Ex-CFL Chiropractor Talks Sports & Osteoarthritis

Does Sports Make You Susceptible to Arthritis? Ask an ex-CFL Chiropractor…john battershill chiropractor sports injury specialist

Can playing sports cause an onset of osteoarthritis later on in life? Unfortunately, the wear and tear that playing sports causes on your bones and joints can, in some cases, result in osteoarthritis.

Dr. John Battershill knows first hand about how playing sports earlier in life can affect your health later on. He played in the Canadian Football League (CFL) for the Toronto Argonauts and Calgary Stampeders for several years.

The wear and tear that sports causes on athletes is a main reason why many, both amateur and professional, see their Chiropractors frequently. But don’t take our word for it… see some of the pros that would agree:

As an ex-CFL player, Dr. John recommends Chiropractic care to athletes from all walks of sports. Here’s what Dr. Battershill has to say about playing sports and osteoarthritis. Also see:

A Word from Dr. John on Sports & Osteoarthritis…John Battershill Revelation Health Centre Chiropractic & Wellness Clinic


While playing six years of professional football in the CFL and four years at the intense sub-pro NCAA level, I experienced a few low back injuries which actually drew me into Chiropractic.

I remember after one tough hit at Utah State, I was bent over to the side and could barely walk without tears rolling down my face. This was way back in 1979. What could I do to fix my trauma? I was very concerned!

I went to see the team’s Chiropractor and in 2 adjustments I was back on the field practicing. I was amazed, and in hindsight I realize just how important regular alignments are because if you are misaligned, which could mean a high hip, short leg, or unlevel shoulders to name a few examples, it means that your nervous system is not functioning at Optimum capacity.

For athletes, this is the utmost hinderance to performing at the best of your ability when you need to the most. Trust me, I know.

I subsequently went to see my Chiropractor every week for six years at least once to maximize health and life performance, not to mention athletic performance. Chiropractic was one of the main things that helped me prevent injuries because it kept me in alignment and moving properly.

Since then I have seen a lot of my former Calgary Stampeders colleagues come in with degenerative osteoarthritis that has crippled them either in the neck from all the head trauma or in the low back from all the compression injuries that occur from tackling and blocking.

The common denominator is if you have degenerative osteoarthritis, there is a neurological component of nerve compression which is either from the joint compressing or from wear and tear on the shock absorbing disc. These compressive and torque injuries lower the vertebrae disc height, creating both traction and compression on the nerve roots.

This problem then translates to the nerve tracts that go down from the lower back through the Glut Max down the sciatic nerve and into the feet and toes.

Did You See Tiger Woods… Win?

Did you watch the recent Masters and the way how Tiger Woods, after four lower back surgeries, walked?

At the very least, he had a variant of normal in his gait pattern and he himself in post tournament interviews stated that his body is not the same but he still has good quick hands which enables him to play golf the way he does.

The lack of mobility in his lower back will weaken his legs, cause pain in his knees and feet and ultimately end his career.

Move Well to Live Well

My observation from former colleagues and regular day-to-day patients (because everyone is an athlete in their own way) is that degenerative arthritic changes in the lower back affects the feet, knees and hips and alters the way we walk.


We need to move well to live well and we need to live well to move well. They go hand-in-hand. Living well includes Chiropractic decompression therapy, a safe and comfortable approach to taking pressure off the nerves so the hips knees and feet can all work and move us appropriately.


– Dr John. Battershill, Chiropractor at RHC


Book Your Spinal Decompression Therapy Today

NW Chiropractic Clinic Kensington Chiropractors

Call us anytime at 403-284-2082 or message us below for a quick response and we will get back to you as soon as we can (if we don’t pick up the phone immediately). See RHC’s office hours, location and contact information here.

We are looking forward to helping you accomplish your personal health goals!