Avoiding an Olympic accident at home

LUBBOCK, TX (KCBD) - Olympic competition is underway.

It is heartbreaking to watch a fall or an injury that knocks an athlete out of an event, but did you know most of those accidents happen in training, not during competition?

Dr. Mathew Ferguson, an Orthopaedic Surgeon and Texas Tech Physician, says, "Look at the 2010 Winter Olympics in Vancouver, 54 percent of those athletes were injured in practice verses competition."

And when you consider all the training they have, he says compare that to those of us just watching the Olympics, getting inspired to be a great athlete with little or no training.

He says that's when they see more accidents in the clinic.

Dr. Ferguson explains, "We see a lot of people who decide to go skiing. Maybe they're a green skier tackling blue slopes. Maybe they're a blue skier trying to tackle black slopes. So they get in over their head. That's when we start to see injuries in the clinic. The key is to precondition, to start working out weeks and months ahead of time if you're going on a big ski trip."

Dr. Ferguson uses Olympic medal winner Lindsey Vonn as a great example of how even the greatest athletes can suffer injuries.  He says she has had several devastating injuries.

However, he says, "She's just in great shape, great core strength, great lower body strength and that allows her to recover much quicker than the average individual."

Also, when you train, be attentive to soreness.

He says,"If you're sore, you need to take a break. That may be a week or maybe a little longer. But if you have aches and strains, then you need to take a break because you're pushing yourself too hard."

In this interview, Dr. Ferguson gives specific tips on how to strengthen your knees and prevent injuries.

Don't forget we can watch the world's greatest athletes as the Winter Olympics continue on KCBD until closing ceremonies on Sunday, Feb. 25.

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