There are a great number of top athletes that benefit from osteopathic treatment. In 1998, just after winning the World Cup, the former football player Zinedine Zidane said: “I owe a large part of my presence in the final match to my osteopath.” Fourteen years after that, he talked about Osteopathy again: “treating yourself naturally, with less medication and anti-inflammatories, allows you to preserve yourself after your sports career and age better". Currently, many other athletes utilise Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT), for example the Polish tennis player Jerzy Janowicz, the British olympic champion Mo Farah, and the French Real Madrid’s football player Karim Benzema.
However, amateur athletes can also benefit from osteopathic treatment to increase their health status, quality of life and improve their performance. Presenting a truly holistic approach, Osteopathy considers the body as a single unit, where all the systems are interrelated and interdependent, also considering all the other aspects that are common to every human being, like the psychological, mental, social, environmental and spiritual fields.
In osteopathic training, much importance is given to develop the hands on palpatory skills to a very high level. Because of that, the osteopath's unique palpatory skills ensure an enormous advantage in determining the location, extent and associated manifestations of sports injuries.
Keeping in mind that what really matters is treating the root of the problem and not only the symptoms, these are some of the many benefits of Osteopathic Manipulative Treatment (OMT) for the amateur and elite athletes:
- Injury prevention
- Avoid or reduce medication use
- Helps to speed up the recovery
- Promotes a higher quality of life
For athletes, amateur and professional, suffering with fewer injuries and having a biomechanically balanced body is essential, as it improves their results, reduces pain and recurrent problems from sporting practice.
- Improves Performance
As you have seen, Osteopathy in the sports’ field has multiple applications and can be very beneficial for athletes. This is the reason why it gains more importance in this area each day.
Still Jr CE. Frontier Doctor – Medical Pioneer: The Life and Times of A. T. Still and His Family. Kirksville, MO: The Thomas Jefferson University Press; 1907 (Reprinted 1991):205-216
Educational Council on Osteopathic Principles. Glossary of Osteopathic Terminology. Washington, DC: American Association of Osteopathy Colleges: 2001.
Denslow JS. Pathologic evidence for the osteopathic lesion: The Known, unknown and controversial. En: Beal MC, ed. Selected Papers of John Stedman Denslow, DO. Indianápolis, IN: American Academy of Osteopathy; 1993: 154-160.
Korr I. The neural basis of the osteopathic lesion. En: Peterson B, ed. The Collected Papers of Irvin M. Korr. Colorado Springs, CO: American Academy of Osteopathy, 1979: 120-127.
Grant M, et al. The usage of multidisciplinary physical therapies at the Rio de Janeiro 2016 Olympic Summer Games: an observational study. Braz J Phys Ther. 2020.