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Feb 13, 2010 10:56 AM by Garvin Thomas

Olympic athletes go to extremes to treat injuries

There's word this week that American skier Lindsey Vonn might have to sit out of the Olympics because of an injury.

That's the bad news. The gouda news is that Vonn is aggressively treating her bruised shin in hopes of making it to the slopes. "Gouda" news because the fix is all about cheese.

You see cheese could save the day for Vonn. Specifically, an Austrian curd cheese called Topfen that she is rubbing on her injured leg. That's right, cheese.

Weird, yes. We thought that sounded a bit odd too, so we did a little investigating of our own to see what other bizarre treatments for sports injuries we could find.

If you think rubbing a German curd cheese on an injury sounds odd wait until you hear what Scott Shaw once saw. "A person I saw (was) using a belt buckle to be able to treat the athletes and diagnose their injuries," he said.

Shaw is director of sports medicine at San Jose State University. The belt buckle may not have been the most unique approach to healing he may have seen. He says some athletes at the school have been treated with a traditional Chinese method known as "fire cupping." It involves just what it says, a flame and a cup.

But, Shaw points out that just because something looks, or sounds weird, it doesn't mean it doesn't work. In his training room there is plenty of ice and tape but they've been known to use fire cupping on their athletes as well.

The bottom line, is that athletes -- some who have literally spent most of their lives training for one particular moment -- are willing to try almost anything if that moment is in jeopardy.

But even with Viagra, goats and prayers to the sports gods, the experts at SJSU say the basics -- tape and ice -- are still the most dependable ways to get their athletes back in the game.

 

 

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