Tug of War World Championships 2012

The Tug of War World Championships were held from September 6-9 in Appenzell, Switzerland. FICS was again invited to send a team of two doctors and we had the privilege of serving on that team.

The Local Organizing Committee made us feel very welcome and selected a good location for the spacious tent right next to the entrance to the competition field. As all 1,500 athletes had to get past us at some point, this ensured optimal visibility and certainly contributed to the high number of patient visits we saw over the next days.

A total of 154 treatments were conducted in beautiful weather over a four day period, 93 of which were initial consultations. As observed at previous events, the usage of chiropractic services was greatest with the teams from Ireland, England and South Africa and there were many happy faces when they saw the FICS logo again.

The vast majority of presenting complaints in the acute stage could be attributed to overuse associated with the physical demands of the sport. A high percentage of athletes described a sub-acute or chronic previous history of these presenting complaints. Non-specific central low-back pain, discomfort around the cervico-thoracic junction and muscular problems of the lower extremities accounted for most presenting complaints.

As can be imagined with just two chiropractors being present, we were present and treating for 10-12 hours every day. This event truly was a great experience, and the appreciation expressed by athletes and staff for our services was a very nice contrast to the “you can be happy to treat me” attitude sometimes encountered in professional sports.

The cooperation with coaches, physiotherapists and other medical staff remained excellent throughout the event and we have to thank our colleagues working at earlier TWIF events for laying a great foundation.

The fact that athletes from the United States utilized the FICS services after being referred by their own team chiropractor, when he was unable to meet the demand, bears witness to the great spirit during the TWIF Championships. Generally, the referral rate by team physiotherapists was high, which indicates that FICS chiropractors are truly perceived as partners in patient care. We would like to thank the TWIF for the invitation, Dr Tim Ray and FICS for giving us the opportunity to participate in this great event, and the local organizing committee for their great logistical support throughout.

Submitted by Alexander Ruhe MChiro, PhD, Germany and Rainer Wieser BSc, MSc, United Kingdom