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  • Writer's pictureDr. Rory Dopps

Addressing Spondylolisthesis in Football Players: Insights from a Multi-Sport Chiropractic Perspective by Dr. Rory Dopps

Updated: Jan 31

The resilience of an athlete: addressing the challenges of spondylolisthesis with expert chiropractic techniques.
A football player in action, highlighting the need for chiropractic care in managing spinal health conditions like spondylolisthesis.


Spondylolisthesis, a condition where a vertebra slips over another, poses a significant challenge in the high-contact sport of football. Dr. Rory Dopps, known for his expertise in treating athletes across football, hockey, baseball, basketball, motocross, MMA, and golf, offers valuable insights into managing this condition. While spondylolisthesis is a common issue among athletes in various sports, its impact is particularly pronounced in football due to the sport's physical demands.

Spondylolisthesis in Football

In football, the repeated high-impact movements and the intense physical demands of the game can exacerbate the effects of spondylolisthesis, leading to chronic pain and potential long-term spinal instability. This condition, therefore, requires meticulous attention and management, particularly in a sport where spinal health is crucial for both performance and career longevity.

Dr. Rory Dopps' Approach to Managing Spondylolisthesis in Athletes

  1. Specialized Diagnosis: With extensive experience in sports chiropractic, Dr. Dopps employs advanced diagnostic techniques, including X-rays, to accurately identify spondylolisthesis, which is especially crucial in a sport like football where spinal injuries are prevalent.

  2. Tailored Chiropractic Care: Understanding that each sport presents unique challenges to the spine, Dr. Dopps develops personalized treatment plans. These involve spinal adjustments, targeted exercises, and specific lifestyle advice to address the needs of football players while drawing on his experience across multiple sports.

  3. Preventative Strategies and Education: Dr. Dopps emphasizes the importance of preventative care, educating football players on maintaining spinal health through correct posture, strengthening exercises, and proper nutrition.

  4. Ongoing Management: Recognizing that spondylolisthesis cannot heal naturally, such as with a body cast, due to the continuous motion of the spine and the nature of the displacement, Dr. Dopps focuses on ongoing management strategies to maintain spinal stability and mobility.

The Critical Role of Chiropractic Care in Football

Given the rigorous nature of football, players often develop compensatory muscle strengths that can mask underlying issues like spondylolisthesis. Dr. Dopps’ approach not only addresses immediate pain relief but also focuses on long-term strategies to prevent the progression of the condition. This comprehensive care is vital in a sport where even minor spinal issues can have significant repercussions on an athlete's career and post-retirement life.


Spondylolisthesis in football requires a specialized approach, given the sport's high-impact nature. Dr. Rory Dopps' experience in treating athletes from various sports positions him uniquely to provide effective chiropractic care for football players. His focus on tailored treatment, preventative strategies, and ongoing management underlines the importance of proactive spinal health care in football.

For football players at all levels, as well as athletes in other sports, seeking chiropractic care from a professional like Dr. Rory Dopps at Dopps Chiropractic in Overland Park, Kansas, is a crucial step toward maintaining spinal health and ensuring a long and healthy career both on and off the field.

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