Olympics 2012 London – Balances’ story

Balance Performances’ sports injury specialist Graham Anderson has recently swapped his day job at Balance Performance Physiotherapy and ATP World Tour travel to work at the athletes’ polyclinic at London 2012.

He writes from the Olympic Village of his experiences rubbing shoulders with some of  the world’s best athletes – and treating their aches and strains

“It’s really been a privilege to be part of London 2012 as there has been a buzz around the whole of Central London and the East End over the weeks that I have been here working with the athletes”.

The athletes and officials state that this is one of the best polyclinics in the modern Olympic games.

There’s a big mix of medical staff here, sport specialist physiotherapists [such as Graham], sports masseurs, osteopaths, chiropractors, specialist surgical consultants, sports physicians, GPs, radiologists,  dentists and many other paramedical experts.

Injuries were as widespread as the variety of sports the competitors we met participated in. From big lifters and judokas to slight gymnasts and walkers. we saw a wide range of pathologies affecting bodies of all different sizes. 

“These were often challenging to evaluate – especially when dealing with the language barrier in some instances and my french and spanish were tested with a lot of african and south american nations”. 

Grahams experience in  working at the last 3 games and years of working  with a lot of different sports at elite level ceratinly paid off with regard to the  challenges that crop up in such a clinic. The need to work in  a close and newly formed medical team ensures the athletes do indeed get a great benefit from their visit to the latest Olympic polyclinic. Even the most minor ailment can have serious implications upon an elite athlete’s performance.

Days were long as in any games but Graham was able still to get along to Balance Performance to treat his clinical list, this being a home games.

Summary of his experience

  1. Great atmosphere
  2. Excitement and yet focus by athletes and medical staff
  3. Chance to use the most up to date equipment in another superb polyclinic facility
  4. Opportunity to work on some great athletic bodies
  5. To learn from and teach others aspects of high end elite sports medicine
  6. Opportunity to bring my skills to athletes that so often dont get the funding and medical support  and noticing the immediate improvement in symptoms and performance.
  7. Realise I have a great & experienced team here at Balance Performance all under one roof.

The polyclinic will be taken over by the NHS after the Games when the Olympic site is turned into a residential and community venue. Lucky them!

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4 comments

  • Tommy Anderson August 20, 2012  

    Hi Graham – seems like you had a wonderful experiences at the 2012 Olympics! I wonder if you could help explain the strengths of kinesio tape? I see a increasing number of athletes and <a href="http://www.physioworld.net"physiotherapists using it in many bright colours and am intrigued. Thanks again for sharing your blog!

  • Tommy Anderson August 20, 2012  

    Hi Graham – seems like you had a wonderful experiences at the 2012 Olympics! I wonder if you could help explain the strengths of kinesio tape? I see a increasing number of athletes and physiotherapists using it in many bright colours and am intrigued. Thanks again for sharing your blog!

  • scott August 23, 2012  

    Hi Tommy,

    Thanks for your question. Graham is away with the ATP Tour so I thought I would jump in.

    Kinesiology tape has been around for over thirty years but it does look like it has just appeared as it is ubiquitous! Its major strength lies in its elasticity so it moves with the body whereas traditional tape does not, thus athletes are not aware of it and can concentrate on their sport. It can support muscles and joints, improve joint and muscle propreoception with the resultant improved muscle recruitment, improve healing as the tape on the body stimulates blood flow and it can also improve lymphatic drainage to reduce swelling.

    kinesiology tape is here to stay and its use will only increase as more practitioners become competent in its application. I hope that answers your question. If you are in London give me a call and I would be happy to demonstrate it on you, we also carry the full range of KT Kinesiology tape.

    All the best

    Scott

  • physio in Dublin October 9, 2012  

    Yes Agree !!! Balance exercises are very necessary prevent injury and are an important component of rehabilitation following lower limb injury.

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