The Glasgow 2014 commonwealth games are now well and truly underway with Saturday 26th July promising to be a busy schedule of competition across various sports including netball, Judo, and tracking cycling. The athletes are in full swing and the medals are coming thick and fast with this in mind I undertook my third shift at the Games Village Polyclinic.
The poly clinic environment, as I’ve previously mentioned, is a fast paced and exciting environment but requires a cool and collected approach to ensure the athlete gets 1005 the elite care they deserve. But sometimes the system can be slowed down with bureaucracy with a classic example of this coming when SEM doctors require ultrasound scans for soft tissue damage. SEM had to refer to radiography for U/S and were unable to perform U/S sans themselves. So SEM referred to radiography but radiography would only do MRI scans due to higher sensitivity rates (1) (2).
The systems clearly works within the polyclinic with this clinic seeing upwards of 400 contacts in a day, but the system can be slowed down. Ideally, the SEM doctor would like to use U/S as part of the assessment process but this may not be time efficient. HCP’s need to carry out a full and thorough assessment of the presenting condition and provide appropriate care, which in this case involved using U/S scans for soft tissue injury. However the radiography preferred MRI scans for diagnostics which cost a lot more money to provide. The resolution came when SEM were finally able to use the diagnostic U/S scans for the athletes. This is by no way a criticism of the current system but goes to show with the best laid systems they need to be flexible to provide a high level of care within a high-octane environment.
Multi-disciplinary healthcare provision is idealistic and can work with clear and concise communication as well as team work to overcome problems.
Systems and approaches to care provision need to flexible to ensure correct diagnosis and treatment are provided
The athletes are the main priority and excellent care needs to be provided to ensure the best outcome for the athlete
Hello and welcome back. Thank you for reading my first reflection on my experiences in the Glasgow 2014 commonwealth games. After completing my first poly clinic shift, I was excited to get back in clinic and enjoy shift number two on Wednesday 23rd July, OPENING CEREMONY NIGHT
A little wiser from previous shift, I was feeling more confident in my new surroundings and raring to go one day before competition began.
So Wednesday turned out to be a quieter shift in the polyclinic due to preparation for the opening ceremony. Naturally, most the attendees were either competing the following day or an acute injury needing attention in preparation for the games. The team scheduled to cover the evening shift was the same team I worked with the previous day, so I was glad to have some familiar faces in the clinic.
A number of athletes came to the polyclinic seeking intervention for strapping and taping, this is something that is usually undertaken by the national team medical staff but as some nations have differing budgets, not all nations have a full medical team at the games and so they optimised the services at the polyclinic.
Over the course my shift I assessed and treated athletes from sports including Judo, weightlifting, hockey and long jump. these four examples demonstrated a good variety of stage of injury and the appropriate treatment undertaken, difference in teams and the medical support available to prevent such injuries, and expectations from treatment.
– A Judo athlete attended clinic requesting strapping and taping for bilateral posterolateral corner of the knees. No pain upon assessment and so I taped the knees. I think there are many properties to tape and differences between tape and strapping but one underlying factor is the psychological impact it has. I believe that it gives competitors confidence to push their bodies to the highest level despite the absence of injury. In the injured athlete it can be high effective to stabilise a joint (i.e subluxed shoulder).
– I saw another weightlifter with acute patella tendon tendinopathy and high irritability, why is this a common occurrence? I could only assume it was due to an increased volume of training in preparation for the games. In an ideal world I would love to sit down with the athlete and analyse the training volumes to cross-correlate it to the onset of injury but in a fast paced environment like a polyclinic as well as communication limitations, this is unrealistic. If I were set within a national medical team I would use those skills to monitor injuries within training regimes and highlight these impacts on injury rates thus enabling a team to improve training and performance. These guys would benefit from some eccentric tendinopathy rehabilitation.
– I saw an acute adductor strain (Grade I – MRI confirmed) from one of the larger commonwealth teams and experienced first interaction with national teams doctor requesting treatment. As part of the immediate management, the athlete was put on cryotherapy in the shape of ‘game ready’. This device works by pumping ice cold water into a cuff that is attached to the athlete. The machine setting mean temperature, length of time and compression can be regulated by the clinician. Its a marvellous piece of kit to have especially as it addresses two of the five P.R.I.C.E principles for the immediate management of soft tissue injuries.
Its important as a clinician that all patient are thoroughly assessed especially if we have not assessed or don’t know anything about the athlete
Don’t just do what the athlete thinks will help. Clinically reason the problem and take suitable action in the form of treatment
Taking treatment requests from medical teams is acceptable but again question the reasons behind the intervention.
Thanks for reading, hope you enjoy the blog, watch this blog for more Commonwealth games posts
So knowing how competitive runners can be, I thought I’d give the insiders tips on how to get ahead and stay ahead in your marathon preparation training.
Having done some further research, I had a good chat with Max Dillon who runs for Milton Keynes Running Club in triathlon’s, half marathons, marathons and 35/40/50 mile fell runs. Now, Max has vast experience for his age in running and he knows when and how to train. Having completed half marathons in sub – 1hr 20 minutes, training and staying fit is necessary to get the best results.
This article will look at Max’s advice for training and recovery as well as injury prevention:
Thinking about doing a marathon can be daunting but once you start the training, it becomes addictive. The issue being that many runners DON’T:
1) build the training gradually
2) allow enough COMPLETE rest days
3) or train hard enough when needed.
The advice and experience given by Max could be invaluable to make your training and performance more finely tuned, and help you get ahead of the competition:
Training should built from the ground up, gradually increasing the running miles.
Speed work needs to be hard and fast, this is advised by elite Ethiopian runners.
Long runs should be gentle and more enjoyable, these are about building endurance not speed.
Rest days are key for injury prevention. Complete rest is required. Consider that daily activities are NOT rest, and try to completely rest to avoid fatigue or overtraining.
Ice baths can help recovery after long runs. Evidence for this post-training is inconclusive BUT some runners believe it helps recovery. 10 minutes in an ice bath is good enough for Jessica Ennis, its good enough for you.
Compression Leggings can assist with venous blood flow post training to aid recovery. I.e Wear them to bed, that’s Max’s advice not mine. Keep the lower extremity blood flow and warm to the legs can assist with recovery. Again evidence is limited with these leggings, but give it a whirl!
To avoid common running injuries, try Sport Tape. its great for reducing overactive and control muscle fatigue especially something like Shin Splints.
When hill running, this requires vast amounts of eccentric quadricep control, especially running down hill. Do some eccentric quads loading exercises in the gym and build it gradually.
Day before the race, do a 20 min very light jog or strides to shake everything out. this is make sure your ready for race day and have no lethargy.
Active recovery post race is key, NO RUNNING, light swimming or gentle spin bike session will aid with muscular movement and quicker recovery.
A lot of this advice is individual to each runner but if you don’t try them, they you’ll never know if they can help.
A few common running injuries occur when first training, so these can be prevented by early assessment, early intervention, early return to sport. The commonest are Patellofemoral Pain Syndrome, Hip and Proximal Weakness, and Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness. TA Physio can assist with all these problems to enable you to continue running.
Let me know how it goes, if you have any questions for TA Physio or Max Dillon, then add them in the comments box below.