Crashes, Collisions and Falls: Olympic Injuries from Sochi 2014
There were a handful of Olympic athletes unable to compete for that gold medal they worked so hard for—all the training and hard work was taken away in a split second. Olympic athletes endure intense training, which can result in sports injuries. During the 2014 Sochi Olympics, out of the 2,567 athletes who competed, 11.2 percent reported suffering injuries. The most common injuries involved the knee and the head.
Here are 5 Olympic athlete injuries from 2014 and how physical therapy can help.
Lindsey Vonn, United States
Lindsey Vonn didn’t even get to participate in the Sochi Olympics due to a right knee injury. Vonn had torn two ligaments in her right knee during a high-speed crash last February. Then, she re-tore her surgically repaired ACL in November during training. It was impossible to stabilize her knee in time to ski in the Olympics.
ACL Tear—how can physical therapy help? Your physical therapist will set up a treatment plan after an ACL tear that can include strengthening exercises, gait training, range of motion exercises, balance exercises and swelling management. Physical therapy can help to improve your strength, decrease swelling and pain, and help you return to your previous level of function.
Maggie Voisin, United States
Not able to recover in time for the Olympic games, 15-year-old Maggie Voisin suffered an ankle injury. The youngest member of the U.S. team injured her ankle in training when she fell off a rail feature.
Ankle Injury—how can physical therapy help? Ankle sprains are the most common injury in sports and physical activity. It is important to strengthen and stretch your ankle after an injury to decrease your risk of re-injury. Physical therapy will help to decrease symptoms, strengthen and restore your range of motion after an ankle sprain.
Maria Komissarova, Russia
Maria actually broke her spine during a practice run. The 23-year-old dislocated and fractured vertebrae and had to undergo an emergency six-and-a-half hour operation.
Back Injuries—how can physical therapy help? Physical therapy for back injuries and/or pain can include low impact aerobic exercises, spine stabilization and strength training, and flexibility exercises. Therapists may work to retrain your posture, strengthen your core, stretch tight muscles and ultimately relieve back pain.
Yuki Tsubota, Canada
20-year-old Yuki Tsubota suffered a mild concussion and a fractured cheekbone during the women’s slopestyle event. See Yuki’s fall here http://www.nbcolympics.com/wood/video/worst-crash-sochi-games
Concussions—how can physical therapy help? Your physical therapist can help you adjust your daily routine and resume physical activity gradually—being careful not to overload the brain and nervous system after a concussion. Physical therapy can help to reduce headaches, neck pain, stop dizziness, and improve your balance.
Christopher Lambert, Switzerland
Lambert suffered a dislocated elbow when falling hard during training for the freestyle skiing halfpipe competition. He was conscious when taken off the course on a stretcher, but had to be taken to the hospital for treatment.
Elbow Injuries—how can physical therapy help? Treatment for an elbow injury can include rehabilitative treatment to help you regain power, strength, endurance and flexibility of the injured muscles and tendons in order to restore function of the elbow
A Winning Story
Mark McMorris, Canadian snowboarder, fractured a rib during the 2014 Winter X Games in January. To help heal his broken rib injury just 10 days before the Olympics, McMorris sought out acupuncture treatment with a physical therapist. After recovering, Mark McMorris went on to win the bronze medal in the men’s slopestyle competition—Canada’s first medal in the Sochi 2014 Olympics.
You may not be training to become an Olympic athlete, but sports injuries can happen to anyone. Contact Physical Therapy will give you the Olympic athlete treatment to help alleviate the pain and help you recover from injury today!