The demand for chiropractic care by athletes has become a widespread and growing phenomenon. This is particularly so among elite athletes because chiropractic treatment is a truly natural performance enhancer which can help the athlete's abilities. The reasons are simple: an athlete who is optimally aligned and balanced muscularly, skeletally, and neurologically can only improve his or her performance and reduce the likelihood of injury. If an athlete becomes injured the one thing he or she usually desires the most is to return to play as quickly as possible. For certain types of injuries there is no superior or faster way to reach this goal than with chiropractic care.
Which athletes can benefit from chiropractic? If you participate in a sport in which there is turning, twisting, bending, lifting, throwing, kicking, hitting or being hit, running, jumping, riding (horses, bicycle), swinging (racquet, club, bat), driving (race cars) - you are placing stress on your body. The types of stress may include repetitive stress, spinal torque, musculoskeletal imbalances, and joint misalignment. When these problems arise chiropractic can greatly reduce the time the body requires to be restored - allowing the athlete to get back in the game faster!
Due to the demand of athletes, sports chiropractic has evolved into one of the largest areas of specialization within the profession. With the number of athletes from around the globe seeking out chiropractic care, the demand has become universal. The response is that many countries have now formed national chiropractic sports councils to promote the special relationship between athletes and chiropractors. In fact Israel has just formed its own national sports council (The Israeli Chiropractic Sports Council) which will be the national chapter of the International Federation of Chiropractic Sports practitioners to which some 35 countries are already allied.
Although the number of chiropractors here in Israel is less than 100, we have treated many athletes, ranging from the most accomplished professionals and amateurs to the "weekend athlete" who just wants to stay in shape. Several doctors practicing here have had the opportunity to treat world class athletes and have served as chiropractors for international sporting events. Just last year during Maccabiah 17 the Israeli Chiropractic Society (ICS) had 15 of its members provide nearly 400 treatments to athletes from 16 countries (once the athletes found out our services were available they got so excited they started forming lines to get our care!). The ICS "chiropractic team" treated athletes from such diverse sports as golf, tennis, beach volleyball, indoor volleyball, karate, basketball, triathlon, rugby, track and field, swimming, and squash. Since this was only our first time being included as care givers we expect those numbers to go much higher in the future!
Despite the desire of some members of the so called "Israeli sports medicine" establishment to exclude chiropractic from the basket of athletic health care, chiropractic just keeps on making progress, because the athletes demand it! Chiropractic has already become an integral part of most major sports events worldwide. Chiropractic care is available at the International Olympics, the World Games, the Pan American Games, the European Games, and the Pan African Games. In the USA virtually every major professional team has a chiropractor on staff (National Football League, National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball, and National Hockey League). Many great solo athletes like Tiger Woods (the best golfer in the world) and Arnold Schwarzenegger (5x Mr. Olympia) fully embrace chiropractic care and our greatest ambassadors.
Athletes don't care about politics or turf battles, they simply want to feel well and be the best they can be in their sport. They choose chiropractic care because the verdict is in - chiropractic works! If you are an athlete experiencing problems or you just want to enhance your performance, you should consider chiropractic treatment. If you are a member of an Israeli sports union or on a team which doesn't provide chiropractic care you need to ask your coach, administrator, or athletic trainer why they are not providing you the best possible care available?