Preparing for London Olympics

UK Osteopaths prepared for the London Olympics

If the focus in the media was understandably on whether UK sportsmen and women could repeat their fantastic Beijing performances in London in 2012, then osteopaths were gearing up for their own particular challenge: to provide Team GB with the best possible healthcare and support during the Games.

Writing in the profession’s the osteopath magazine, Jonathan Betser, chairman of the Osteopathic Sports Care Association, said osteopaths proved their value during the 2002 Commonwealth Games in Manchester; “We hope to build on the success of the Commonwealth Games and to play an integral role in supporting our nation’s athletes at London 2012.”

Mr Betser said the Manchester Games had the added benefit of introducing osteopathic treatment “to countless doctors, physiotherapists, etc who had previously known little about osteopathy, but who, after watching osteopathic treatment in action, ended up recommending other athletes for treatment.”

A conference was held in late November 2011 to gather together osteopaths who might be interested in offering their services in London, with one of the main aims being to kick-start an education and training programme to prepare for 2012; “Whilst the majority of us treat sportspeople in our clinics”, wrote Mr Betser, “it’s evident that to assemble a large enough team of sports injury specialists, an appropriate education programme is needed.”

During the conference the osteopaths heard from some prestigious sports healthcare specialists, including Dr Helmut Hoffman, the orthopaedic consultant to German football club Bayern Munich, and John Neal, the performance coach for the Welsh national Rugby Squad.

Martin Davies is a FULL member of the Osteopathic Sports Care Association and treats many amateur and professional athletes