Rugby and Chiropractic

When it comes to chiropractic and rugby, we’re looking at two things; avoiding injury and improving performance.

Due to the incredibly violent forces and impacts rugby player’s spines are routinely exposed to (not dissimilar to a car accident) it is crucial that all players are regularly checked for spinal dysfunction, especially kids with growing and developing spines. When we see kids injured in rugby, it’s often adult injuries their recovering from.

As well as recovering from or reducing the risk of injury, chiro also helps rugby players significantly improve performance. When we asked Dr Bryan (himself no stranger to injury) for his thoughts, he told us this:

“My mind flicks back to Harry Rowland (past captain and regular 1st XV for Roslyn Park RC, London), who said something to me on a number occasions about the mentality, or perhaps a prevailing belief, within the sport of rugby, especially at the higher levels, where most guys believe that carrying injuries, problems and knocks is just part of the sport, something you live with and push through. So much so that the running joke in most dressing rooms is that no one is ever 100%.

“And Harry jokes that a lot of guys, himself included at times, have often carried so many concurrent injuries that they are often functioning at less than 50% throughout much of the season – obviously a prevailing belief with a huge impact on peak performance, not to mention longevity in the sport.

“It’s probably something most rugby players can relate to, and something worth considering when it comes to being in top condition on the pitch. It’s an obvious downside to the classic rugby machismo that characterises such a rugged and hard hitting sport.”

So if you want to be a better player, look after your body and reduce the risk of injury, come and see us.

Watch as Harry Rowland explains the role chiropractic care plays in his life and his rugby career.

Rugby 7s star and professional Chris Cracknell tells us how chiropractic helped him with his lower back and neck injuries.

How does chiropractic care help rugby players?

Rugby players put their bodies through a lot. From the very top of the sport right the way through the lower leagues, thousands of players enjoy taking to the field on a Saturday afternoon. With the season stretching from September through to May, looking after the body and ensuring it functions correctly should be top of every rugby players priority list.

Chiropractic care helps rugby players in a number of ways:

Better performance. Neck and cervical spine stress is prevalent in rugby player whether it’s from tackling, scrummaging or contesting the breakdown. Spinal dysfunction and corresponding nerve irritation (subluxation) reduces muscular function (key for strength, flexibility, endurance), balance, coordination, spatial awareness, decision making and agility… all of which are important for a player to perform at their best and to avoid injury.

Less risk. A proper functioning spine, which can be achieved through regular chiropractic treatment, also allows the central nervous system to aid in efficient injury recovery. Not only this but treatment and specific exercises can also help improve flexibility and therefore reduce the risk of injury.

Swifter recovery. Recovering from a hard game can take a long time. A chiropractic adjustment within 48 hours of playing can often be the catalyst to spark swifter recovery meaning you’ll be in the best possible shape come game time.

Improved wellbeing. By investing the time and energy in looking after your body you’ll be ensuring you can play for longer, reducing the risk of carrying problems from rugby with you into life after playing and looking after your body’s wellbeing.


I was struggling with a neck injury for about 5 years and was too stubborn to get it looked at properly. I can to see Craig at Putney Chiro and I now have full range of motion in my neck. Life is good again and I get a good night’s sleep! The benefits I’ve got from regular chiropractic care is a better feeling of wellbeing. I’m far more comfortable walking, moving around and sleeping.

Chris Cracknell – ex-professional rugby player