Our Medical Team for Track and Field and the Canadian medical team as a whole is one which embraces the concept of the integrated health care model. It’s a true example how health care, sports sciences and management can work as an integrative unit with the focus on the athlete.
Our team consists of two main branches namely: Healthcare practitioners, and sports sciences with affiliations with the coaching staff and management (administrative). For example health care practitioners consist of: sports medicine physicians, sport massage therapist, athletic therapist, sport physiotherapist, sport chiropractors, sports psychologist, and naturopath. The sport sciences branch consists of; exercise physiologist, sport nutritionist, biomechanist and strength and conditioning coach.
From my many years of experience in track and field these services are extremely beneficial during the management of the athletes’ training and rehabilitation as indicated. For example a recurrent hamstring problem could be due to poor technique and not just muscle weakness. In this case I would solicit the services of the biomechanist who would do a biomechanical analysis of the athlete’s technique to come up with a root cause of their problems. Or, how about a long distant runner with fatigue and all her blood test are normal and does not have anaemia. Her issues could be related to diet (low energy resource/storage in her muscle). This is where the nutritionist and exercise physiologist would be very helpful. As a matter of fact these first hand scenarios are common in the sport of track and field and I have seen many such cases benefit from an integrated team approach. At these games I attend to athletes in the Canadian polyclinic and we follow the integrative model very closely.
SportMedBC and Canadian Olympic Committee encourages the implementation of the Integrated Sport medicine model as described above. This model is effective and efficient in the delivery of health care to athletes and at the same time very cost effective in the long run. The overall outcome is the enhancement of the athletes performance hence their outcome goals.
As a sport chiropractor delivering health care to Canadian athletes, I totally embrace the integrative health care model and I am proud to be a team member here in Beijing 2008 Olympics.
At least that the way I see it.