The USOC’s (United States Olympic Committee) Sports Medicine Division delivers high quality health care to our elite athletes. This medical staff consists of sports chiropractors, physical therapists and athletic trainers who all work together with the athletes so that they can achieve their highest goals.
Operating in 3 different clinics in the United States (Colorado Springs, CO, lake Placid, NY and Chula Vista, CA), the staff takes a multi-disciplinary approach to address
- Prevention of injury
- Pain management
- Rehabilitation of injury
This specialty of Sports Chiropractic is a specialty that requires post-graduate work and a certification by a recognized practitioner. Treatment plans are always non-invasive and can include joint manipulation as well as exercise to improve strength, flexibility and range of motion.
Sports Chiropractic Medicine specialists first began treating Olympic team athletes in 1980 at the Winter Games at Lake Placid. Sports Chiropractic Care has been included as part of the USOC Medical Team ever since. For rowing Olympian Anna Cummins, this drug-free, surgery-free treatment is why she won gold at the 2008 Beijing Olympics. She credits spinal manipulation for healing 2 degenerative discs before her big win and says she’s never felt more healthy.
“I wasn’t getting sick as often and little things like that. Allergies went way down, but that makes sense too because the nerves that went to my low back that kept seizing, those were looser, and the nerves that went down to my legs, those were able to push harder and the nerves that went to lungs and kept my immune system going, those were doing better too.”
Before Anna’s first realignment, she says the deteriorating gelatinous material between her discs caused her great pain down her legs.
In addition to the [paid] medical staff, the USOC also depends of volunteer medical practitioners to assist the medical staff. Volunteers have a minimum of 3 years experience in either sports chiropractic, physical therapy , athletic training or massage therapy. These support services are crucial to assisting our Olympic athletes in achieving excellence.