The Nashville Predators are making another exciting run for the Stanley Cup, the coveted trophy awarded annually to the National Hockey League (NHL) playoff winner. In doing so, they will be extending their already long, grueling season.
Professional hockey players must have incredible hand-eye coordination, have strength one would expect of a NFL linebacker and still be agile enough to not only keep their balance on a thin metal blade, but also change directions at incredible speeds. The combination makes them extremely tough, talented athletes.
The game is rough and injuries are not uncommon. Dr. Ted Carrick, a Chiropractic Neurologist who treats a number of NHL and NFL players says, “In professional hockey alone, there are more than 50,000 hits annually, and far too many of these are serious injuries to the head.” In the course of the game, players will collide with each other, be hit by skates, sticks and even pucks (which can travel up to 100mph) and be slammed against the wall. This makes concussion risk for players exceedingly high. Another common injury is knee sprain.
Gary Roberts was playing with the Calgary Flames when he suffered a major neck injury. With nerve damage and tingling in his arms that numerous surgeries and rehab did not improve, he thought his hockey days were over. “I couldn’t hold a steak knife to cut my food,” he recalls. “My career was over. I was a pretty lost soul.” Roberts then began receiving treatment from a sports chiropractor. He not only experienced relief from his symptoms, but also regained enough strength and mobility to return to the ice. He went on to play professional hockey for 13 more years!
Chiropractic has been used in professional sports, including hockey for years. Many teams, including the Predators, have a team chiropractor and some teams have multiple doctors of chiropractic (DCs) on staff. Chiropractors are included in the multi-disciplinary approach to help players heal faster, reduce repetitive use injuries and continue playing at optimal levels.
Chiropractic physicians are extensively trained in their minimum of seven years higher education, focus on conservative care and understand the biomechanics of the musculoskeletal system as well as how the movements of various sports affect the body. Chiropractic adjustments (spinal manipulation) and other modalities are used to reduce pain and improve flexibility.
Dr. John Theodoropoulos, an orthopaedic surgeon and sports medicine specialist at Mount Sinai Hospital in Toronto, states: “When athletes refer to their doctor, their doctor is usually a doctor of chiropractic.” The input of chiropractors and the services they provide to athletes can have a significant impact on the number of games lost to injury.
Professional athletes are not the only ones who benefit from chiropractic. Whether you are a professional athlete, an amateur athlete, or a weekend warrior, your doctor of chiropractic can assist you in healing from injuries, as well as help prevent future injuries.
Even if you are a “couch potato,” your doctor can provide you with stretches, exercise recommendations and nutritional information to help realign your health status and goals and then achieve them. If you have not previously seen a chiropractor, you can find a TCA member doctor at https://www.tnchiro.com/find-a-doctor/.
Professional Hockey Chiropractic Society (PHCS). http://prohockeychiros.com/about/
Skating Through Chiropractic Care. Patrick A. Loeraon. April 04, 2017. http://www.chiropracticcare.today/skating-chiropractic-care/
Hockey and Chiropractic. Darrin Milne. Sep 19, 2013. https://injury-management.ca/hockey-and-chiropractic/
Chiropractic Care Used By Professional Hockey Players. Dr. Eric Blum. http://heallikeapro.com/chiropractic/thousand-oaks-chiropractor/chiropractic-care-used-by-professional-hockey-players/