You might not know his name, or recognize his face, but if you are a professional sports fan, chances are you’ve seen his work. For 18 seasons Dr. Monte Hessler has been the official team chiropractor for the Phoenix Suns, a chiropractor for the San Francisco Giants during Spring Training, as well as a chiropractor on the PGA Tour’s medical staff for 14 years. His job is to keep players on the field, on the course or on the court. When they have a pain in the neck or back, they find Dr. Hessler, who then becomes the one person who can make the difference between them being able to compete or not. It’s a huge job, with a lot of pressure, but it is also incredible rewarding.
“There are several instances in my career where I can remember an athlete experiencing severe back pain, and after being adjusted in the locker room at halftime, during a game or even at a tee box on the course, the athlete was not only able to finish the event, but, in many instances, performed at the highest level with significantly less or no pain,” Hessler explained. For over a dozen years, Dr. Hessler searched for opportunities to work with elite athletes. He received a huge break when a former colleague asked him to join the Suns medical staff. His work led to more opportunities, and he’s seen a change and evolution in professional athletes as it pertains to his area of expertise.
“Athletes, over time, have gained a better understanding that if their body is functioning better from a bio-mechanical standpoint (joint motion, flexibility, and muscle balance), they perform at a higher level and avoid injury,” Dr. Hessler explained.