Olympic Sports Injury Treatment
The team at Perfect Balance Clinic have been elevated to a whole new dimension with their involvement with the newly formed V.locity sprinting academy. Jodie Williams and Desiree Henry, who are both world junior champions in 100m and 200m, have both been helped by the sports injury team at Perfect Balance Clinic.
Treating injuries in these types of athletes has lots to do with helping them recover, but even more to do with preventing the onset of injuries in the first place. By monitoring and keeping a close eye on their performance in races and during training, we find that it’s possible to restrict time off training.
This is helped by interacting with coaches and athletes to help them to understand the potential consequences of their bodies’ movements. We use high-speed cameras to help identify things that aren’t visible to the naked eye. Our team approach means that small changes are picked up and areas that aren’t responding to treatment or exercises are identified quickly so something can be done about it.
Managing Sports Injuries in Performance Athletes
When, and if, an injury does occur, it is important that we learn from this and try to understand why it has happened, rather than only dealing with it. Our approach to managing sports-related injuries in this calibre of athlete is different from how we manage injuries in the general public – largely due to the nature of what both groups want to do with their bodies afterwards.
We need to be sure of the diagnosis, so we often call on scans and further testing: missing things is not an option with any of the team. Our notes become a story book, much like with all our clients, but the key is using that book as a crystal ball to predict events that may occur in the future. Referring back to notes is the most important thing about dealing with injuries.
Occasionally, the nature of what the athlete is trying to achieve will be of concern when recovering from injuries and managing the expectations of an athlete. It’s actually quite difficult work all in all! Imagine a Ferrari. You wouldn’t normally drive a Ferrari around on a daily basis, but it would need just as much, if not more, in the way of fine tuning as an everyday car. You’d have to take it to a special garage to make sure nothing went wrong with it because of the speed you drive it at.
Now personify that and you can start to understand some of the level of detail and fine tuning that goes into creating and maintaining an Olympic athlete free from sports injuries.
Prevention of Sports Injuries
The old saying ‘prevention is better than cure’ holds true, even more so with professional athletes like Jodie and Desiree. Sports-related injuries can be prevented most of the time. That’s not to say we see all injuries coming, but we are always on the look-out for potential limiting factors to performance and areas of weakness that may result in damage to body tissues. We would like to think that things in this life are perfect, but this is far from the truth. You just need to dig down deeper to find the faults. Although, we have to say that there are very few in these two athletes, which makes our job easier!
We often find that the limiting factors to performance, such as muscle imbalances, are often the cause of injuries later down the line, so this is an area we are keen to identify and work at improving. By isolating these smaller imbalances, it is possible to reduce the asymmetrical shear on joints in the body, which otherwise could result in excessive muscle tightening and potential damage to joints or ligaments. Working to prevent sports injuries always yields better results than waiting for them to occur.
When athletes suffer from sports injuries, they can unfortunately be forced to waste track time in the physio room and gym being rehabilitated, rather than getting their bodies into a performance programme. Believe us, we would rather see them on the track and they would rather be on the track!