According to Forbes.com, the combined operating income for the NBA’s 30 teams was about $207 million in 2006, making it the third most profitable of the big four American pro sports circuits. The league is focusing on three central business objectives: expanding corporate sponsorship, focusing on diverse fan demographics, and expanding into international markets. With such a lucrative league, its no wonder the NBA employs chiropractors as medical assets on their team, relying on their skillset to contribute as part of their comprehensive roster of experts.
Chiropractic isn’t just reserved for professional athletes at the peak of their game–many Augusta GA athletes and road warriors benefit from their care at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic. It’s not uncommon for many to specifically schedule a treatment right before a competition or race. Patients have noticed a significant difference in their performance when utilizing chiropractic together with their training, especially when the treatments coincide with their performance dates.
Below is an interview with one of the official NBA chiropractors–Dr. Neil Liebman. Dr. Liebman is an official team chiropractor for the Philadelphia 76ers, and you can find his name on the team directory here as well as here. Just like with any kind of sport, the grueling schedule and physical demands that come with being an NBA player require the kind of care that chiropractic excels at–correcting present musculoskeletal problems that can cause pain and preventing future ones from manifesting. Dr. Liebman sat down with the editorial staff of Dynamic Chiropractic magazine to discuss his career and highlights of being an official NBA chiropractor.
What are the primary conditions you see and treat?
Much like the patients I see in my regular practice, some of the players are interested in immediate pain relief, and some players are interested in staying well and understand the full benefits of chiropractic care. I never push my services on any of the players. I sit and talk to them and educate them, but it is always up to them if they want to be treated or not. From a musculoskeletal standpoint, it is common to work on all of the joints through the body, but more important is their understanding that chiropractic is not only for immediate relief of pain, but a way for them to improve their ability as an athlete and to help prevent injuries.
What protocol do you follow when a player is injured? Does the team trainer always examine the player first, and then refer to you as needed?
As with most professional sports teams, the trainer is the first person on the scene of any injured player. With the 76ers, we have a whole team of doctors that are at every game. This includes two orthopedic surgeons, an X-ray technologist, a cardiologist, a podiatrist, a massage therapist, a strength training coach, a physical therapist, a dentist, the trainer, and myself. With all of these doctors, it is important to work as a team. With injuries that seem more on the severe side, the player is seen initially by the trainer and sent to the orthopedist for evaluation. At that time, an MRI is usually ordered, before any of the other specialists work on the player. If the injury seems to be not as severe, the trainer decides who or which doctors would be the most beneficial for treatments. All of the doctors are looked upon equally, and we all have different abilities to help in different ways.
One of my good friends, Dr. Nicholas Dinubile, who is one of the orthopedists for the 76ers, recently wrote an excellent book… on page 190, Dr. Dinubile wrote the following on chiropractic: “Many of my orthopedic colleagues still cringe when I say the word ’chiropractor,’ but this bias comes from years of misinformation and turf battles, something we need to move beyond if we are going to put the patient first. Many individuals do indeed benefit from chiropractic care. I was first introduced to the benefits of chiropractic by professional dancers, an appreciation later reinforced by working with high level athletes, who sometimes bring their chiropractors with them on the road. Our 76ers chiropractor, Dr. Neil Liebman, has hands of gold, and is probably the hardest working member of our medical staff during game-time.“ This is a prime example of how all the doctors work together and give what they feel the best care is for the athletes.
Do you treat players during games, or just before and/or after?
As I stated earlier, most of the treatment that I do for players is either during halftime, after game or at practice. Occasionally, if the games work out on weekends or days that I do not have office hours, I will come early, but most times, most treatment is at practice and after games. One of my greatest thrills in being with the team was in 2000, having a chance to travel to the NBA Semifinals in Milwaukee, and then the Finals in Los Angeles.
What about during the off-season – do players visit you regularly?
Most of the time during the off-season, the players go back to their homes. A few of the players do stay, as they regularly live in the city, and will come in for regular periodic maintenance care. On the whole, most players are not in the area and hopefully treat with their chiropractors at home.
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If you have questions about chiropractic care and how it may help your health concerns, feel free to give us a call to set up a complimentary consultation with an experienced chiropractor in Augusta GA. As chiropractors in Augusta GA, our patients here at Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic comment on how much they appreciate us going the extra mile in making sure their questions are answered and they completely understand what their treatment is, how their treatment works, and why it works. We want to work together with you as a partner in your health, and as an informed patient. Visit our website to read more information about our services and how we’ve helped others with chiropractic in Augusta GA.
Augusta GA Chiropractors Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic provides customized chiropractic care to the Augusta, Martinez, and Evans GA communities. Visit our main website at www.georgia-clinic.com for customized chiropractic in Augusta GA.
The Georgia Clinic of Chiropractic Blog is written by Dr. Mark Huntsman.