In fact, the 2012 London Olympics was really a coming out party for the profession of chiropractic on the world athletic stage, as it was the first time ever at Olympic (and Paralympic) Games where chiropractic was offered to all athletes as one of the core services.
A huge and formidable team of chiropractors worked day and night at the Physical Therapies Department within the London Olympics medical center in 2012, ensuring athletes were at peak physical performance and aiding recovery from injuries. Many countries chose to send their own chiropractors, with the U.S. Olympic team alone sending over 100 chiropractors to treat their athletes with great results, as we took home 104 medals including 46 gold – the most of any country.
As medical, training and health and nutrition advancements vault athletes to new heights of human performance, chiropractic care has become an essential weapon in athlete’s competitive arsenal. But the best of the best in sports have known this for years.
Famed Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt received chiropractic treatment to recover from his back injury before and during the Olympics, and Tour de France winner and multiple Olympic champion Bradley Wiggins, has used chiropractic regularly since the 2008 Olympics.
Chiropractors have also been a mainstay at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, and U.S. exercise physiologist Sean Atkins estimates that at least 90% of top athletes utilize chiropractic on a regular basis to boost performance, prevent injuries and speed recovery.
This summer, they will all be on hand in Rio de Janeiro Summer Games to try and give a competitive nudge to their nation’s athletes. Chiropractors like Dr. Rhode G. Mesidor have worked with the U.S. wrestling, judo, weightlifting and volleyball teams since 2009, and understand the importance of their role.
“For the London Olympics, I just stayed up on extremity adjusting,” said Mesidor, “Making sure that I could do anything that was related to helping the back, spine or nervous system function correct and heal better because that's what controls functions as a whole. Athletes are so hard on their bodies…and if you're an athlete, everyone's competing; everyone's training; everyone's going through preliminaries – you want your body to repair as soon as possible.”
The chiropractors who have worked with the Olympic team and been invited to Rio are not only honored to represent the U.S. in international competition, but charged with serious responsibilities to keep their athlete’s at their best.