Posted on July 5 2012 by Sarah
Realizing the dream of competing in the Olympic Games is a once in a lifetime chance.
For Dr. Curt Draeger, D.C., of Integrated Pain Solutions (formerly Gold Medal Motion), helping world-class athletes perform at their highest level is getting to be a habit as he will embark on his third trip to the Olympic Games in late July along with members of the United States Decathlon and Heptathlon teams.
On the way to London, they will make a very important stop in Marburg, Germany for the Thorpe Cup, an annual competition between the United States and German decathlon and heptathlon teams.
“The Thorpe Cup is an important stop as we work hard to evaluate each athlete’s overall physical condition and provide treatment to injured areas,” said Dr. Draeger. “Unlike other athletes who focus only on one event, decathletes compete in 10 different events so their whole body needs to be in top physical condition. And because the Olympics only happen once every four years, you don’t get a second chance, you need to peak at the Olympics.”
Dr. Draeger has many tools and techniques that he uses to treat athletes, but there’s one in particular that is always by his side. He is the co-developer of a Class 4, Therapeutic Laser which has been proven to speed up healing in athletes by as much as 30 to 50 percent. “Use of high intensity laser therapy increases the healing metabolism in cells and softens scar tissue to improve movement.”
Dr. Draeger adds that he has seen vast improvements in decathletes who often suffer from shoulder problems stemming from the javelin throw. A prime example is former Olympian Tom Pappas who, after 6 shoulder surgeries, developed a large amount of scar tissue. After working with Dr. Draeger and undergoing laser therapy, Pappas broke the 2009 Thorpe Cup meet record at the age of 35 – an unheard of feat at his age, and a record that still stands today.
Dr. Draeger has been the treating doctor for Team USA’s decathletes since the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. He also accompanied the team to the 2008 Games in Beijing, China.
In addition to working with the athletes during both international and national competitions, many team members have spent time at Integrated Pain Solutions, a one-of-a-kind treatment center near Antigo, Wisconsin, where Draeger provides therapy to both professional athletes and people suffering from chronic pain.
“I’ve been all over the world and have never seen a facility like [this],” said Olympian Brian Clay. Clay is among a very few decathletes to hold two Olympic medals, winning Gold in 2008 and Silver in 2004. His dreams of competing for a third medal were dashed when he failed to make the 2012 team this past weekend at the Olympic trials in Eugene, Oregon.“It was heart breaking to watch Bryan miss his chance to qualify,” says Draeger. “He was trying to become the first man in history to win three medals in the decathlon.”
At the trials, Draeger did witness 23-year old Ashton Eaton break 3 world decathlon records in long jump, 100 meter dash, and overall score. “If Ashton wins a medal in London, he’ll be one of the youngest decathletes to do so and that increases the likelihood that he could be the first three-time Olympic medalist,” according to Draeger.
“Usually, these athletes peak around the age of 26. Once their physical prowess begins to decline, they can use their strength and experience to get better at the other events,” says Draeger. “If I can help them maintain their physiological peak for a longer period of time, then they can compete at the highest levels for a longer time.”
While Draeger can’t deny the gratification that comes along with treating athletes on an international stage, it’s applying many of these same therapies to his chronic pain patients at Integrated Pain Solutions that is especially rewarding. “Every day I am able to help people live their lives in less pain. Working with the athletes is a great honor, but knowing I’ve had a meaningful impact on someone’s life – that’s what gets me up each morning.”
Learn more about Integrated Pain Solutions
Learn more about High Intensity Laser Therapy
Learn more about http://www.integratedpainsolutions.com/about-us/meet-dr-curt-draeger?utm_source=blog&utm_medium=blog_post&utm_campaign=travel_olympics”>Dr. Curt Draeger
This entry was posted in Press Releases and tagged 2012 Olympics, ashton eaton, Bryan Clay, chronic pain, Curt Draeger, decathlon, dr. curt draeger, Gold Medal Motion, Harry Marra, Olympic decathlon trials, tom pappas, track and field, US Olympic trials. Bookmark the permalink.
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