New research suggests that improved athletic performance could be among the benefits of manual therapy. A recent study sought to gain increased understanding about the potential benefits of spinal adjustments in college football players.
The research involved 115 football players at Virginia Tech who were provided with a total of 1,976 osteopathic manipulative treatments over the course of two football seasons. The players received adjustments in the cervical, lumbar, thoracic, and sacral sections of the spine. After each game, the players’ performance was graded by their coaches.
Both offensive and defensive players showed improved performance following pre-competition manipulative treatments. While the association was relatively small, and not considered statistically significant, the positive correlation suggests that regular spinal adjustments could help athletes’ long-term performance.
Preliminary results from the study were recently published in the Journal of American Osteopathic Association. A similar study, published earlier this year, showed that regular chiropractic treatments improved the performance of professional judo athletes.
Brolinson PG, et al. Precompetition manipulative treatment and performance among virginia tech athletes during 2 consecutive football seasons: a preliminary, retrospective report. Journal of the American Osteopathic Association 2012: 112(9):607-15.