional golfers. According to the story there are currently 10 chiropractors who take turns staffing the medical teams of the Professional Golfers Association (PGA). During a tournament, the staff chiropractor will often work from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. and care for between 25 to 40 golfers each day.

Dr. David Kassay is one of the chiropractors on the tour. He commented, "Each day, it's not unusual for a third of them (golfers) to seek some kind of medical attention. Over the course of a tournament, probably 80 percent of the players come by." The medical teams and chiropractors are housed in large, expandable trailers that have full care facilities and exercise equipment. They also have televisions with both network and closed-circuit tournament coverage.

Dr. Kassay noted where the golfers experience most of their problems during a tournament, "Most are in the neck, the upper and lower back, shoulders, elbows and wrists; areas involved in the golf swing. These guys are hitting a lot of golf balls through the day, not just in the tournament but in practice, too. All that repetition is demanding on the body. If they're not in good shape, they'll be hurting"

No less than a dozen different news stories recently appeared reporting on chiropractors going to London to assist the athletes in the 2012 Olympics. In many of these articles, the various doctors from around the nation are working with the athletes to help them maximize their performances and giving them the competitive edge.

In one of the articles on August 1, 2012, in the Lake Forrest Patch, Dr. Dustin Glass is described as the official team chiropractor for the United States women's indoor volleyball team. "I am very proud and honored to be a part of Team USA," stated Dr. Glass. "They are representing the country on the biggest athletic stage in the world and I am fortunate to be a part of it." Later in the article Dr. Glass continued, "Having helped out in practice and sitting courtside while traveling, to see the athleticism these athletes bring to the sport is an awesome experience," he said. "These are the top 12 players in the country competing for the pinnacle of success in athletics—the Olympic gold!"

A number of the other articles focus on a team of chiropractors helping the USA martial arts, Judo, wrestling, weight lifting and sitting volleyball teams. In a July 28, 2012 article in the online edition of the Erie Times-News, Dr. Tom Stetson, a chiropractor from North Carolina expresses his enthusiasm by saying, "It's incredibly exciting to take the true principles of health to the world stage of London. The principles we teach help athletes win, but they can also help people in this community achieve the health they've been looking for."

In addition to the excitement that many doctors are feeling, the athletes, coaches and directors are also glad to see the chiropractors at the Olympics. Jose Rodriguez, USA Judo executive director, commented in a July 29,
2012, Examiner article, "This is about making our athletes stronger, faster and sustainably successful." In the same article, Terry Steiner, the USA Women's National Wrestling Team coach added, "I have seen a tremendous value in our partnership (with the chiropractors) as it pertains to the performances of our Olympic team. I can further see the positive, life-long effects these doctors can have on their lives after London."

One chiropractor, however, is at the Olympics for a different reason. Dr. Josh Binstock a 6-foot-5-inch athlete, is competing in his first Olympic Games as part of the Canadian Volleyball team. In a July 30, 2012, article in the Algemeiner, Dr. Binstock said, "[This] was what I had been dreaming about since I started playing this sport and what I put my chiropractic career on hold to pursue."

Virginia Tech's football team has had an impressive record over the last several years.  Head Coach Frank Beamer took the "Hokies" to a Big East Conference championship where they finished number 2 in the Associated Press. Some of the credit for their physical health and recovery from injuries is attributed to chiropractic care.

Dr. Greg Tilley, a chiropractor from Blacksburg Virginia started caring for various members of the team after approaching the team physician to discuss how he could assist the team. "In the beginning there were times when I only saw one or two patients," says Dr. Tilley. "Now I have been allocated an office in the sports complex where I have my own portable table, and they have a schedule where the trainers can schedule times for their athletes to see me.

Junior quarterback Grant Noel began receiving adjustments in July of 2001. He feels that chiropractic gives him better flexibility and range of motion. "Just getting my back adjusted and loose helps with my trunk mobility as far as twisting and throwing."

With the success and testimonials of the football team, other athletes have also begun chiropractic. Athletes from the schools swimming, diving, lacrosse, soccer, and basketball programs have begun regular adjustments.  Mike Gentry, the assistant athletic director for athletic performance, summed it up by saying, "I see chiropractic as having two functions from my perspective. It helps our athletes return to competition faster if they have sustained some injuries, and secondly, it seems to be preventative, in the sense that it keeps our athletes more mobile and flexible and feeling better."

I’ve been playing Major League Baseball since 2001 and have had the privilege to play for the Phillies, Twins, Red Sox and am now with the Los Angeles Dodgers.  In 2011, I had the honor to win the World Series with the St. Louis Cardinals.  However, through all of these great years of playing Major League Baseball, my body has taken a beating.

When I first came to see Dr. MacAdam, it was because of my low back hurting in the off season.  But now that he has helped me with my low back pain, I continue to see him during the regular season.  His care helps me stay as healthy as possible during the season and bounce back quicker when injuries do occur.  Whether it’s my back, hip, ankles or just to keep playing at my highest level, Dr. MacAdam has made a difference.  I also have got a lot of benefit from seeing the Acupuncturist and Massage Therapists at Dr. MacAdam’s office.  Having all of these specialties under one roof and so close to my home has been great not only for me, but for my wife and kids too!

Nick Punto - Major League Baseball Player


In a July 15 PR-Newswire release from Denver is a story of two local chiropractors recently hired as team chiropractors for the two-time NFL champion Denver Broncos. Dr. Dan Hill and Dr. JT Anderson became the official team chiropractors after being appointed by the team trainer Steve Antonopulos. The two doctors had been taking care of several of the players for several years in their private practice. Last year head coach Mike Shanahan integrated chiropractic into the Broncos full-time fitness regime.  From the results, it obviously helped, so the decision was made to have the chiropractors with the team again this year. Drs. Hill and Anderson will provide chiropractic to the players at least twice per week during the regular season and off-season.

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