Athletes And Emu Oil

A new way to relieve pain, strains, stiffness

DALLAS, TEXAS --- Jeff Berthelsen, a 26-year-old triathlete, has had chronic knee problems since high school. After intensive training sessions, using emu oil on his knees helps alleviate pain and stiffness. Ronald Thomas, a senior triathlete, also uses emu oil to maintain flexibility and for back pain after competition.

Members of the American Emu Association have had similar reports from other athletes across the nation and from collegiate and professional sports teams, as well. “We’re finding more athletes using emu-based creams and emu oil as part of their training regimen and for rehabilitation,” said Neil Williams, president of the AEA. “And because emu oil is relatively new in the marketplace, most people are surprised about how effective it is.”

Doug Atkinson, a team trainer with the National Basketball Association for 30 years, said he learned about the anti-inflammatory properties of emu oil in 1992. One of the Dallas Mavericks, Fat Lever, had undergone surgery on both knees and after two years in rehabilitation, was still unable to play because of swelling and inflammation.

“Within six weeks after using emu oil, the inflammation and swelling was gone and Lever was able to practice and play without limitation,” said Atkinson, who has retired and now owns a wellness firm that markets emu-based products.

One of the trainer’s emu oil products is used throughout the NBA, by NFL teams and major league baseball teams as well by as high school and college athletes. “Emu oil acts as a transdermal carrier, delivering relief directly to the muscle or joint,” Atkinson said, “which also makes it effective for arthritis pain.”

Allen Hurst, an emu producer, was a trainer in the National Football League for 22 years before retiring to his ranch. “We were always getting new products to try,” he said, “and because we were dealing with well-conditioned athletes, if a product worked, it was extremely effective.”

Hurst found that emu oil was beneficial in the training room because it penetrated the skin rapidly, as proven in laboratory studies. And when used with another product – such as an analgesic balm – it enhanced the performance of that product. “It doesn’t take much oil to accomplish the relief you need," said the retired trainer, “and it also effective in wound care.”