Two Doctors of Chiropractic Join Elite Team of Olympic Health Care Providers

ARLINGTON, Va., Aug. 12 -- For the first time in the history of the Olympic Games two doctors of chiropractic will serve on the official U.S. Olympic Team medical staff, an elite group of health care providers selected by the U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) to treat U.S. Olympiads. Drs. Marc Jaffe of Summit, N.J., and Ira Shapiro of Old Bridge, N.J., will join 44 other medical professionals serving the U.S. Olympic Team at the Summer Games in Athens, Greece. Since 1980, there has been only one doctor of chiropractic (DC) included on the medical staff of each U.S. Summer Olympic Team, and 2002 was the first year that a DC served on the U.S. Winter Olympic Team's medical staff. However, increasing athlete demand for chiropractic care has persuaded the USOC to boost the amount of available care at the 2004 Summer Games. "It is a true testament to the value of chiropractic care to be recognized by the U.S. Olympic Committee. It is with great pleasure that ACA's members have served athletes in past Olympics, and with two doctors of chiropractic on staff for this summer's games, we can be assured that our athletes have the best health care available," said American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President Donald J. Krippendorf, DC. During the games, medical staff will be available to the athletes at practice and during competition. Some of the staff will also work with athletes at the USOC's medical clinic in the Athlete's Village. "It's the athlete who realizes the benefit [of chiropractic care]. That's why we're in the Olympic movement," explained Dr. Shapiro. "We fit in perfectly with everything that goes on there." Athletes have long understood the value of chiropractic care as a means to maintain their health and improve their competitiveness. In the past, U.S. athletes sought out chiropractic care on the side because they strongly believed in its effectiveness to alleviate pain at the source and to condition their bodies for peak performance. Additionally, with increased scrutiny surrounding the use of performance-enhancing drugs, athletes are turning to safe, drug-free health care whenever possible. Athletes outside of the Olympics rely on chiropractic care, too. Both Drs. Jaffe and Shapiro have dedicated much of their professional lives to treating the nation's finest athletes. Dr. Jaffe has served as an attending chiropractor for events such as the U.S. Track and Field Championships, the U.S. Weightlifting Championships, the U.S. Triathlon Championships and the New York City Marathon. Furthermore, he is a consultant to the Rutgers University football team and is listed as a treating chiropractor in a manual distributed by the NFL to players for the New York Giants and New York Jets. Dr. Shapiro has an equally illustrious list of credentials that include service as an attending physician at the Gatorade Ironman Triathlon World Championship, the U.S. Figure Skating Championships and the World Championship of Freestyle Wrestling. However, previous experience does not ensure a berth on the U.S. Olympic medical staff. Both doctors were required to complete a rigorous evaluation of their clinical skills and of their abilities to work as a team with Olympic athletes and other medical staff. With the growing popularity of complementary and alternative medicine, chiropractic care has become increasingly integrated with other, more traditional medical treatments. The USOC medical team uses a similar approach by creating a group of providers who work cooperatively to maximize the athletes' health and well-being. "We have a tremendous collaborative working relationship with the other health care professionals," observed Dr. Shapiro -- who adds that there is a saying that the chiropractor is the busiest person around at USOC medical facilities. Chiropractic has been practiced in the United States for more than 100 years, and each year, millions of Americans trust their health to one of the nation's 60,000 doctors of chiropractic. To read research studies about the effectiveness of chiropractic care, visit ACA's website at:


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