Professional football teams recognize the value that having regular chiropractic care affords their players. All of the 32 teams in the National Football League (NFL) use the services of a chiropractor for treating and preventing injuries to team members.
Dr. Spencer H. Baron, a team chiropractor for the Miami Dolphins and past president of the Professional Football Chiropractic Society, said, “The robust need for chiropractic care in the NFL has been deeply driven by the players’ desire for peak physical conditioning and not simply for injuries. From the earliest years of full contact football, their bodies are subject to structural stress that doctors of chiropractic are specially trained to care for. Many DCs who provide their services to professional athletes travel with their respective teams throughout the season, treating players up until game time, during the game and sometimes immediately following.”
A number of professional football players are staunch advocates for chiropractic care and the ability it gives them to perform at their peak.
Emmitt Smith, a former NFL player for the Dallas Cowboys and Arizona Cardinals and NFL all-time record holder for rushing, dealt with a lot of hamstring problems during a tough season in 1994. He related how he had some difficult questions to answer: “’Do I need to get more rest? Do I need to eat better? Do I need a little more training? How can I take care of my body better? Do I need to find a Chiropractor?’ It was time for me to invest in me.” Smith added, “I found a specialist that’s really good in balancing out my body to make sure my hips are rotated right, and my body is functioning properly.”
Smith continued, “I remember somebody telling me that what I put myself in during the games is like having a car wreck every Sunday. It’s against the norm. You can find yourself in awkward positions. That stuff takes its toll. But if you take advantage of the health care, balance your body back out, put it back where it’s supposed to be, you function better, and you recover faster.” He said about chiropractic, “You can have a Ferrari body, but your wheels need balancing. I felt if I took care of my body, I could still function when I got older.”
Chiropractic apparently served Smith well in helping him maintain function and flexibility, because after his retirement in 2004 he went on to win the third season of Dancing With the Stars, teamed with professional dancer Cheryl Burke.
Other professional footballers have expressed their appreciation for chiropractic care as well. Joe Montana, who possesses three Super Bowl MVPs and was named Player of the Year in 1990, was so appreciative of chiropractic that he agreed to become the spokesperson for chiropractic in the state of California, saying “Chiropractic has been a big part of my game. Chiropractic care works for me.”
New Orleans Saints wide receiver Lance Moore is another chiropractic devotee. He said, “Not only did my chiropractor get me back on the field, but he helped me to stay on the field. My body just feels much better overall because of the care I’ve gotten.”
Three-time Super Bowl champion Jerry Rice, a former wide receiver with the San Francisco 49ers said, “I believe in chiropractic, and I know that it works. You probably know about my long and successful career in football. I’m flattered by the testimonials to my durability. Football is a very rough and vigorous sport. Chiropractic was the key to keeping me in the game.”