An Australian Rules football league recently added chiropractic services to its healthcare team. The chiropractic services were only provided for one of the teams, however, to determine whether its inclusion would influence injury rates.
The most common injuries in Australian Rules football are lower limb injuries, with the majority being hamstring strains. Despite advancements in training and conditioning protocols, hamstring injury rates have remained consistent for decades. Over a full season, one team was given chiropractic care in addition to their strength and conditioning programs and physiotherapy, while another team received only the traditional strength and conditioning with physiotherapy. Players on the team with access to a chiropractor had a 4% rate of hamstring injuries and lower limb muscle strains for the entire season. In contrast, the team that did not have a chiropractor had 17% of their players experience a hamstring injury during the season, and 28% had a lower limb muscle strain. The study demonstrated that chiropractic care can be crucial in preventing sports injuries.