Many of us have fond memories of growing up watching the Olympics — whether we were cheering on the U.S. hockey team to beat the Soviets at the 1980 Winter Olympics, marveling at Nadia Comaneci’s perfect 10 scores in gymnastics at the 1976 Summer Olympics, or watching Michael Phelps effortlessly swim his way to becoming the most decorated Olympian in history, the Games are part of our collective consciousness.

As we head into the 2020 Summer Olympics in Tokyo, chiropractic sports medicine is repeatedly being lauded as a necessary part of Team USA’s and all countries’ medical staff. The U.S. Olympic Committee’s Sports Medicine Division comprises a wide range of health care professionals, including doctors, orthopedists, DCs, and massage therapists. All members participate on a volunteer basis, as part of an ongoing selection process.

As you might expect, the majority of conditions that chiropractors treat at the Olympics will be related to sports injuries – strained or torn ligaments and joints, dislocated joints, or joint pain and stiffness. The goal is to not only properly treat the injury, but to allow the athlete to continue to compete in the Games, if at all possible. However, DCs must be prepared to deal with almost any sort of medical issue, ranging from an allergic reaction to a bee sting, to insomnia from time changes, to travel-related GI issues. Furthermore, the medical team must be available to not just athletes, but also coaches, referees, support staff, and even attendees, should an emergency arise.

As part of an ongoing campaign to raise awareness of chiropractic in general, as well as the role it can play in keeping Olympic athletes in top form, the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress will be airing a series of commercials during the Summer Olympics, July 23rd – Aug. 8, 2021. Each 30-second ad, will feature a former Olympic athlete discussing how chiropractic sports medicine helped improve their performance and ultimately shaped their decision to become a DC once they retired from sports.