Chiropractic and the Athlete

Chiropractic has become increasingly popular with professional athletes in the past 20 years. And for good reason.

A trial evaluated the effect of spinal manipulation on athletic ability in a group of 50 completely non-symptomatic athletes. At 6 weeks, overall improvement was 10.6% (or 2.35 times better than control group). After an additional 6 weeks of treatment, the adjusted group were 16.7% better than at baseline. The study showed that chiropractic quantitatively improved agility, balance, speed reaction, kinaesthetic perception and power.

John Steffensen and Brent Gordon
Ana Ivanovic Training
John Newcombe and Brent Gordon
Croation High Jumper and Brent Gordon
Greg Chappell and Brent Gordon
Jason Gillespie and Paul Wilson
Sophie Ferguson
Wayne Lundgren and Brent Gordon

“Chiropractic – Legal performance enhancement”

Uncorrected biomechanical problems lead to:

  1. decreased mechanical efficiency
  2. increased energy expenditure
  3. decreased performance
  4. altered load distribution
  5. increased risk of injury1
“Athletes are going to break down if they put high physical demands on a system that has functional deficits and adaptive changes. 80% of re-injuries in sport occur within one month of going back.” Herring, 1997 2

Functional alterations as well as symptoms must be corrected. Treatment confined to pain relief and initiation of healing without functional restoration by other rehabilitation methods may result in development of biomechanical deficits.3 If there is incomplete rehabilitation local injuries have as high as a 77% chance of recurrence. Local injuries may cause mechanical adaptations to compensate for pain or weakness and inflexibility, which stresses other body parts and may cause overload in these areas.4


  1. Lauro (1991) J. Chir. Res. & Cain. Invest 6: 84-87.
  2. Herring (1997) in Wiesel. Backletter 12: 57.
  3. Kibler (1990) Sports induced inflammation 1990: 759-769.
  4. Kibler (1995) Clinics in Sports Medicine 14: 447-457.