Seahawks Make Chiropractic Part of the Team
By Gerry Ramogida BSc DC
By Gerry Ramogida BSc DC
Biomechanical evaluation of the whole athlete, improved performance and reduced recovery time earn B.C. practitioner the role of team chiropractor.
Chiropractors understand the biomechanical result that weakness or inhibition in one area can have on the function and performance of an athlete. Trauma, repetitive training, inadequate nutritional protocols and many other variables can lead to an increased propensity for injury.
Injury in one area is simply the culmination of issues at that site. As an example, weakness of the gluteal muscles and abdominal wall can lead to increased femoral internal rotation, causing irregular tension through the patellar tendon, leading to patellar tendonitis. Many similar examples can be offered.
Our knowledge of anatomy and biomechanics allows us insight into the treatment of such injury patterns. As chiropractors, we address not only the site of pain, but also faulty firing and movement patterns, as well as poor stabilization.
The chiropractic perspective offers a unique approach to working with athletes. This approach helped provide me with the opportunity to work with the Seattle Seahawks of the National Football League (NFL), at the start of the 2002 season. As a Canadian, who grew up playing and watching football, the potential of one day being associated with an NFL club was beyond my wildest dreams. Though I had assisted both the University of British Columbia Thunderbirds and the B.C. Lions training staff during their run to the 2000 Grey Cup, going to work with the Seahawks was a dream come true.
When I was first hired to consult with the Seahawks trainers, treatment was directed primarily to soft tissue injuries. There was initial apprehension amongst staff, which included medical doctors, about having a chiropractor around. Soft tissue work was to be directed to sites of injury. Prior to any manipulation being performed, the training staff required an explanation about its necessity and rationale.
Within the first year, I was able to demonstrate improved results by applying the methods we all use in assessing and treating injury. The training staff quickly embraced the approach of evaluating the entire athlete, combined with observation of performance to assess biomechanical faults. The green light was soon given to treat all areas of involvement, and manipulation became an integral part of therapeutic protocols.
Now entering my fifth season as team chiropractor for the Seattle Seahawks, my role as a consulting member of the training staff has grown significantly. I am with the team for all games, performing both pre-game treatments to aid in performance and on the sidelines to help keep players on the field. Regular work occurs on a weekly basis at the team facility with the entire training staff. There is a great deal of communication between the trainers, medical staff, and myself. Our results continue to improve on and off the field. At Super Bowl XL(40) last year, all of the Seahawks’ active players were available for the game, which was a tremendous accomplishment for our staff considering the rigours of a full NFL season.
The addition of the chiropractic approach to the Seahawks – of addressing soft tissue integrity, joint mobility, and biomechanical function – has proven not only to be successful in treating injury, but it has reduced recovery times and helped improve performance.•