Olympic athletes are elite competitors who push their bodies hard to achieve their goals. Several years of training go into becoming an Olympian. Many of them use chiropractic to help them maintain their optimal physical condition.
Olympians and Paralympians Benefit
Chiropractors are no strangers to working with athletes. A famous chiropractor, Dr. Terry Schroeder, was head coach of the United States Water Polo Team, which silver-medaled in Beijing in 2008. The polo players used chiropractic care not only for their overall health, but to perform at their maximum level during the games. Dr. Schroeder’s team continued on in 2012, where the women won the gold medal in London. Chiropractic care provides a kind of “drugless, unfair advantage”, in that many chiropractors use Functional Neurology, trained at the Carrick Institute for Graduate Studies. These chiropractors diagnose and treat many conditions without the use of surgery and drugs. Tests of physiology and neurology, stability, and motor and sensory functioning are all tested and treated. This can benefit Olympians, as well as Paralympians, who have permanent disabilities. Chiropractors can help athletes overcome injuries and adapt to new functioning; one such chiropractor is Dr. Steven Roffers, and he has worked with the USA Paralympic Team. McKayla Maroney, a champion gymnast, suffered a concussion during training. She worked with her chiropractic neurologist who tested her post-concussion state and found that there were balance issues and muscle weakness. By treating these conditions with arm movements, head movements, therapy, and other exercises, Dr. Shad Groves was able to help the gymnast pass the Olympic medical board. Maroney went on to win a silver medal in 2012.1
How Chiropractors Help Olympic Athletes
Over 100 chiropractors were sent by Maximized Living to the 2012 Olympics. They have assisted athletes in many categories, including sitting volleyball, wrestling, weight lifting, and judo. Their plan with the athletes was to provide a holistic approach to health, including balanced nutrition, fitness programs to build strength and endurance, and mental preparedness.2 Chiropractic sports medicine has come a long way since its beginnings at the 1968 Olympic Games in Mexico City. The first US team chiropractor was for the 1980 Winter Olympic Games in Lake Placid. There were only 4 chiropractors appointed to the US Team in Beijing. Chiropractic care became “fully integrated” in the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver.3 Now, the benefits of chiropractors are well-known, and it is not uncommon to find athletes using chiropractic care, not only in their daily life, but in the Olympics as well. This is true for US and other world athletes. Team Jamaica, in 2012, used chiropractic for “performance care” and not just for injuries. Adjustments enhance the performance; post-competition, chiropractors use “ART and acupuncture to speed up recovery and aid tissue repair and regeneration”. Jamaica won multiple gold medals.4