Chiropractic now part of integrated sport health care

20 October, 2009

A first for athletes - Chiropractic part of integrated sport health care at the Sydney World Masters Games

When it comes to the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, currently being held in Sydney until October 18, one of the biggest teams isn't running a marathon, hurling a discus, manning the oars or shooting goals.

Instead, they are backing up the 28,292 competitors - literally - as they contest 28 different sports over nine action-packed days. The 178 strong team of chiropractors, fielded by Sports Chiropractic Australia, a special interest group of the Chiropractors' Association of Australia, represents the biggest ever contingent of chiropractors and chiropractic students to work at a single sporting event anywhere in the world.

This is the first time that sports chiropractors have been officially appointed to a major event in Australia and with over 70 per cent of the 28,292 competitors aged between 35 to 64 years. Sports Chiropractic Australia's chairman Dr Peter Garbutt says that his team is well and truly earning their keep!

"As the official chiropractic providers for the Sydney 2009 World Masters Games, in partnership with Macquarie University's Department of Chiropractic and the Federation of International Chiropractic Sport, our sports chiropractors are working together with trainers, doctors and physiotherapists, as an integrated team, to help athletes prepare for competition, overcome injury and enhance recovery.

"Sports chiropractic is growing rapidly, nationally and internationally, and is now well established at many world level sporting events, including the Olympic Games and the World Games."

According to Garbutt, it's testimony to the growing role that chiropractic is playing in helping keep competitors healthy on the sports field - both at the elite level and at the local level.

"We've seen a lot of participants trying chiropractic for the first time at the Games with good results, particularly the netballers who have had adjustments before their first game of the day. The opportunity to work with other disciplines has been invaluable; the referral and collaboration between the physiotherapists, chiropractors, soft tissue therapists and doctors on site has been phenomenal. Many have claimed how valuable the experience has been working alongside other professions in this setting," said Garbutt.

Sited at 20 locations at the Games the chiropractic team is also routinely checking participants' motion range to ensure that they are performing at their full potential.

It's an approach that is worlds away from the old fashioned image of chiropractic manipulation.

"Sports chiropractic is a specialist sub-field that practises a multimodal treatment approach, with techniques ranging from manipulation, mobilisation, soft tissue therapies, electrotherapy, rehabilitation, movement and exercise therapies, nutritional advice, strapping and bracing," explained Garbutt.

The Chiropractors' Association of Australia (National) is the peak body representing chiropractors in Australia. With over 2,500 members, the Association is the largest chiropractic health body in Australia. Sports Chiropractic Australia is an educational and co-ordinating arm for chiropractors with special interest and qualifications in sports chiropractic. It serves to equip chiropractors with the knowledge and tools to provide sports specific care to physically active Australians.