Who is the player on the Canadian Women's Soccer team who is a chiropractor? Dr. Melissa Tancredi, Canada's Women's National Soccer Team forward, is a future Canadian practicing chiropractor. The Canada Women's National Soccer Team played excellent soccer while hosting the 2015 FIFA Women's World Cup across the country in Vancouver, Edmonton, Hamilton, and Montreal. The team drew tens of thousands of live supporters to their games, with individuals becoming household names, with fan favourites such as Christine Sinclair, Sophie Schmidt, and Dr. Tancredi leading the way.
The tournament, hosted by Canada, was a huge success across the nation and around the world. Records were broken for television ratings in Canada and the US, topped off with a record breaking final game between USA and Japan played at BC Place in Vancouver, British Columbia on July 5, 2015. The US Women's National Team (USWNT) was led by Carli Lloyd's three goals in 16 minutes in the final - a spectacular display of the women's game. Some controversy hit the internet after the final game with reports that the US Women's National Team would only be receiving $2 million in prize money for winning the entire tournament, while the US Men's National Team took home $9 million for losing in the Round of 16 in Brazil 2014.
While there is no direct link to prize money and a second career in women's soccer, it is interesting that players such as Tancredi have been planning a second career over the past years of playing with Canada's national team. Tancredi has worked on her Doctorate of Chiropractic education, an intense 4 year program, over the past 8 years while taking time off to play in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup. Her dedication to becoming a chiropractor was a full time job on its own; classroom times and clinical obligations easily hit 40 hours a week, not counting studying for course work and taking extracurricular credentials. Her dedication of taking time away from Canadian National team shows Tancredi's passion for chiropractic in Canada - a field that is still underused for diagnosis and treatment of low back pain, pregnancy care, and sports injuries.
Chiropractic and Active Release Technique for Sports Injuries
While much of the population looks at the chiropractic profession as strictly dealing with back pain, part of our role as chiropractors is to educate the population to utilize the vast amount of talent, skill, and knowledge of the entire body and systems. In Tancredi's situation, no doubt would Active Release Technique be involved in her treatment received for soccer injuries.
In an interview with Canadian Chiropractor in 2012, Tancredi responded to a question of how chiropractic impacts her performance as an athlete:
"My training in chiropractic has educated me to understand how the body works and how it needs to be kept working in order to keep all cylinders firing. I’m 30 now – on the older end of the spectrum to be playing in my sport, and yet, I’m still here. Chiropractic also taught me to understand injuries, and how to manage them, in order to prolong my career as a soccer player. As well, I have learned that it’s not only about the body, but what you put into it. The things I have learned about nutrition and supplementation have really helped my performance as an athlete. I first began to be adjusted before games when I was playing semi-pro soccer, while still an undergrad student in college. I found it really helped my performance on the field and felt that everything in my body was in tune. I was able to move on the field without any “kinks” – to this day, I find the adjustments freeing. They help me to perform at my best and enhance my endurance.
I would like to emphasize that chiropractic is highly respected and has a very strong impact on athletes in every level of sports. I’m pursuing this field because I believe it is a true honour to be able to positively effect the lives of people through the implementation of a balanced drug-free healthy lifestyle."
Dr. Melissa Tancredi has not begun practicing, but we wish her well in the future and we appreciate her dedication representing our country of Canada and our chiropractic profession.
Dr. Lucas Tisshaw
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See Canadian Chiropractors full interview with Melissa Tancredi here.