The Importance of Chiropractic Care for Athletes

What do Lance Armstrong, Michael Jordan, Tiger Woods all have in common? Not only have they risen to the top of their respective sports all of these athletes consider regular chiropractic care essential to improving their health and gaining a competitive edge over their competitors.

The truth is, it doesn’t matter if you are at the top of your game, a weekend warrior, or a stay-at-home mom training for your first 5k run, upper cervical care can help you perform at your best!

Athletes undertaking rigorous fitness regimes often push their bodies to the limit. Since their performance is based on the health and strength of their body whether they need to recover from injury, improve performance or increase joint flexibility, ongoing upper cervical care is a valuable addition to their training regime.

In recent years, spinal care has become a valuable partner in the everyday athletic health regime. Athletes find it not only improves performance but also reduces the risk of injury. Studies show that upper cervical care improves athletic ability, agility, balance, power, speed, reaction time and recovery.

How does upper cervical care to improve athletic performance? The answer lies in the nervous system. In our bodies, the brain and brain stem act as our “Master Control System:. Everything that we do is regulated by the nerve impulses that are sent from the brain/brain stem out to the body through our network of nerves. For the athlete who is looking for an edge to his or her physical performance, this improved communication between the brain and every part of the body, especially the heart, lungs and muscles can make the difference between winning and losing.

Upper cervical corrections help to improve the overall function of the nervous system, which, in turn, improves the efficiency of the communication between the brain and the body. With a fraction of a second meaning the difference between gold and silver, many of today’s top athletes are checked regularly during training and off seasons to maintain peak performance.


Research conducted by Dr. Jon Schwartzbauer, studied changes in athletic performance in baseball players with and without upper cervical care. Each athlete’s performance was evaluated through assessment of the vertical jump, broad jump specified, standing broad jump, and muscle strength. Blood pressure, pulse rate, microcirculation (capillary counts), and treadmill stress testing were also evaluated. The results showed significant improvement at fourteen weeks in muscle strength and long jump distance in the group receiving upper cervical corrections. Moreover, this same group showed significant improvement in capillary counts after five and fourteen weeks of upper cervical care. Evaluation of the group receiving care revealed decreases in resting blood pressure and pulse rate following tread mill activity. By comparison, trends in these same measures showed increases within the control group (non-upper cervical). All this translates into better athletic performance! In another study by Drs. Anthony Lauro and Brian Mouch, upper cervical care improved athletic performance by as much as 30% after 12 weeks. Athletes were tested on several aspects of athletic ability including kinesthetic perception, power, reaction time, agility and balance. At the 6 week mark of this study those who received upper cervical care showed an 18% increase in performance while those who did not showed only a 1% increase in performance.

These studies showed that athletes who have full brain to body communication (subluxation-free) react faster, have better coordination, execute fine movements with improved accuracy and precision, amounting to an overall better athlete.

Key Benefits

In addition to improving performance, ongoing upper cervical care offers several health and wellness benefits, including:

  • improved posture
  • increased range of motion
  • improved immune system that can ward off common illnesses or disease
  • better focus and concentration
  • reduction of migraines or severe headaches
  • increased blood circulation
  • better joint flexibility
  • reduced risk of injury
  • increased blood and oxygen flow throughout the body
  • improved recovery rates after a sports injury
  • reduction of pain in major joints

Some athletes turn to upper cervical care only after they have been injured, but it is much more beneficial to incorporate care into the weekly training routine. An upper cervical doctor can offer natural supportive care for runners, bikers, tennis players, baseball, football and basketball players – any athlete who is constantly on the move.

For both casual sports participants and high-performance athletes, a natural method of stress reduction and toxin removal is necessary for better health overall. Upper cervical care can play an important role in the lives of these athletes throughout their training season, and during their most competitive seasons.

About Dr. James Lee

Dr. James Lee has been a practicing Network Chiropractor for nearly 20 years, 15 of those years in Central America, now based in Austin, Texas. Thanks for reading - if you liked this post, please Share It with the icons above!