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Dynamic Chiropractic – September 24, 2003, Vol. 21, Issue 20

NFL Trainers

By Charles Masarsky, DC, FICC
Each patient education article in "The Evidence-Based Educator" details research documented in Somatovisceral Aspects of Chiropractic: An Evidence-Based Approach, co-edited by Dr. Masarsky and Marion Todres-Masarsky, DC.

Doctors John Stump and Daniel Redwood are prolific chiropractic authors. They recently published the results of a survey of National Football League (NFL) trainers. The favorable results of this survey provide a wonderful introduction to the topic of chiropractic and athletic performance. Please feel free to use the following patient education article for your bulletin board, as a handout after lectures or tableside talks, or in your practice newsletter.

The March/April 2002 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics included an article titled, "The Use and Role of Sport Chiropractors in the National Football League: A Short Report." Specifically, this study evaluated the utilization of doctors of chiropractic by NFL trainers. When asked whether they have ever referred injured players to doctors of chiropractic, 77 percent replied, "Yes." In fact, 45 percent of the NFL trainers had visited chiropractors themselves. The full text of this article can be read in the online version of the journal at

While the referral of injured NFL players is an impressive vote of confidence, it may represent only a fraction of the role the chiropractic profession could play in athletic life. Recent research indicates that chiropractic care tends to improve athletic ability in healthy, noninjured players. Agility, balance, muscle strength, jump distance and capillary circulation have all been found to improve in athletes receiving regular chiropractic adjustments. These athletes were involved in a wide variety of sports, including football; baseball; rugby; volleyball; track; weightlifting; and aerobic dancing.

A particularly interesting finding in this research involves reaction time. Athletes under chiropractic care were found to improve their reaction time by approximately 18 percent over a six-week period, while athletes not under chiropractic care improved their reaction time by less than 1 percent. This finding has implications far beyond the athletic field. From caring for a fast-moving toddler to operating a motor vehicle in busy traffic, a fast reaction time can prevent accidents in all aspects of life.

Charles Masarsky, DC
Vienna, Virginia

Click here for previous articles by Charles Masarsky, DC, FICC.

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