Chiropractor cracks way onto Olympic training staff

Jim Kurtz has cracked some of the most talented backs in the athletic world during his 14-year career as a sports chiropractor.

Tiger Woods, probably the most recognized face, sports or otherwise, in the world, has been on the other end of a Kurtz re-adjustment (the politically correct chiropractor term for making your spine sound like Jerry Lee Lewis running his fingers across the piano keys while playing “Great Balls of Fire”).

The Brown’s Point resident has quite a resume. During his time as a sports chiropractor he has worked on the professional rodeo circuit, at the United States Track and Field Championships, with several Seattle Seahawks, at the Ironman Triathlon in Hawaii and recently quit a gig he had traveling around the country with the PGA Tour. Kurtz was also one of a team of sports chiropractors at the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002. He worked with international athletes at the games.

Kurtz can now add another line to that already crowded piece of paper.

He left yesterday for the United States Olympic Training Facility in Colorado Springs, Colo. to get American athletes prepared for next month’s Summer Olympics in Athens.

“I am really looking forward to it,” Kurtz said. “They put you up in the dorms and I think it will be a really good experience.”

Kurtz will be in Colorado for three weeks as part of a sports chiropractic internship and will be returning once a year for the next four years. He will be working with athletes from gymnastics, volleyball, weight lifting, triathlon, cycling, tae kwon do, judo and the modern pentathlon.

The treatment Kurtz will be dealing with include things like muscle pulls, joint alignment problems, knee, ankle, neck and shoulder injuries. He uses ultrasound, sports massage, bracing and taping, as well as stretching and exercises.

Kurtz’s work with the PGA Tour was something fairly new for professional golfers, who, until recently, haven’t been known for being in peak physical condition. In days of old, golfers were a little, shall we say, on the pudgy side and didn’t mind doing some 12-ounce carb-loading at the 19th hole after a round.

“I didn’t know how much work these guys put in,” Kurtz said. “There is a lot more to playing pro golf than I realized. They put in four, five, six hours a day. They are just in great shape.”

He travelled all over the country to the tournaments, working inside the Tour’s sports medicine and fitness trailer. The Tour employs 10 physical therapists, seven chiropractors and three athletic trainers.

“It was basically a moving sports medicine clinic,” Kurtz said. “It was fun. They are just a great group of guys. That is what I’m going to miss the most, is the friendships I made.”

Kurtz’s work basically consisted of getting the golfers on a preventative program and “manipulating the kinks out of them.”

“There is a lot of repetitive strain in golfing. You are rotating one way with your back, hips, shoulders and wrist. I just tried to put out those fires.”

The distinction between a regular chiropractor and a sports chiropractor, like Kurtz, involves the concentration on muscles and their interplay with the alignment of the spine.

Kurtz currently works out of the 1,000-square-foot Norpoint Sports Chiropractic center in the Brown’s Point area, but will be opening a brand new 4,000-square-foot facility in the West Campus area of Federal Way in two months.

Sports editor Casey Olson: 925-5565,

We encourage an open exchange of ideas on this story's topic, but we ask you to follow our guidelines for respecting community standards. Personal attacks, inappropriate language, and off-topic comments may be removed, and comment privileges revoked, per our Terms of Use. Please see our FAQ if you have questions or concerns about using Facebook to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus

Read the Oct 21
Green Edition

Browse the print edition page by page, including stories and ads.

Browse the archives.

Friends to Follow

View All Updates