Kurtz relishes role as Seahawks’ team chiropractor

Federal Way Dr. Jim Kurtz celebrates the Seattle Seahawks winning the NFC West on Qwest Field after a win over the St. Louis Rams Jan. 2. Kurtz is in his first season as the Seahawks
Federal Way Dr. Jim Kurtz celebrates the Seattle Seahawks winning the NFC West on Qwest Field after a win over the St. Louis Rams Jan. 2. Kurtz is in his first season as the Seahawks' team chiropractor.
— image credit: Courtesy Ming Ming Su-Brown

Dr. Jim Kurtz will have the best seat in the house Sunday morning when the Seattle Seahawks take on the Chicago Bears at Soldier Field.

The clinic director at NW Sports Rehab in Federal Way is in his first season as the Seahawks’ team chiropractor. He will be on Seattle’s sidelines when the NFC Playoff Game kicks off at 10 a.m.

This is Kurtz’s inaugural trip working as a chiropractor on a football team. During his distinguished career, he has been a member of the sports medicine staff of the PGA Tour, a consultant to the Seattle Sounders FC and was the first chiropractor ever selected by the United States Olympic Committee to an international Paralympic event. He was Team USA’s chiropractor at the 2008 Paralympic Games in Beijing.

Kurtz cites walking with Team USA at the Paralympic Games as the highlight of his sports career. That was until last Saturday when he witnessed the Seahawks beat the defending Super Bowl champion New Orleans Saints inside Qwest Field in Seattle.

“It was unbelievable,” Kurtz said. “The energy inside that place, you can’t even explain it. The team was feeding off that energy.”

Kurtz’s schedule with the Seahawks includes a full day every Tuesday at the team’s practice facility in Renton and traveling with the team every Saturday and Sunday, home or away.

“It’s been fun,” Kurtz said. “It’s a great experience. The Seahawks have an incredible medical staff. I have learned different ways to do things. A 6-foot-7, 300-pound man is not the same as a regular person.”

As the team’s chiropractor, Kurtz will “adjust” players depending on their needs, but also does a lot of muscle work.

“Each player has their own routine,” Kurtz said. “The guys that have been in the league for a while know what works for them and the rookies are just trying to figure it out.”

Kurtz said he is in awe every day about the amount of punishment the players’ bodies take during the course of a practice, game and season.

He is also amazed at how quickly the players get back on the field after getting dinged up.

“I really don’t know how they do it mentally,” Kurtz said. “They hit each other unbelievably hard out there. It’s really amazing. You always want to get people back to doing what they do. But there is more of a sense of urgency with football players. There are some pretty traumatic injuries going on and we need to move at a fast pace to get them back on the field.”

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