Chiropractic Sports Medicine is hailed as a necessary part of the United States team and medical staff of all countries
Many have fond memories of growing up at the Olympics – whether we cheered the US ice hockey team to beat the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics, marveling at Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 points in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics, or Michael Phelps to watch effortlessly The games are part of our collective consciousness.
In fact, many of our current Olympians cite previous masters as inspiration. Similarly, many DCs who specialize in chiropractic sports medicine feel the same way.
On the way to the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, chiropractic sports medicine is repeatedly praised as a necessary part of the USA team and medical staff of all countries. As a result, many DCs may wonder about the selection process to be part of the Olympic Games Sports Medicine team, how chiropractic can benefit these elite athletes, and what efforts are being made to promote chiropractic for Olympians.
The way to the Olympic DC
The US Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine division encompasses a wide range of health professionals, including doctors, orthopedic surgeons, DCs, and massage therapists. All members participate voluntarily as part of an ongoing selection process. Chiropractors who wish to apply for a spot on the team must have malpractice insurance, no disciplinary action against them, and currently practice sports chiropractic.
DCs who pass the application process are then sent to one of the three Olympic training centers to evaluate how they are caring for the athletes in training. During this evaluation period, DCs can also be sent to Olympic qualifying events or international games around the world to work with the athletes.
Get a degree in Chiropractic Sports Medicine at the Olympics
While doing this, they are constantly being evaluated and tested to see how well they work not only with the individual athletes, but also with the coaches, other applicants and health care providers who are already part of Team USA. On the way there, applicants are shut down as only a limited number make the final cut for Team USA.
“The appointment as a chiropractor for USA Swimming at the Summer Olympics 16 is the greatest honor of my career, and it has been an absolute privilege to serve our swimmers as a member of the medical support staff for over a month (during training camps and the Olympics) “Said Kevin Rindal, DC, one of six chiropractors in his family and founder of InHealth Sports Injury and Performance in Seattle, speaking to the Palmer College of Chiropractic.
“Nothing compares to the Olympics – entering the stadium at the opening ceremonies was electrifying, and I was very proud to represent Team USA as a chiropractor,” said Rindal, who took part in their other international swimming events in the USA, the FINA World Championship belonged to the Pan Pacific Games and the Pan American Games.
Treatment of Olympic Competitors
As you would expect, the majority of conditions chiropractors treat at the Olympics are related to sports injuries – tight or torn ligaments and joints, dislocated joints, or joint pain and stiffness. The aim is not only to properly treat the injury, but also to enable the athlete to continue participating in the games if possible.
However, DCs need to be prepared to deal with almost any medical issue, ranging from an allergic reaction to a bee sting to insomnia due to time changes to travel-related GI issues. In addition, the medical team must be available not only to athletes, but also to coaches, referees, support staff and even participants in an emergency.
As part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness about chiropractic in general and the role it can play in keeping Olympic athletes in top shape, the Foundation for the Advancement of Chiropractic will be launching a series of five commercials during the Summer Olympics on July 24th -Aug. 9. In every 30-second ad sponsored by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE), a former Olympic athlete will discuss how chiropractic sports medicine helped improve their performance and ultimately made their decision, according to retiring from sport to become DC.
This summer, an estimated 204 million people will watch elite athletes from countries around the world compete for gold for two weeks. Of course, none of these athletes can win alone. You have a whole team to prepare for your big day.
As the new advertisements from the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress will show, chiropractic sports medicine is an integral part of this team.