(KWWL) - The Tokyo Summer Games run for more than two weeks, and during that time Olympians are training and competing for hours on end. How do their bodies take it? Dr. Nick Dugger, a chiropractor in Cedar Falls, said they undergo many types of treatments to maintain their performance.
Inside the Olympic Village, teams have their own set of doctors and athletic trainers to ensure athletes stay healthy for competitions. From icing down to taping up, Dr. Dugger said the list goes on when it comes to recovery techniques.
"It's not a one size fits all approach, someone might maybe do better with cupping, some people might do better with dry-needling," Dr. Dugger said.
Ice baths and heat pads being the most known recovery option, physical treatments and techniques have expanded a lot within the past 15 years.
POPULAR TREATMENTS AMONGST ATHLETES TODAY ARE:
- Cupping: Special cups placed on the skin to create suction and facilitate blood flow for healing.
- Dry needling: A technique using thin needles and are placed into 'muscle trigger points' to decrease nerve compression when muscles are tight.
- Normatec: Compression therapy using inflated 'sleeves' to massage limbs, mobilize fluid, and speed up recovery time.
- Graston: A technique using stainless steel tools to massage over affected areas and break up scar tissue.
Treating a number of athletes through his practice, Dr. Dugger said a variety of techniques are used because every athlete has different needs, especially when dealing with over-use caused injuries.
"One of the biggest injuries that a lot of athletes face is overuse pain, you're using your muscles non-stop and not giving those muscles that time to repair."
Although the athletic world uses these treatments, Dr. Dugger said these types of treatments aren't only available to elite athletes.
"I've used you know cupping especially on elderly patients, patients at the VA hospital, with kids, athletes, someone who rolled their ankle the other day," Dr. Dugger said, "it's for anybody that's having some type of pain issue that maybe the regular stuff isn't working for them and they need something a bit more specific towards their problem."
Many athletes also use white tape to provide stability and assistance to affected areas. Dr. Dugger alos saida commonly used tool are rollers to help loosen and stretch out tight muscles before physical activity.
If you have tight muscles, but don't have a roller, you can take a tennis ball and press down on it to massage your tight muscles.