The following is an excerpt from an article originally published by Twin Cities. Click here to read the full article.
Sometime after Kyle Gibson starts for the Twins in their home opener Monday afternoon, the durable young right-hander will connect with perhaps the most important member of his support team this year: his chiropractor.
Gibson is still just 28, smack in the prime of his career, but there were times during the second half last season when his lower back started to bark at him. In early August in Toronto, for instance, he was shelled for eight earned runs in just 4 2/3 innings.
“I had a problem in Toronto,” Gibson said.
Two starts later at Yankee Stadium, his back tightened up on him again. He gave up six earned runs in five innings.
“There were a couple starts where I didn’t sit down in between innings,” Gibson said, “because if I sat down, my hips just got tight.”
Meanwhile, fellow Twins pitcher Trevor May, 26, was dealing with lower back issues of his own. In May’s case, the additional pounding of making multiple relief appearances without much recovery time had caused issues with the hip and lower-back area of his left (landing) leg, as well.
May’s physical woes left him unavailable for days at a time while the Twins chased their first postseason berth since 2010. Massage and electronic stimulation could only do so much to keep May on the mound.
A few sporadic sessions with a chiropractor didn’t provide immediate results, so May discontinued them.
Upon returning to Seattle this offseason, the yoga devotee decided to up the ante and visit a chiropractor weekly for hour-long sessions. This time, he began to see the benefits.
“A couple weeks before spring training, I felt it coming on a little bit again,” May said. “I was like, what is going on? I got it adjusted and my chiropractor said, ‘Man, you are way, way out of whack.’ He explained to me where my pain was and why the hip was pressing against where it was and if we get that moved back, just lengthened out, it’s going to be really sore for a few weeks, but then it’s just going to go back to normal.”