When one thinks about a trip to Miami Beach, they likely think of a vacation destination filled with sun and surf and outings to glamorous Ocean Drive restaurants and shops. For Dr. Raymond Solano of Falls Church, his trip to Miami Beach was not quite a vacation, but there was plenty of sand and surf. Solano worked as part of a sports medicine team for the Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball Tournament.
“The entire time I was down there I was responsible for taking care of 32 of the best volleyball players and athletes in the world,” said Solano, who has been a sports chiropractor in the Falls Church area since 2003. “I was in the medical tent with a physical therapist, a massage therapist, an orthopedist and a medical doctor. My responsibilities were to address any muscular/skeletal injuries that these athletes had, assist any kind of prevention, increase blood flow with deep stretching, soft tissue work and chiropractic work. On top of that, I did some taping and minor wound care. I did whatever was in my means to make sure they could advance in the tournament.”
The double-elimination tournament took place over three days from Sept. 16 – 18. The Jose Cuervo Pro Beach Volleyball tour has four tournament events with stops in Manhattan Beach, California; Bradford Beach in Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Lummus Park in Miami, Florida; and the upcoming National Championships in Hermosa Beach, California, this Sept. 23-25. The entire tournament has over $500,000 in prize money for participants.
The Miami event, with a purse of $150,000, included past and hopeful Olympians and some of the best athletes Solano has treated. He had to be prepared for any type of injury.
“In a practice environment there is at least some control, but [it is different] when you are out there in the sporting arena and you are working with elite athletes in the best shape,” said Solano, a recipient of the 2010 Washingtonian Magazine Top Expert in Sports Medicine award. “They are in incredible shape and very versatile. The jumping ability, the strength in their legs and endurance – these are all around solid athletes and I enjoy working with them. It is a difficult job because you really have to be prepared for anything to walk into the medical tent.”
Solano’s efforts, in concert with the tournament’s medical team, saw the team of John Hyden/Sean Scott take the men’s title. The combination of Lauren Fendrick/Brook Hanson won the women’s title. These competitors were not the only ones learning how to work together in Miami Beach.
“I learned a lot from the other health professionals there,” explained Solano. “We not only learn how we can help each other with different treatments. We can take different methods and approaches that we can take home to the office on Monday morning. We really get to find out what it is we do and to see it in action. It is impressive.”
This sports experience outside the office is one of many for Solano. He has worked with U.S. Figure Skating, the Ashburn Youth Football League, Marymount University women’s basketball team, women’s professional football in the D.C. Divas and high school athletics at George Mason High School, George Marshall High School and Gonzaga High School. While Solano works towards his dream “to provide chiropractic coverage during the Olympic Games,” he also provides care to Falls Church area residents.
“I recently completed a post-graduate training called the CCSP Certified Chiropractic Sports Position. It is one year, 100 hours of training in sports chiropractic and everything under the sun for sports. It opens the door to take part in different sporting events and activities,” said Solano. “With all that, I am busy with my practice in the City [of Falls Church]. We see a lot of the local population. We see a lot of runners, a lot of cyclists, and a lot of weekend warriors as well. It is a busy office.”
Solano’s practice is located on 313 Park Ave., Suite 100A. For more information, visit solanospince.com.