5 Medical Therapies Olympians Use

Many of us are watching as records are being shattered, history is being made and the Gold Medals are stacking up for Team USA at the Rio 2016 Summer Olympics right now. The hard work, athleticism and good health of these athletes is something to be noticed and wondered how they do it. Many Olympic Athletes claim that they five types of medical sports therapies help them recover faster and have an edge over their competitors.

  1. Cupping: If you watched the swimming competition at the Olympics recently, you may have seen the dark circular bruises all over Michael Phelps shoulders and back. As the best Olympian of all time, Phelps uses the traditional Chinese Medicine treatment called Cupping to help his fatigued, sore and tight muscles recover quickly. It is thought that this is helping give him an extra edge in the pool, all while taking care of his body. The Cupping treatment uses a certain style of suction cups placed all over the effected area to help loosen the muscles using negative pressure. While the treatment itself isn’t painful, the bruises do last upwards of a week. By stimulating flow and energy along the meridians of the body, muscles are able to recover faster. Although there is no scientific proof that cupping actually works, with it being used by top-notch athletes around the world, it is leaving people to wonder if it will help them. Ask your chiropractor or acupuncturist about cupping if you have hard to treat aches and pains in your body.
  1. Massage: Sports Therapy Massage is a common use of treatment by many elite athletes around the globe. Aside from the aiding in tired, tight and sore muscle recovery a good massage could be just what an athlete needs to relax and get in the zone for the next big competition. It has been said that Michael Phelps gets two massages a day to help his body recover from his intense 6 hours 6 days a week workout routine. If you are a weekend warrior or avidly exercise, you might benefit from some regular massage therapy.
  1. Acupuncture: While this form of treatment isn’t as commonly used among athletes, throughout the years many Olympians have talked about the benefits they receive from acupuncture.  Instead of being a quick in between events fix like a massage or cupping might be acupuncture is used to help treat injuries and help athletes take care of their body, preventing injuries.  Since the substances that athletes can take are severely regulated, they will often turn to drug-free forms of therapies for pain and injuries such as acupuncture to treat pain, anxiety and other symptoms.
  1. Chiropractic Care: Chiropractic care is a standard part of Team USA’s sports medicine practices. With Chiropractors on hand for Team USA at the games, it is clear that they are very valued among the coaches and athletes alike. Keeping the body aligned properly and making sure the muscles and tendons are where they are supposed to be before putting a lot of strain on them is very important. While the average person probably may not have a lot of aches and pains, any athlete, weekend warrior, or ex athlete understands that sports take a toll on your body over time, and identifying the pains you feel before continuing to workout is very important. From runners, to swimmers chiropractors are very valuable to the athletes.
  1. Kinesiology Tape: As seen on athletes such as Keri Walsh Jennings as well as many others, Kinesiology tape is said to be an aid to athletes in stability, muscle recovery and endurance. As a strong long lasting sports tape, Kinesiology tapes popularity is spreading. While there is no scientific proof that the tape actually aids athletes the way that they think, with so many of the best athletes in the world using it, it might just help you with your weekend hikes, or sciatic nerve pain. Ask your chiropractor about Kinesiology tape if you have muscle problems that could use some extra support.

by Chugach Chiropractic & Massage Center