USAIN BOLT – THE RACE FOR OLYMPIC FITNESS!!!
Last week in Jamaica, Usain Bolt pulled out of the national finals following a second night of discomfort in his hamstring muscle. The diagnosis is a Grade 1 muscle tear. This is potentially a big problem as he needs to qualify for the Olympic Games on the 22nd of July in London.
Will he run out of time??
Firstly, what is a Grade 1 muscle tear? Put simply, muscle injuries are clinically graded on a scale of 1-3 with 1 being the least serious and 3 being a severe rupture.
If you are dealing with an Olympic athlete, he will probably undergo an MRI to confirm what the medical team already know from their clinical examination of the presenting problem.
Secondly, what happens next? There is a battery of treatments that an Olympic athlete will receive. Usain Bolt has flown to Germany to see a specialist for further treatment. Ultimately, these treatments are designed to speed up the healing process. These can vary depending on all sorts of issues, mainly money! However, Mother Nature’s physiological healing timeframes need to be acknowledged and respected.
Muscle is like a Rope!
A reasonable analogy is that the fibres in Muscle tissue are similar to the strands of a rope. Once an injury has occurred, then the amazing human healing cycle begins. This can take weeks to fully return to somewhere close to the pre-injury condition.
Here’s the problem, the Hamstring muscle has to be fully healed and strong before you even attempt to put it through the most severe test which is flat out sprinting.
I am sure that Usain is being managed extremely carefully as the medical and physiotherapy team attempt to combine the tricky task of accelerating healing and loading appropriately in an effort to prepare for the ultimate test on the 22nd of July.
Elite athletes such as Usain Bolt are obviously supreme physical specimens. This generally helps shave a few days of the well-known recovery timeframes. Also, access to medical and physiotherapy services which will be babysitting him 24 hours a day is also a bonus.
Bearing all this in mind, and considering that he is the fastest man on the planet. I am confident that he will get through the qualification stages even if he is not 100% fit.
If you are an Olympic athlete, recreational runner or 5-a-side player, all muscle injuries are very well understood. Chartered Physiotherapy will help with grading and managing recovery.