Olympic Chiropractic: How Chiropractic Helps Olympic Athletes





The Winter Olympics are in full swing, and the best athletes in the world have come together to compete, leaving all of us captivated by their abilities. As spectators, most of us don’t give much thought to what’s going on behind the scenes. However, Olympic athletes require all kinds of supportive care to maintain peak performance.

One of the main ways these world-class competitors stay in tip-top condition is by regularly getting chiropractic care. Preventative chiropractic treatments can help extend athletes’ range of motion, improve performance, and prevent injury. Chiropractors can also help athletes recover more quickly from overwork and injuries.

In fact, chiropractic care is so important to Olympic performance that in 2016 the chief medical officer for the US Olympic Team was a chiropractor – Dr. Bill Moreau.

Dr. Moreau says that chiropractic “helps the athletes to reload and get ready for the next day of practice or competition grind. If we can help them recover and physically perform the next day, the target is for the athlete to reach the pinnacle of their potential at the Olympic or Paralympic Games.”

Post-workout recovery techniques such as massage therapy and mobility (both services are available at Woodbury Spine) can help high-performance athletes recover from tough practices or competition, and perform better the next day. This is helpful in conditioning prior to competition, and to maintaining peak performance during multi-day competitions, such as the Olympics.

Improving Performance through Chiropractic Adjustment

Correcting misalignments through using chiropractic manipulation and other modalities helps improve performance, says Moreau.

Proper alignment and muscle therapy allows the range of motion to reach its full potential, and may also improve strength and balance – all critical for athletes to maintain peak performance.

Misalignment may also contribute to chronic pain in high-impact areas such as the back, feet, and knees. Alleviating these sources of pain, even if the pain is minor, can help to improve performance. Not to mention, its a drug-free method to eliminate pain.

Multi-gold medalists Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps regularly use chiropractic care to improve their performance, recover from injuries, and recuperate after tough practices. In the 2016 Olympics, Phelps was covered in purple dots, which were due to a technique known as “cupping,” wherein suction is applied to sore muscles.

Injuries can be devastating to elite athletes. An injury prior to competition prevents conditioning essential to maintaining peak performance, and an injury during competition likely means that the athlete will be unable to compete any further. Chiropractic care for athletes therefore focuses on injury prevention.

Chiropractic can prevent injury through a number of means. An initial evaluation and exam can help identify areas that are already stressed and at risk for injury. Realignment can also prevent injuries.

We also use cold laser therapy in adjunction to chiropractic in our office to help with injuries such as sprains/strains, inflammation, tissue repair, etc. Benefits include:

  • Accelerated Tissue Repair & Cell Growth

  • Pain Relief

  • Increase Blood Flow

  • Anti-inflammation

  • Increased Repair & Regeneration

  • Nerve Funtion & Repair


Reducing Chronic Pain

High-impact sports can place as much stress on the body as a moderate auto accident. Elite, high-performance athletes therefore often suffer from chronic pain resulting from consistent overwork or old injuries.

Chiropractic adjustment is especially effective in treating chronic back pain, and has consistently outperformed other medical interventions in reducing the intensity of back pain. Proper spinal alignment takes the stress off of compressed nerves, alleviating back pain.


Providing Non-Invasive Treatment

Invasive treatments are a gamble for injured athletes, as these procedures increase the recovery time from injuries. If an injury is treatable through chiropractic care, avoiding invasive treatments through these means significantly decreases recovery time. Chiropractic care is also not as risky as invasive treatments.

A summary of benefits include:

  • Enhances coordination & balance

  • Increases flexibility & mobility

  • Reduces likelihood of injuries

  • Enhances overall performance

  • Reduces pain without meds

  • Relieves stress & tension in overworked muscles


Chiropractic care helps athletes from many different sports reach their peak performance, and has become integral to the care of elite athletes. Call 651-731-0505 to get your assessment on your athlete today!

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