A scientific study shows chiropractic improved athletic performance. Adding to the growing database of science documenting that chiropractic care improves athletes' abilities is an article from the January 2012 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics showing how chiropractic helped improve the grip strength of judo athletes.
The study looked at eighteen Brazilian athletes from a top 10 national-ranked judo team who volunteered for the study. In this study, the athletes, both men and women, were separated into two groups. The requirements of the study not only included that the athletes had never had any chiropractic care, but they also had to have no knowledge of what chiropractic was.
Having no knowledge of what chiropractic was allowed researchers to have one group receive real chiropractic adjustments, while the other group received a "sham" adjustment where a chiropractic adjusting table was used and the drop mechanism was engaged without an actual adjustment being given. In this way, neither group would know if they actually received chiropractic care. Both groups received their procedure for three weeks at the same rates.
Strength measurements were done in both groups before and at least 20 seconds after each of the procedures. The results of the study showed that in the group that received real adjustments, hand strength increased between 6.75 and 12.61 percent after only the first adjustment. The final increased in hand strength of the real adjustment group was between 10.53 and 16.82%. By comparison, the group that received the sham adjustments showed no statistical increase in hand strength either after each procedure, or at the end of the study.
In their conclusion, the researchers, who referred to chiropractic adjustments as SMT or spinal manipulative therapy, noted, "The present study tested the effect of chiropractic SMT on elite judo athletes' grip strength and found a significant increase in grip strength for those submitted to the SMT compared with those getting sham interventions. In addition, subjects in the SMT group had achieved significant and progressive enhancement of the grip strength with the first, second, and third interventions."