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Sports Chiropractic : A Drug Free Approach To Injury Care & Performance Enhancement

Sports Chiropractic : A Drug Free Approach To Injury Care & Performance Enhancement

Dr. Cherye Roche, Clinical Director at Pure Healthcare NZ, and member of the NZCA Sports Council explains: “Athletes appreciate that Chiropractic is an excellent addition to drug free injury management, and peak performance. This is especially true with regard to neuro-musculoskeletal problems in the spine and extremities.” A recent New Zealand study suggests an improvement in proprioception of arm movements after subjects receive a Chiropractic adjustment to the cervical spine[1]. This can enhance performance in sports such as cricket or squash where awareness and control of the bat or racket are critical. Another benefit being researched is enhancement and proper functioning of core abdominal muscles, which are also vital for sports performance2.


The Chiropractic Sports Council supports an integrated approach to sports injury care.      Dr. Roche points out that many international events include Doctors of Chiropractic in their multidisciplinary approach to the care of elite athletes.  At a recent Sports Chiropractic conference in Queenstown, the keynote speaker was former All Blacks Sports Physician, Deb Robinson. She shared a few clinical pearls and great stories about the work that Chiropractors have done to help elite athletes achieve their best performance, naturally. 

Dr. Roche notes that “The average patient is happy to get out of pain and return to their active lifestyle.  For athletes, it is about getting that extra 5% improvement to achieve a PB in time, distance, strength or endurance. A Sports Chiropractor can help get that extra bit of performance in a competition, by helping an athlete perform more effectively and efficiently.

Here are a few examples of local amateur athletes who have benefited from Sports Chiropractic to reduce those little niggles that sometimes impede training and competition.


“I like to use chiropractic care as a prehab, looking to prevent potential problems from the most likely source.  Physically I feel great after an adjustment. My back feels lose, pelvis balanced and my joints more mobile which not only helps me to compete at my best but also train at a high intensity for longer with fewer/or no injuries. Chiropractic care has been an important part of my general health care, even before becoming an athlete. But as I pursue my athletic career the importance of regular adjustments has increased. My body is constantly under high levels of physical and mental stress and regular adjustments keeps me physically and mentally on track. For me, chiropractic care not only helps me compete at my best, but also (just as importantly) to train for hard long hours with minimal aches and niggles.” 

“Last October I started to get pains in my left ankle, knee and hip. After following treatment suggested by other health professionals, the pain continued every time I ran. Finally I saw Dr. Cherye at Pure Healthcare.  Following the initial exam, she booked me for a GaitScan, from which custom orthotics were ordered.  I started with treatments with Dr Cherye while I was building up to the Secondary School National athletics competition in December. This meet was my first time running 3000 metres on the track. I had a PB of 9.17.47 coming 4th in NZ for junior boys.

Since starting Chiropractic care, and wearing in my orthotics, I have had no pain. I ran a PB at WBHS schools athletics day in the 1500m. Two weeks ago I came first in the intermediate boys 3000m North Harbour Secondary schools meet at North Harbour Stadium. This week I came in a very close 2nd in the 1500m. At the end of the run the other athletes were complaining of sore muscles, but I had no pain.

The combination of Chiropractic care and custom orthotics has definitely improved my training and racing. With the help of Dr Cherye, and my coach at Westlake Boys, I look forward to a great future in my running career.


Andrew has taken full advantage of the services offered at Pure Healthcare by seeing Dr. Liang (acupuncturist), Robert Smith (massage therapist) and Dr. Roche (Chiropractor), who included custom orthotics to his care plan to enhance his response to Chiropractic care and improve his golf game.  Andrew describes his experience as follows….

I got my orthotics in October, as part of a wider campaign to improve my health - and more importantly to play better and more consistent golf.  My handicap has reduced by two shots! I don't play the last 2-3 holes with feet dragging along behind. And, I recently made the semi-finals of the match play championships. I can honestly say that I hardly notice having feet nowadays at the end of a round - that in itself was worth the investment!  I look forward to continuing the improvement, while remaining comfortable and stable!”

Chiropractors across New Zealand work with many amateur athletes from local netball, rugby, cricket and athletic clubs to reduce injuries, heal faster and to go higher, faster and stronger, so that they can someday represent their country in sport.  This is where I get the greatest joy in practice”! 


 Exploring the Neuromodulatory Effects of the Vertebral Subluxation and Chiropractic Care, Heidi Haavik Taylor, Kelly Holt, Bernadette Murphy, Chiropr J Aust 2010; 40:37-44
The effect of Sacroiliac Joint Manipulation on Feed-Forward Activation Times of the Deep Abdominal Musculature, Paul Marshall, PGDipSci and Bernadette Murphy DC PhD, Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics Volume 29, Number 3