Ironically, despite the variety of protective gear worn by the players, the number of neck and back injuries has steadily increased. Some experts suggest that nutrition and exercise have made the players ever-more stronger while other say it’s possible all the protective gear have given some players a false sense of security so they put themselves in harm’s way more often. In addition to concussions, knee injuries and back pain are also common conditions.
In Crosby’s case, he suffered from dizziness, light sensitivity, mental confusion, and physical unsteadiness for around 10 months before finally starting a specialized chiropractic regimen. Within approximately six months of this treatment, Crosby was able to start skating again and resumed playing. Since then his Crosby’s team, the Pittsburgh Penguins, signed him to a 12-year contract.
Some teams, like the Vancouver Canucks, consider chiropractic care so important they employ a team practitioner on staff. Dr. Sid Sheard has treated the Canucks for more than two decades and explains that a team chiropractor’s job is to manage musculoskeletal problems and to identify what conditions require diagnostic tests and imaging studies.
But chiropractic care is not used simply to treat aches and pains or recuperate from injuries, it is also a significant part of an overall preventative wellness program. Sheard reports that the number of games lost to injury was half as much once the team instituted preventive and supportive training that begins in the off-season and continues throughout the year.
Professional hockey player, and Olympic silver medalist, Mike Modano is an enthusiastic supporter of chiropractic care, saying it helps reduce recovery time and serves to rejuvenate his body after the pounding it takes during games.
Football players have also discovered the value of regular chiropractic treatments. Defensive back Mark Collins, who has won two Super Bowls, says he started using chiropractic care in 1986 after struggling through a training camp and realizing his body was structurally out of shape. Ever since then he has sworn by his treatments and credits many of his career achievement on it.
Today Collins works with kids in middle school and high school, teaching them the value of better nutrition and chiropractic care.