Football season is almost officially here and if you have been a Patriot's fan over the past decade then you know how well they have been doing, for multiple reasons. A few years ago, I learned one of their secrets to improved speed, power, and injury prevention. This secret was so guarded that when an athletic trainer let it out of the bag, he was fired. Professional sports is about winning. When you really have something that works in the NFL you keep it a secret. Coincidentally, this same trainer was picked up by the New York Giants a year before they upset the Patriots in obtaining their "perfect season" in the Super Bowl.
So, how does someone like me learn this secret? Well, the main person who developed this along side the athletic trainers was a chiropractor who focuses on structural correction of the spine. It just so happens, that this is what our office focuses on as well. We are a smaller subset of the chiropractic community that really has really has an enormous amount of research behind us. You see traditional chiropractors generally improve range of motion, decrease muscle spasms, and decrease pain. While our initial interest is the elimination of your pain, our fundamental goal is to restore your spine to as close to normal alignment as possible. While that is not always possible, it's important to understand that the closer the human body is to its normal alignment, the better it will perform.
What the athletic trainers noticed was that players with good lower back alignment and a normal lordosis (normal side view curvature), were the most flexible, the fastest, hit the hardest, and had the least hamstring injuries. When the Patriot trainers went to the NFL combine, they spent 3.5 million dollars on tests like x-rays & MRI's to assess the health status of 325 players. The Patriots used these diagnostics to look for evidence of a bulging disc, pinched nerve or spinal stenosis. Clearly, they only wanted to draft and keep players that have no evidence of back problems.
When a player had these conditions they were more likely to experience pain and a disability to play. To keep these conditions from becoming an arthritic (chronic wear and tear) condition, the athletic trainer's second goal was to find a treatment that would put the vertebra in the correct position and therefore correct what was causing the pinched nerve, bulged disc and the spinal stenosis.
This is where the Structural Chiropractor comes in. This chiropractor had already been working on structural correction with his own patients in his office when the athletic trainer, who was the medical and rehab director for the New England Patriots, contacted him. He was asked to not only design a program of care for their players, but to also establish a routine the players could do to protect their spines once they were in normal alignment.
The simple goal was to produce physically dominating players that stayed healthy throughout the season. Keeping your starting players on the field from beginning to end makes for a winning combination. This is not a new goal to any sports team; its just that the New England Patriots were the first to recognize the importance of a normally aligned spine. I've just recently heard that the Denver Broncos are now on board and I can't say I'm very happy about that.
The good news for you is that this technology and treatment is available in our office. For all individuals to function at peak performance & be the best they can be, it's vital that your spine is as closely aligned to normal as possible. To schedule a complimentary consultation, give our office a call. 781-826-5555.
Have a Great Day!