You may think that Olympic Athletes just continually practice, practice, practice to become the amazing athletes that they are. While this is true, many people don't think about the constant self-care that makes up a huge part of these athletes' training routines. Throughout history, athletes have used strength training, conditioning, stretching, massage therapy and other therapies to help them stay strong, healthy, and maintain peak performance. Many athletes, whether they practice their sport professionally or recreationally, use chiropractic care to help them achieve optimal wellness and peak performance.
Although chiropractic care is a relatively modern practice, just being developed in 1895, it has made huge strides, especially among athletes. It has become so vital in these athletes' training regimens, that this year at the Rio Olympics, the chief medical officer for Team USA, William Moreau, is a chiropractor! Chiropractic care is such a key component of the health services provided fro the athletes at the Olympics and Paralympics. Dr Moreua states, "Chiropractic plays an important role in preventative, maintenance or injury specific care, and contributes to enhanced clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction levels among all athletes."
Olympic athletes didn't always have the benefit of chiropractic care to help them maintain peak physical condition while competing at the Olympics. It was actually the athletes who saw the value and importance of chiropractic care and brought chiropractors to the Olympics. Chiropractic involvement in the Olympics started in the mid-70s in preparation for the 1976 Montreal Games. Most of the track and field athletes were working with a chiropractor to help keep their bodies strong and healthy. One particular athlete, Dwight Stones, a high jumper, was very vocal about the benefits of chiropractic care and really pushed other athletes to utilize this care and make it an official part of the Olympic Games. His persistence paid off, and in 1980, chiropractic became an official part of the Olympic sports medicine program. Dr. George Goodheart was named the first official chiropractor the U.S. Olympic Medical Team in 1980.
So how does an athlete benefit from chiropractic care?
According to Palmer College of Chiropractic, "Improper function of the spine due to slight misalignments-called subluxations-can cause poor health or function, even in areas far removed from the spine and spinal cord itself.... Chiropractic is a natural form of health care that uses spinal adjustments to correct these misalignments and restore proper function to the nervous system, helping your body to heal naturally."
Misalignments of the spine can be cause by anything, from something as a severe as a car accident, to everyday life occurrences- sitting in an improper position or going for a run. Even the slightest misalignment can keep the body from functioning properly. When athletes are training and putting a large amount of physical strain on their body, misalignments are very likely to occur and hinder the proper overall function of their body, therefore, causing their athletic performance to suffer. Some athletes who participate in contact sports have even a higher risk of misalignments. In fact, according to All American Healthcare, "high impact sports can place the same amount of strain on the body as an auto collision."
Athletes use chiropractic care to:
- Help reduce the risk of injury
- Accelerate recovery time
- Treat injuries in a non-invasive, drug free way
- Decrease pain
- Help improve performance by enhancing range of motion, flexibility, balance, and muscle strength.
Experts estimate that 90% of all world-class athletes rely on chiropractic care as part of their optimal wellness program, and all 32 NFL teams have team chiropractors to help athletes stay injury free and increase performance. Whether professional, amateur, or just participating in a sport for recreation and wellness, all athletes can greatly benefit from chiropractic care, not just to help with athletic performance, but for overall optimal health and wellness.
From Usain Bolt, the fastest man on earth....
....to the runner just starting training for his first 5K, chiropractic care can make a huge difference.
Dr. Ashton, chiropractor at A Therapeutic Effect, is proud to treat athletes of all ages and levels. He has extensive working knowledge of biomechanics, fitness/sport training, sports injury, exercise physiology, and health and wellness. Prior to chiropractic school, he attended Ursinus College in Collegeville, PA and graduated in 2000 with a B.S. in Exercise and Sports Science. Dr. Ashton was a student trainer for four years and was later inducted it Phi Epsilon Kappa, the Exercise and Sports Science honor society. If you think your athletic performance could benefit from chiropractic care, please feel free to call us at 717-285-9955 for more information and to schedule a consultation.