The players asked to have Dr. Athens go to the Super Bowl to work on their injuries that accumulated over a long season, he said.
"I typically see players in my office, but I also go to their hotel rooms the night before their games to get them tuned up," he said.
Football is a very "compressive sport," he said, and getting adjusted by a chiropractor helps to "decompress the body, gets pressure off the nerves, and improve overall bodily function."
Dr. Athens has worked with the general public and the 49er players for 30 years. Among his first patients, he said, was 49er running back Roger Craig, who referred other players, including Jerry Rice and Joe Montana. His chiropractic practice grew from there.
Now more than half of the 49er football team sees Dr. Athens for "regular chiropractic checkups to help maintain their health and to prevent injuries," he said.
"Even though the outcome of the game did not go their way, they fought hard as a team and had an overall healthy year," he said.