Baseball and Chiropractic: The Original ‘Performance Enhancer’
By Sara Butler
Earlier this month, Phillies relief pitcher Daniel Stumpf was suspended for 80 -- yes, eighty -- games for testing positive for a performance enhancing drug. That’s 2.67 games for every letter of the dehydrochlormethyltestosterone that showed up in his system. Look, if you can’t spell it, don’t take it. And if it takes 30 letters to spell, turn your back and walk away. Heck, Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious has 34 letters, so Strumpf’s PED is on a really short list of really long words.
Dehydrochlormethyltestosterone is an anabolic steroid that’s supposed to increase speed and strength, but Strumpf would have been much better off if he had injected himself with a dose of Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious. After all, everything that Julie Andrews touches is better. For sure it would have improved his rhythm.
Business Insider says the 25-year-old lefty will lose $221,858 in salary while he’s on the restricted list. Maybe he was taking the PED in order to lift his wallet. He won’t have that problem now. The reality is that Strumpf is just a blip compared to some huge stars popped for PEDs: Alex Rodriguez, Miguel Tejada, Ryan Braun and Manny Ramirez. You could put together a decent all-star team, and that’s just for the players who have been caught. Strumpf’s just one of the latest. Jenrry Mejia, a pitcher for the Mets, received a lifetime ban in February, less than seven months after he received a full season 162-game suspension. Sometimes it just doesn’t pay to cheat.
You can find all kinds of major leaguers -- and minor leaguers, too -- who have tested positive for banned substances. In the case of some, it can cost you a career, or a legacy. Just the suspicion of use has kept Roger Clemens out of the Hall of Fame. And do I even need to mention Barry Bonds, Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa?
When guys walk around with necks as thick as bowling balls, something might be amiss. But there’s a lot of pressure while trying to reach the big leagues, and a lot of pressure to perform once there. That’s a lot of stress for athletes who have built their bodies into purpose-driven RBI-producing machines.
Yet I wonder if they considered all their options within the rules. Steroids are a shortcut to developing arms as thick as tree trunks, but did the players take advantage of the other options that made physical and practical sense to raise their game and maximize their potential?
Did they think about chiropractic care, and if not, were PEDs supposed to be a shortcut to make that unnecessary, too? Instead, maybe they should have focused on the original performance enhancer. You might not hit more home runs than Babe Ruth, but you might have a plaque in Cooperstown if you choose the crack of the back instead of PEDS to improve the crack of your bat.
Here are just a few of the ways chiropractic care can benefit athletes of all levels, from the pros to the peewees.
Athletes often don’t wait to take action until they’re hurt. Many professional and amateur athletes use chiropractic care as a preventative and proactive treatment that actually helps to maintain health and prevent injury. Almost all professional teams now employ a team chiropractor because there’s so much at stake personally, professionally and financially. Only two Major League Baseball teams don’t have a chiropractic consultant: the Pittsburgh Pirates and Strumpf’s Philadelphia Phillies.
A few things that chiropractic adjustments can help athletes achieve are:
- Increased range of motion
- Decreased muscle soreness from intense workouts
- Increased flexibility and performance
- Natural pain relief for joint pain
For all athletes, their body is their most valuable tool. Chiropractors understand this and seek to help athletes fine tune their bodies for athletic performance.
Enhancement Through Eating
If athletes’ bodies are their most valuable tool, then what they fuel it with is important too -- and we’re not talking about 10-syllable steroids. Did you know that part of a chiropractor’s rigorous training involves learning about nutrition and how proper nutrition and exercise can enhance health?
Chiropractic care seeks to treat patients, including athletes, naturally. What could be more natural than understanding the food that you need to eat in order to keep your body healthy and your athletic performance strong?
Nutrition serves athletes by helping to:
- Increase muscle mass and strength
- Repair muscles after strenuous workouts
- Supplying the body with the minerals and vitamins it needs for optimal performance
Sometimes, no matter what, athletes will get injured. It’s an occupational hazard! But, one of the best things about chiropractic care and wellness is helping to rehabilitate injuries for athletes.
Chiropractors seek to treat what’s ailing any athlete at its root cause, not to just treat the symptoms. So, if the injury is the result of overuse then they can help to not only relieve the pain but also help the athlete to understand how to avoid overuse injuries in the future.
Don’t Get Left in the Outfield
Obviously, there’s a lot of pressure on athletes to perform at all levels. But if you’re striving to be the best at what you do, do you want to be remembered as someone who did his best or someone who cut corners to get an edge on the competition? You can bet that somewhere deep in his performance-enhancing addled brain, Strumpf wishes he would have stuck with a route that would have recognized him for his fastballs and not his pitfalls.
If you’re an athlete – professional or not – chiropractic can help you achieve your best performance. You don’t have to jeopardize your career or your health through performance enhancers. Chiropractic care can help you to achieve your best results fairly and naturally.
Just say no to performance enhancing drugs -- and hit a home run with chiropractic!