The Olympic Experience: A Time for Teamwork



:dropcap_open:T:dropcap_close:he Olympics are an experience one never forgets. They are a highlight in one’s life steeped in excitement and competition. Thousands of people from every country in the world conglomerate for two weeks, proudly waving or wearing the colors of their national flags. National pride runs high with the competitive spirit.

I have had the good fortune of attending summer and winter Olympics, as well as the world games, in an official capacity as the Estonian team’s chiropractor and Trigenist. We won three medals in Athens and we won three gold medals in Torino. (To put it in perspective, three golds for Estonia, with a population just over one million, is like the United States winning 900 gold medals!)

Each country’s team is assigned a certain area or building and is given a room for administrative control. For the doctors and therapists, each country is given a separate room with treatment tables for use by the physiotherapists and manual medicine practitioners. There is also always an official treatment centre in the Olympic village which houses medical doctors and therapists as well as treatment modalities and diagnostic equipment. All of the athletes have access to this clinic, as do the team doctors. On many occasions, where physiotherapy radiographs or MRI’s were needed or the opinion of an orthopedic surgeon, I took my athletes to one of these “polyclinics”. The doctors and therapists were always more than happy to assist or provide whatever care I felt was necessary.

At the site of each event, there are also separate areas on-field or in the back rooms of the arenas for the doctors and therapists traveling with the teams to do their work on the athletes. Most of the pictures you see in this article were taken in these areas. With Trigenics® myoneural treatments, the athlete is fine-tuned and “super-charged” immediately before going out to compete.

This is because Trigenics® involves assessing and treating the nervous system for inhibition causing weakness or over-facilitation causing shortening and restricted movement. Initially, with every different sport, specific muscles are recruited to contract in a synchronized fashion to perform the movement’s specific to that sport. In addition, specific muscles will need to relax and elongate during these movements to facilitate as much momentum and range of motion as possible. It is for this reason that specific applications of Trigenics® procedures are used to increase overall power and speed immediately before the athlete performs. For instance, one of the pictures (on pg. 43) shows me treating Aleksander Tammert on the field at the Athens 2004 summer Olympics. Within fifteen minutes of this Trigenics® Power Augmentation treatment, he threw the distance that won him the bronze medal with this being nearly two meters farther than he had ever thrown in a major competition. (Currently, he is first in the world for 2006.)

At the winter Olympics in Italy, the head physiotherapist for the Serbian team, Nino Tetanovec, had heard from one of the athletes that I was practicing a neurological treatment system which was having astounding results. He came to where I was working and asked if I could look at one of his athletes to give my opinion as to whether Trigenics® would be of any help. (This was, evidently, a therapist who had the best interest of his patient at heart, with no sense of ego interfering with his decision to involve another health professional in the care of one of his athletes.) I was more than happy to provide any help I could and we were soon working together on the case.

The athlete was Aleksander Milenkovic, competing in the Nordic combined and the only athlete in Olympic history to compete in four Olympics, both summer and winter, in four different events. His lower back was in spasm and severe pain and, although the Serbian physio was helping him significantly with myofascial tissue work, Aleksander was obviously not recovering fast enough to enable him to ski in his upcoming event.

It was three days before his event when I first saw Aleksander. I performed a myoneural examination on Aleksander of the muscles attaching to his pelvis and lumbar spine to ascertain aberrant neural control. When I first saw Aleksander, he was unable to forward flex his trunk beyond thirty degrees and his right trunk rotation was severely limited with pain. Right straight leg raise was reduced significantly with pain and he had localized pain in the right L4-5 region as well as in the area of the right gluteus medius. Right hip flexion was also extremely weak, as was left trunk flexion. In a brief summary, some of the main areas of Trigenics® treatment in this case involved application of TL to the right multifidus, quadratus lumborum, gluteus medius, and hams with TL applied to the left erector spinae, adductors, rectus femoris and psoas. TS procedures were applied to the left multifidus and QL and the right psoas, adductors and rectus femoris. L4-5 was also manually manipulated, as was the right sacroiliac joint. Immediately following this first treatment, Aleksander was bending to ninety degrees and the lost strength in his leg improved about 80%. The spasms in his back and his pain also decreased significantly. I also felt that proprioceptive taping would be beneficial post-treatment and suggested this to Nino. We both decided to involve Italian physiotherapist Bruno Cosimo, who was in the village, as he is the European representative for Kinesiotaping. Bruno was called and he came to provide this service.

Three days later, Aleksander competed in his event for Serbia and everyone was a hero.

Trigenics® is often regarded as the missing element of treatment for athletes as correction of aberrant histology using soft tissue techniques and aberrant arthrokinetics using osseous manipulation must be accompanied by correction of aberrant neurology for functional sustainability. This is what Trigenics® provides a team player in condition correction and rehabilitation.

In addition, Trigenics®  is often regarded as the missing element of training for athletes as it is, in itself, a form of neurological training. Trigenics® procedures interactively combine reflex neurology exercise with mechanoreceptor manipulation and meditative breathing biofeedback. This multimodal treatment system neurologically creates a very real brain-based change which is neuroplastic in its regulation of sensorimotor function. With a Trigenics® Power Augmentation program for athletes, they are assessed once per week for myoneural dysfunction. This is absolutely critical in enabling the sports physician to monitor myoneural changes, determine developmental, training-related weak links in the neurokinetic chain and correct neuromotor dysfunction before it manifests as an injury. I would venture to say, from my clinical experience that, with Trigenics®, non-traumatic training injuries can mostly be eliminated in athletes. This represents a very real breakthrough in sports medicine, as injuries are what prevent most athletes from realizing their competitive goals. Is not prevention of injuries much more important than treatment?? Absolutely, and the reason is quite obvious.

In summary, the subtitle of this article is A TIME FOR TEAMWORK. This is because, at the end of the day, teamwork is what it is all about: the chiropractor working together with the physiotherapist and the medical doctors. The soft tissue techniques being combined with physiotherapeutic modalities, manipulative techniques, and neurological treatment systems. It is not about one technique or treatment being better than the other. It is about how all of the techniques work better together and knowing when, in the athletes recovery, each different technique should be applied.

I had the great pleasure of meeting the brilliant Dr. Mike Leahy, founder of the soft tissue technique ART in Panama at The American Chiropractor magazine’s first annual conference, CHIROPRACTIC 06. Dr. Leahy performed some wonderful work on my lateral epicondylitis and we spoke about this concept of differing procedures working well together. We discussed some of the concepts of when ART would be used, when Graston would be used, Trigenics® and many others. It was a wonderful evening which ended with the eminent David Chapman-Smith considering Dr. Leahy’s suggestion that the World Federation of Chiropractic should chair a conference where the founders of many of the eminent techniques are invited to a panel to discuss various live case studies from each of their perspectives. I hope we see this in Spain 2007! The world does not work well in a state of independence but it does work well with interdependence and teamwork.

Canadian-Estonian chiropractor, Allan Gary Oolo Austin, DC, DNM, DAc, CCRD, CCSP®, PhD(EU), is the originator of Trigenics®. Over 500 doctors and therapists throughout North America, Australia, Europe and South America have now taken the Trigenics® RTP program. For more information, visit, call 888-514-9355 or email [email protected].

Dr. Oolo Austin will be speaking about Trigenics® at Chiropractic ’07, The American Chiropractor Magazine Symposium in Panama, February 22-25, 2007.

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