Osteopathic physicians played important roles at the Olympics

In the recent news article “Olympic Athletes Rely on Osteopathic Physicians for Healthcare and Performance Enhancement in RioThree onsite physicians share insights from the 2016 Olympic Games” (RIO DE JANEIRO, Aug. 12, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire; provided by American Osteopathic Association AUG 12, 2016, 10:53 ET), several osteopathic physicians shared their thoughts from their early days taking care of the US Olympic teams.

Dr. Rebeccah Rodriguez, DO, medical director of the Team USA high performance center shared that “Osteopathic manipulative treatment (OMT) is the top request from Olympic gymnasts as well as rugby and badminton players.  This hands-on therapeutic modality is used to treat muscular skeletal complaints. Osteopathic physicians, including me, use OMT to identify and correct asymmetries in the body, which usually corresponds to pain reduction.  For some athletes, it’s a matter of helping improve performance by reviewing the strengths, weaknesses and opportunities within the context of a training schedule. For others, it addresses specific conditions including chronic low back pain, concussions and migraines. ”

Dr. James Lally, DO is the chief medical officer of the International Shooting Sport Federation and member of the International Olympic Committee.  He manages the health and well-being of almost 400 athletes participating in the Olympic shooting sports.  He advised the athletes to pay attention to signs of concussion, which can linger (for days or months), and to seek medical attention with the Olympic medical team. “Symptoms of a concussion include ongoing head or neck pain, difficulty remembering or concentrating, slowness in speech or thought, getting lost, feeling tired or experiencing frequent mood changes.”

“DOs have a long history of serving Olympic athletes and are known for their specialized skills in sports medicine, Dr. Lally explained, because the profession aligns well with the Olympic philosophy that an athlete is comprised of body, will and mind. DOs take a whole person approach to medicine and are trained to look beyond symptoms to care for the mind, body and spirit of patients.”

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