Sports Training and Performance

(from www.icpa4kids.org)

Athletes have also discovered that chiropractic care allows them to achieve an optimal level of performance when training and competing in their respective sporting event. A proper biomechanical structure allows athletes to achieve and maintain their optimal level of performance—safely and naturally. There is a growing body of research and case studies which clearly show the relationship between chiropractic care and athletic performance.

Sports Training and Performance

A Canadian research team included chiropractic care in the rehabilitation program of sixteen injured female long distance runners. Not only did these runners recover quickly, seven of them actually scored “personal best” performances while under chiropractic care. (1)

The extent of chiropractic’s “winning edge” was tested on fifty athletes who were divided into a control group and a group which added chiropractic care to their usual training procedures. After six weeks, the group under chiropractic care scored significantly better on standard tests of athletic ability. When tested on their reaction time, the control group demonstrated less than one percent improvement, while the chiropractic group achieved reaction times more than eighteen percent faster than their initial scores. (2)

A landmark research effort from the New Zealand School of Chiropractic and the University of Auckland, has evaluated the effects chiropractic adjustments may have on reaction times. Two groups were tested to study variations in reaction times: one group received spinal adjustments, while the other group, only receiving a short period of rest, acted as a control group for comparison.

There was a marked improvement for the group that received an adjustment over the group that got nothing but rest. The group that got only a rest period did show an average decrease in reaction time: 58 milliseconds, an 8% faster reaction time. The group that received the chiropractic adjustment showed a decrease in reaction time of 97 milliseconds, representing a 14.8% faster reaction time. (3)

The implications for these findings are far reaching for any activity in the “game of life,” and the data can objectively support anecdotal evidence of enhanced athletic performance under chiropractic care. The ability to react more quickly to any of the demands life can impose provides added performance enhancement benefits for athletes, who rely on optimum reaction reflexes to perform at their maximum competitive capacity.

Field-based practice experiences indicate that chiropractic care appears to both enhance an athlete’s ability to perform and to recover from injuries when they occur; this study provides objective evidence that a vital component of athletic performance—rapid reaction time—is markedly improved through the chiropractic adjustment.


1. Grimston, SK, Engsberg JR, Shaw L & Vetanze NW, (1990) "Muscular rehabilitation prescribed in coordination with prior chiropractic therapy as a treatment for sacroiliac subluxations in female distance runners" Chiropractic Sports Medicine p.2-3
2. Lauro, A. & Mouch B. (1991) "Chiropractic Effects of Athletic Ability" "The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation" pp. 84-87
3. Kelly DD, Murphy BA, Backhouse DP, J Manipulative Physiologic Therapeutics 2000 May; 23(4):246-51. Use of a mental rotation reaction time to measure the effects of upper-cervical adjustments on reaction time.