Every elite athlete is concerned with keeping themselves in tip-top shape. These high performers know that it takes a combination of nutrition, recovery and work to excel in their sport, but these aren’t the only ways athletes stay in peak performance mode. Each year, a growing number are turning to chiropractic care including a vast majority of Olympians both in the US and abroad.

Experts estimate that 90 percent of all world-class athletes use chiropractic care to prevent injuries and increase their performance potential.  Additionally, all National Football League (NFL) teams rely on Chiropractors in varying capacities, and approximately 77 percent of athletic trainers choose to refer players to a chiropractor for evaluation or treatment.  Of course, you don’t have to be a professional athlete to benefit from chiropractic care. Some, like New England Patriots quarterback Tom Brady, find that it helps improve not only their their performance but overall health, “Chiropractic just makes you feel so much better. When I walk out of the clinic, I feel like I’m about three inches taller and everything’s in place. And as long as I see the chiropractor, I feel like I’m one step ahead of the game.”

So here are 4 reasons why Elite Athletes choose to get adjusted regularly:

#1 Chiropractic Heightened Body Awareness and Improved Brain Function

A back problem is actually a brain problem! Back problems are not isolated to back or neck pain and can exist in children, adults and athletes without any pain or symptoms. When a spinal vertebra loses proper alignment or movement, interference occurs in the brain and central nervous system. The spinal misalignment is called a vertebral subluxation. Research proves that subluxations exist in the spine but cause problems in the other parts of the body because of their influence on the brain. Chiropractic reduces the interference in the brain and central nervous system by checking and adjusting the spine on a regular basis. Proper alignment assures proper brain to body communication and improved overall health. Back problems involve much more than the sensation of pain. A back problem impacts overall body health because of the united influence on the brain and central nervous system.

A study published in a medical journal in 2016 (Neural Plasticity) proved a major connection between just one adjustment of the spine and significant brain improvement. A specific area of the brain most affected by the adjustment was the pre-frontal cortex. The pre-frontal cortex plays a significant role in your executive functions, focus control, attention, memory, initiation of activity, and response to stimuli. This area plays a critical role for athletes to make quick decisions and anticipate changes in their environment. It’a also important for kids and adults with attention and focus problems, memory, and learning issues. Improving the pre-frontal cortex also impacts many other symptoms exhibited by children or adults because the brain directs all aspects of health, function, and human performance.

#2 Chiropractic Improved Movement and Response Time

In a study published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, individuals who received chiropractic care noted a nearly 10% increase in improved movement and response time compared to those not under chiropractic care!

# 3 Chiropractic enhances bodily functions related to recovery

Because it is so effective at pain-based and pathological conditions, one of the most overlooked aspects of chiropractic care is that it enhances personal and athletic performance with respect to recovery. Studies have sown that it:

# 4. Chiropractic Reduces Acute and Chronic Pain

Once again, the main reasons why you should get chiropractic adjustments are about the BRAIN and not PAIN. But, if you’re hurting the spine is an important physical structure that contains many pain-sensitive tissues; most notably, joints, muscles, nerves, discs and ligaments. If there are any abnormal alignment patterns in the spinal column, this can place an abnormal amount of stress and strain on any one of these tissues. In a recent article reviewing the effectiveness of spinal manipulation, chiropractic adjustments were consistently better than other medical options in reducing the intensity of acute low back pain, plus restoring normal function, both for short-term and long-term effects.

This particular study actually compared several modalities including: spinal manipulation (Chiropractic) cold versus heat, ultrasound, laser therapy, medications (steroids, muscle relaxers, anti-inflammatories, opioids and antidepressants), injections, acupuncture, massage, traction, tens, back schools and corrective exercise.

Out of all the various forms of therapy and treatment, chiropractic adjustments were found to be superior to all others.

The fact remains, whether you are an athlete or not,  you can experience the same benefits from routine chiropractic care. And it is just as important for you to include as a key part of your overall health routine.