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Chiropractic Care – A Huge Help to Olympic Athletes

Most Decorated Olympian of All Time, World’s Fastest Man, Other Olympic Athletes Use Chiropractic Care to Improve Their Performances

The recently completed 2016 Olympic Games held in Rio were another showcase for the competitive advantage chiropractic care can give world-class athletes. Chiropractic has been helping U.S. Olympians push the limits of their athletic abilities and perform to the best of their abilities since Dr. George Goodheart, the founder of Applied Kinesiology who practiced in Detroit and Grosse Pointe, became the first official US Olympic team chiropractor at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. 

For athletes, chiropractic care can help to reduce the risk of injuries, accelerate recovery time and improve health and performance through enhancements in range of motion, flexibility, balance, muscle strength and other key factors. 

Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), says, “It is gratifying to witness the demand for and growing utilization of chiropractic care among professional athletes. The evidence-based, hands-on chiropractic approach utilizes a variety of techniques, including spinal manipulation, to help restore functionality of the spine and nervous system to ensure optimal well-being, and inevitably fuel competitive athletic performance.” Be sure to check out Dr. McAllister at the MAC Fall 2016 Convention & Exhibition, September 23-25 in Dearborn.

Two of the major stars at the 2016 Olympics – swimmer Michael Phelps of the United States and sprinter Usain Bolt of Jamaica – use chiropractic care to help them stay at the top of their sports.  

Bolt – the World’s Fastest Man – regularly utilizes chiropractic care to recover from injury and improve his performance. In Rio, Bolt, the most decorated sprinter of all time, became the first track athlete in Olympic history to win three gold medals in one discipline, with his win in the 100m sprint. He followed that up by winning the unprecedented “Triple Triple” – winning the 100m, 200m, and 4x100m relay in three straight Olympics. He (possibly) finishes his career an 11-time World Champion and nine-time Olympic Gold Medalist. 

Olympic legend Michael Phelps, already the most decorated Olympian of all time, added five Golds to his remarkable tally, finishing his storied career with an amazing 28 medals – 23 of them Gold. In an interview with Details magazine, Phelps credited Graston Technique with being essential to his recovery after hard workouts. 

Chiropractic – An Integral Part of the Olympic Games

Chiropractic has become such a fixture in the Olympics that a chiropractor, William Moreau, DC, DACNSP, serves as managing director of sports medicine for the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) and chief medical officer for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games. 

“Chiropractic plays an important role in preventive, maintenance or injury specific care, and contributes to enhanced clinical outcomes and high patient satisfaction levels among all athletes,” says Dr. Moreau. 

Even teams without their own team chiropractors had access to official Olympic chiropractic services in Rio. An international team of chiropractors delivering services to these athletes was led by Brazilian Marcelo Botelho, DC, MD, ICCSP, MSc. “The care provided by a doctor of chiropractic can help athletes reduce the risk of injuries, accelerate recovery time and improve health through improvements in range of motion, flexibility, balance, muscle strength and other key factors,” Dr. Botelho told the F4CP. “Chiropractic care provides athletes with the competitive edge to fuel peak performance and succeed during their time at the Olympics.”


Chiropractic & the Olympics: Did You Know?

  • Doctors of chiropractic specializing in sports injuries and physical fitness are the ideal health care providers to help elite athletes reach their maximum physical potential. They are unparalleled in their ability to handle both injury and recovery treatment and help the athletes prepare for competition.
  • Chiropractic care in the Olympics dates back to Leroy Perry, DC, who treated athletes representing Antigua during the 1976 Games in Montreal. U.S Track and Field star Dwight Stones broke barriers and thrust chiropractic care into the Olympic spotlight in an interview on national TV, where he spoke about the important work being done by Dr. Perry.
  • Dr. George Goodheart, the founder of Applied Kinesiology who practiced in Detroit and Grosse Pointe, was the first official US Olympic team chiropractor, serving at the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Chiropractors have been included on the U.S. medical team in every Olympic and Pan-American Games ever since.
  • The current Director of Sports Medicine for the USOC is a chiropractor, Dr. Bill Moreau. In this role, Dr. Moreau oversees the clinics at the U.S. Olympic Training Centers in Colorado Springs, Chula Vista, and Lake Placid.
  • For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games, the 2010 Winter Games in Vancouver, Canada, included chiropractic care inside the Olympic Village Polyclinic, a multi-disciplinary facility offering comprehensive healthcare and medical services, marking the first time that DCs from the host country treated athletes and officials from around the world directly inside the Polyclinic. In 2012, there were 28 DCs in the Olympic polyclinic and 27 other DCs working with foreign countries and teams from around the world.

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