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Prepare the couch: The London Olympics are about to kick off!

The much anticipated opening ceremony of the London Olympics is only a few hours away. As athletes prepare themselves for competition, many people are preparing the couch for their perfect viewing platform. Ironically, the world’s greatest showcase of sport and physical activity will provide many of us with yet another opportunity to be physically inactive.

Olympic competition will push athletes to their limits and beyond. As individuals and teams begin their Olympic campaigns we can expect a surge in interest in sport and sporting injuries. But the injuries sustained by the viewing public may be of a different nature.

Headaches can be common during this period from watching TV in a prolonged sitting posture such as slouched in bed or slumped in an arm chair. Chapter 18 of the new edition of the Clinical Sports Medicine textbook focuses on headaches and is a wonderful resource for anyone wishing to update their knowledge on the topic. Common causes of headache are discussed as well as clinical features including common history and examination findings.

The diverse range of sports showcased by the Olympics provides an opportunity to reflect on some of the fundamental principles behind sports performance and injury prevention. Chapter 8 titled ‘Clinical Aspects of Biomechanics’ provides an overview of the biomechanics of a number of sports including running, cycling, throwing, and tennis.  The chapter summarises the biomechanical causes of a number of common injuries that may be seen in both the Olympic and recreational athlete. As for the couch potatoes, tight hip flexors are common those who are ‘glued’ to their seats. Tight hip flexors can alter biomechanics and contribute to a variety of clinical presentations including low back and groin pain and should be assessed.

The staff here at the csm4ed blog wish all the athletes at the Olympic Games good luck and to everyone else, consider getting up from the couch on a regular basis.

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