Beijing Heat Physiotherapy Network
The madness that was the opening ceremony 2 nights ago is a far cry from my physiotherapy clinic in Islington but that is where I found myself, and right in the thick of the action. Walking down the tunnel and onto the track I experienced sensory overload with 90,000 fans screaming at me, and a stadium that certainly lived up to its reputation with its grandeur and architectural brilliance.
I am based with the rowing team and spend all of my time looking after their niggles and injuries. Front line elite sports physiotherapy is demanding but at the same time extremely rewarding and the facilities I have at my disposal are second to none. We have an incredible medical team behind me and also access to the Athlete village ‘polyclinic’ which houses state of the art x-ray and MRI screening, a full array of medical specialists, and the latest in all types of medical screening.
The main issue we are dealing with at present besides the usual injury worries is the heat. Forget about the smog and pollution, the heat is the more pressing issue, especially for our rowers who can be out on the lake for up to an hour while racing.
We are using an advanced ice jacket cooling system for the rowers when they are out on the water warming up. Then as soon as they are finished racing we get them into an air conditioned room, immerse them in ice and use fans to cool them as quickly as possible. I am really looking forward to the mild temperatures that the London 2012 Olympics will bring!
Until next time
Darryl Reid, Director of Clinic Central, is one of our Network physiotherapists at Beijing.