All 32 NFL teams include the professional services of a DC as part of their integrated health care team approach, according to a February 1, 2017, release by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. Both the Super Bowl participants, the Atlanta Falcons and the Champion New England Patriots had team chiropractors available to adjust their players for optimal performance and reduce the risk of injuries.
The release notes that the New England Patriots have had the same team chiropractor for 35 years. Dr. Michael Miller, who attended his ninth Super Bowl this year stated, “During the NFL season, I regularly visit the stadium on my afternoon off from my office, as well as on game days both at home and away. Chiropractic care is emphasized by the head coach, trainers and medical staff as a proactive regimen to prevent injuries, with most of the players receiving adjustments roughly 1-2 times per week.”
Chiropractic has two functions when it comes to care for athletes. They seek care to maximize their performance, and to prevent and manage injuries. Dr Miller explains, “We’ve also earned the respect of other team physicians as a necessary protocol, and are all committed to one goal: keeping the athletes performing at their maximum potential and preventing and managing injuries as they occur.” He continued, “The players are educated about the principles of chiropractic and that it is designed to eliminate the cause of their problem rather than just masking their symptoms.”
The Atlanta Falcons team chiropractor, Dr. Joseph Krzemien, points out that players who receive regular chiropractic care are less prone to injury. “During the six seasons I’ve spent with the Atlanta Falcons, my goal has always been to prepare each player’s body to better resist trauma and to speed its natural recovery time,” he says. “This season, the Falcons have been successful for a lot of reasons, but I firmly believe that regular chiropractic care has played an important role in helping us stay healthy and get to Super Bowl LI – I am proud of the role I’ve played in their success.”
The Green Bay Packers chiropractor, Dr. Michael Zoelle, added, “Ensuring that the joints are functioning properly is critical in the healing process, as well as for injury prevention and optimal performance,” says Dr. Zoelle. “The players recognize that chiropractic care helps them to perform better and heal faster, ultimately leading to better team success.”
Dr. Lucas Matlock, President of the Florida Chiropractic Society and chiropractor for many professional athletes, explains how important chiropractic is for the success of a professional athlete. “Chiropractic detects and removes interference to the nervous system at the spine, called subluxations. When an athlete’s nervous system is free from interference, he or she can perform at a maximum level. For some athletes this could be the difference between making the team and the Hall of Fame.”