How Chiropractors Are Helping 2020 Olympic Athletes Perform At Their Peak
Let the Games Begin… Chiropractic at the Olympics!
It’s a year later than expected, but the 2020 (or is it 2021?) Tokyo Summer Olympics are finally here.
The Games of the XXXII Olympiad formally kicked off on Friday, and while the stands are empty amid a fresh pandemic state of emergency, thousands of athletes from more than 200 countries are there. Accompanying them are hundreds of medical professionals to keep them performing at their peak as they compete for gold.
The U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Division comprises a wide range of specialties – including MDs, DOs, PTs, ATs and massage therapists – and Doctors of Chiropractic are an essential part of that group. In fact, there are over 100 sports chiropractors on staff as part of the Olympic polyclinic and individual team delegations at this summer’s Olympic games.
There’s a good reason why – elite athletes all understand the performance-enhancing benefits of chiropractic care.
“If I could put a percentage value on it, I think I compete eight to ten percent better from regular chiropractic care. I think that is how much of a benefit it is, if not more. If it wasn’t for chiropractic, I wouldn’t have won the gold medal. Every track & field athlete that I have ever met has seen a chiropractor at one time or another. It’s absolutely essential. Chiropractic care is one of the things I think that no one can deny or refute. You obviously can’t compete at your fullest if you’re not in alignment.”
–Dan O’Brien, Olympic Gold Medalist & 3x World Decathlete Champion
Olympic legends Usain Bolt and Michael Phelps, two of the most decorated Olympians of all time with 31 gold medals between them, have credited their chiropractors with being integral to both their performance during competition and recovery after hard workouts.
So how exactly does chiropractic care improve athletic performance?
Did you know that a chiropractic adjustment doesn’t just help reduce pain but actually makes you stronger? It’s not hyperbole – an extraordinary 2017 study from the European Journal of Applied Physiology is one of the first to look at the role chiropractic plays as a performance enhancer for athletes.
The cutting-edge study specifically tested the power generated by a group of elite taekwondo athletes before and after a chiropractic adjustment. They found that an adjustment provided them with an increased maximum voluntary contraction for 30 minutes and an elevation of cortical spinal excitability for at least 60 minutes. According to the researchers, chiropractic treatment resulted in “improvement of neural adaptations such as the H-reflex and the V-wave, which contributes to enhanced motor performance.”
In non-sports-science speak, that translates to more strength.
The study builds on research from Brain Sciences Journal in which researchers measured the electrical activity in the arms and legs of patients before, during and after a chiropractic adjustment. They saw a nearly 50% increase in cortical drive (and, therefore, improved muscle contraction) following chiropractic treatment.
The improvements aren’t just short-term, either. A double-blind study from The Journal of Chiropractic Research and Clinical Investigation found that athletes who received chiropractic care saw an average 18% increase in athletic performance after 12 weeks of regular treatments – testing strength, kinesthetic perception, reaction time, agility and balance. That’s a nice edge when competing with the best athletes in the world!
Of course, a chiropractic adjustment won’t magically turn you into a world champion sprinter, but it’s exciting that we’re finally seeing hard evidence that proves chiropractic provides so much more benefit for athletes than just simply pain relief and improved range of motion.
It’s a big reason why chiropractors are more present in the pro sports world than ever before. Virtually every professional baseball, football, basketball and hockey team has a dedicated chiropractor on their medical team.
The Ascent Chiropractic Difference
Whether you’re an Olympic athlete or weekend warrior, study after study shows that regular chiropractic care is an essential part of reaching your full potential as an athlete. Ready to perform at your peak? To make an appointment at Ascent Chiropractic, call 262-345-4166 or schedule an appointment with our online scheduling app.