Football, Concussions and Repetitive Head Trauma

By Dr. John L. Reizer

Editor at

It’s  already September and in the United States that means it is football season again. I have to admit that I have been a big football fan for many years. I love to watch the sport and follow, pretty religiously, a particular professional team. I’ve been engaged in this strange obsession for a longtime.

Historically, there’s been some concern by the parents of young children and older, professional players about the dangers associated with contact sports and more specifically, concussions. I can remember listening to talk radio programs, many years ago, that were discussing the hypothetical dangers connected to soccer players that headed the ball repeatedly, and what that type of repetitive trauma might do, over time, to young athletes. Currently, there are a lot of articles being written about the dangers associated with playing American football and European futbol.

In my opinion, the concerns by parents and former players regarding repetitive head traumas coming from certain contact sports are absolutely warranted. These traumas can and do cause neurodegenerative disorders. Neurodegenerative disorders are conditions that affect the integrity of the human nervous system. As a doctor of chiropractic, I can tell you that interferences to the human nervous system can be a major cause of systemic disease in all human beings.

The nervous system is a very complex subject. In a nutshell, it is the conduit of life for all creatures. It allows vital instructions for health to be transmitted from the brain to its target organs, tissues, and cells which in turn provides each of us an opportunity to express our unique genetic potential through physical matter. A person’s health is very dependent on a properly functioning nervous system. It is, ultimately, a breakdown in neurological pathways that provide the necessary environment for the genesis of disease.

Repetitive trauma to the head and other parts of the human body, in my opinion, can cause a plethora of problems for the nervous system. Just from a chiropractic perspective, the amount of spinal misalignments that would most likely show up in the spines of players participating in football, as well as other sports, is incredibly high.

Spinal misalignments (also known as vertebral subluxations) can and regularly do interfere with the proper functioning of the human nervous system. Over time, a dysfunctional nervous system can lead to a less than optimal expression of health in the human body. In simple English, it means that a person with any interference to the nervous system would eventually become susceptible to numerous diseases, including autoimmune disorders.

There is extensive evidence, already on the books, that proves repetitive trauma to the head can cause neurodegenerative problems. When we examine the misfortunes of professional boxers like Muhammad Ali, that have experienced repetitive traumas to the head, we can begin to understand how devastating neurodegenerative disorders are to the overall physiological construct of the human body.

Unfortunately, most people think of neurodegenerative problems as being limited to the head. For the most part, that’s how they have been defined by the traditional health sources that people rely upon for their health information. But it’s important to keep in mind that the nervous system is very large and runs throughout the body. Anytime an organ is jarred or physically impacted in an injurious way, it creates far reaching effects for the entire nervous system. All organs, tissues, and cells must transmit and receive information to and from the brain via the nervous system. Messages of health run in afferent and efferent pathways and a disruption of communication in either direction can cause severe health related problems over time.

In my opinion neurodegenerative disorders stemming from cumulative head traumas/injuries are more likely than not to be the contributing factors in the genesis of Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, and a general decline in the body’s ability to maintain a properly functioning immune system.

What do you think about this subject?

The NFL: Trying to Deflate a Potentially Big Problem

By Dr. John L. Reizer

Editor at

I don’t usually write about conspiracies that have to do with professional sports teams, but on this particular day I will make an exception.

On Sunday, January 18, 2015 the National Football League (NFL) held their American and National Football Conference Championship games. In the American Football Conference Championship game, the New England Patriots defeated the Indianapolis Colts by a score of 45 -7.

During the first half of play, members of the Indianapolis Colts alerted referees working the game that the footballs being used by the New England Patriots were possibly under inflated. The footballs were subsequently examined at the game’s halftime intermission by league officials and it was determined that 11 out of 12 balls being used by the New England Patriots team had a deflated air pressure of about 16% under the acceptable levels prescribed by the NFL.

According to NFL league rules, each football team is expected to supply 12 footballs for use during a game. When one team is on offense (possesses the ball) they use their own footballs and these different sets of footballs are interchanged throughout the game. Depending on what team is on offense ultimately determines which set of 12 footballs are being used on the field of play at any given time.

Prior to the start of any professional game, NFL officials weigh and check the pressure of the footballs to make sure they are in compliance with league specifications. Before the start of this particular game, all 24 balls were checked and approved by league officials for use during the championship contest. What this means is that sometime after the balls had been approved for use in the game, 11 out of 12 footballs the Patriots were using during the first half of the game had their air pressure deflated. Somebody from the Patriots team obviously doctored 11 footballs.

A deflated football is much easier to throw and catch. In other words the footballs used in this game by the New England Patriots were easier to throw and catch than the footballs that were used by the Indianapolis Colts.

The New England Patriots organization has denied any wrongdoing regarding the deflation of footballs in the championship game. As of the writing of this article, the NFL is investigating the deflated football incident.

Most people will look at this sports controversy and shrug it off as something that is really not that important. Many people have weighed in on social media websites writing that this is only a silly football game. But the truth about the matter at hand is that the NFL is one of the biggest and most successful businesses in the world. It is a multibillion dollar industry that is intimately tied to the legalized gambling industry. It is, in reality, much more than just a game.

The NFL regularly markets its product as something that is wholesome and filled with integrity. They have gone to great lengths to give the impression to fans and followers that all games are fair and that no competitive edges are granted to any teams within the league.

In the past, the New England Patriots were found guilty by the NFL to have conducted activities that have given them an unfair competitive advantage over another opponent. There is a history and culture associated with this professional sports franchise that questions their overall integrity when it comes to playing within the rules.

Traditionally, the NFL imposes monetary fines on teams and players that break the rules established by the league. In this situation, specific members of the Patriots cannot be blamed or fined because there is no evidence of any wrongdoing being performed by a coach, a player, or an equipment manager. If no one is willing to come forward and take responsibility for deflating the balls, it is impossible to know who was responsible for what happened.

In my opinion, the league must punish the Patriots collectively as an organization. Imposing fines and other monetary penalties on people that are multibillionaires and multimillionaires is useless. A stronger message must be sent by the league to the New England Patriots and any other teams that do not play by the rules.

In other sports, when players use ineligible equipment or use ineligible players during a specific contest they forfeit the game in question. If a professional golfer is found to use an illegal golf club or an illegal golf ball, they would be disqualified from the match.

In college athletics, players that are found to be ineligible and still play in games are disciplined and the teams they play for automatically lose credit for any wins that might have been accomplished where ineligible players participated.

If the NFL really wants to do the right thing, it should strip the Patriots of their win in the championship game because they played a game with equipment that was not league approved. This decision should not be based on anything other than the fact that the footballs used were substandard according to league rules and that the Patriots like all other teams have a responsibility to make sure their equipment is up to the league standards. Ignorance is not an excuse and no exceptions should be made when it comes to a league maintaining the integrity of its games.

What do you think about this subject?