MSK Matters

The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games

August 08, 2021 Dr. Ali Rendely and Guests Season 2 Episode 7
MSK Matters
The Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games
Show Notes

The Tokyo Olympics mark the debut of new sports include karate, sport climbing and skateboarding, among others.

In this episode, we discuss common injuries sports medicine physicians see when treating patients that participate in these sports.

In sport climbing, upper extremity injures account for 80-90% of all injuries. Specifically, hand and finger injuries are exceptionally common. So common, that the injury has been named climber’s finger. In a distant second, shoulder injuries including rotator cuff strains, tears, impingement, SLAP injuries, and subacromial pain syndromes are seen in those learning to climb. In professional climbers, shoulder injuries are less common as they use their lower body strength to maneuver the climbing wall, instead of pulling from the upper extremities. 

For more information on climbing injuries:

Rock Climbing Injuries

Incidence, Diagnosis, and Management of Injury in Sport... : Current Sports Medicine Report

Pulley Injuries Explained – Part 2 – The Climbing Doctor

Flexor Tendon Injuries - Hand

Rotator cuff-related shoulder pain: does the type of exercise influence the outcomes? Protocol of a randomised controlled trial

Rotator cuff injury - Symptoms, diagnosis and treatment

Skateboarding has been a fun edition to the Olympics. With a relaxed atmosphere, punctuated by music and high-fives, these high flying athletes are injury prone. The best treatment is prevention –  new skateboarders to wear helmets, elbow pads, wrist guards and knee pads. 

Common injuries include distal radius fractures from falling on an outstretched hand, lateral ankle sprains and mild traumatic brain injures (wear your helmets, kids!)

For more information on skateboarding injuries:

Common Skateboarding Injuries & Safety Tips 

Skateboard Injury Statistics (Updated 2020) - Safety First – Skateboarding Safety

Distal Radius Fractures - Trauma

Managing head injury risks in competitive skateboarding: what do we know? 

Finally, martial arts spread across Japan in the early 20th century, and has been a candidate as an Olympic sport since the 1970s. Blending striking combat and rigorous discipline, the Tokyo games presented an opportunity to showcase it from its homeland. 

Using karate as an example, training fatigue can lead to technique errors and overuse injuries. It is important that physicians and therapists help guide athletes through an appropriate training protocol, including rest days. 

For more information on karate injuries:

Martial Arts Injuries | Martial Arts Injury Prevention & Treatment 

Injury trends in sanctioned mixed martial arts competition: a 5-year review from 2002 to 2007 

Epidemiology of injuries in Olympic-style karate competitions: systematic review and meta-anal