Incredible India

Incredible India

If you have never been to Mumbai before it is probably quite a flash in the beginning. The noise, crowds, cars, TukTuks, food, the smell (which definitely takes some getting used to), the monsoon, the completely different culture – all these experiences at temperatures beyond 30 degrees. To focus on the competition is possibly nowhere harder.

Some climbing teams brought their own food and only ate in their hotel rooms in order to stay healthy. Team Austria has been in Mumbai last year already, we’ve found a very good restaurant which we attended every evening. Indian food at its finest!! So incredibly good!

Medical view

Watching the athletes during the comp I noticed that many climbers are on their range-of-motion limit: stretching out in order to barely reach that volume on the other end of their physical possible range. This complex variations of the sport and the tendency to injure big joints still seem to be a big topic.

For the competitor the main health issue here in India is nevertheless food poisoning. Most athletes were scared of getting a bad diarrhea, which some of them actually did. But it happened less than last year, when India hosted its first Worldcup ever. Team Austria was fine though – no food and injury issues.

Cultural differences

A female competitor from the Islamic Republic of Iran suffered from shoulder pain during the qualification, however she made it into semis for the first time. Treating her at the muscelus deltoideus combined with more rotator cuff muscles allowed her to move nearly pain free in the physiological range of motion. The shoulder was stable after the treatment. I told her to see an expert in Iran, after the comp.
The treatment itself was nothing new. But treating a woman from the islamic Iran in a hotel room definitely was. In order to avoid cultural differences we organized that she was accompanied by a female friend. In the hotel lobby there was one additional person, a man who was always by their side, to make sure that the women of the Iranian Climbing Team behave according to the social rules of Iran. That means they are not allowed to remove their headscarf for example. Back home in Teheran there are even certain times when only women train in the climbing gym. Of course they also wouldn’t be allowed to see a man in a hotel room. But in this case it was a medical issue, the patient was not alone and so they made an exception. The climber was really thankful that I could help her so that she could climb her fist semifinals. And I was happy because she performed well and I got the best safran from Iran. 🙂

Severe case and fun times in Vail

Severe case and fun times in Vail

It is already a pleasant routine to fly to Denver, to train one day in Boulder before heading up to the town of Vail. On this trip we missed Anna Stöhr, who decided to do the asian tour and skip the comp in Vail and the next one in Mumbai. But two others had their tenth anniversary of being here in Vail – climber Katharina Saurwein and coach Heiko Wilhelm!

With the first daylight and a jetlag we went fishing at 5am to serve the team with breakfast before 8am. No fish unfortunately but the coffee and donut afterwards were a known reward 🙂
For me it was again an inspiration to see how motivated the young crew of climbers is whom we are traveling with.

Medical view

The town of Vail is situated at around 2500m altitude, the air is very dry and with the sun out it can be very hot. All this, the jetlag and quite a high bouldering wall result in special conditions. So Vail seems to be one of the physically most challenging competitions around the season.

Severe case?

This time one of our climbers described severe stomach ache right after the qualification round. She had problems with walking, pain and described shortness of breathing at the same time. Back in the hotel I did a brief check on her. In the meantime her symptoms were:
Strong back pain and stomach ache, dry lips, she felt sick and was nearly vomiting. The stomach ache was described as “cramping”. It got worse as we did some steps together. Breathing was still a problem.
These symptoms could seldomly but possibly result from cardiovascular system problems. If this would be the case, I as an osteopath can not provide the right medical support. I have to make sure that she gets the best care, which means bring her to a hospital (know your limits!).

In her history there was a medical check up earlier due to partly similar symptoms, the result showed no limitations on her health. Nevertheless I was already asking for a transport to the local hospital in Vail to get urgent care.
At the same time I treated her in order to get the balance Sympathicus – Parasympathicus reaction.
And I made her drink a sugary soda. After that I worked slowly on both of her psoas muscles to calm them down.

The treatment worked out. We did not have to go to the hospital.

My diagnose

A cramping psoas syndrome and a strong sympathic reaction, both things could be a possible result of the competition circumstances (see above).

One other very positive thing changed in Vail. I see an increasing number of physiotherapists, kinesiologists, chiropractors traveling with climbing teams. It is about time! Maybe this is also one of the first olympic greetings!?