Throughout a racing driver’s career it is likely that injuries will occur from on-track incidences, and other sporting activities. These will undoubtedly range in severity from minor muscle strains, to severe soft tissue damage, breakages and nerve damage. The most common motorsport-related injuries include:
- Lower back pain and spinal injuries
- Head injuries
- Neck pain and whiplash
- Wrist / hand / finger injuries
- General Tendonitis and Ligament sprains
Although the safety measures currently in force in all FIA and UK motorsport events have drastically reduced the frequency of severe injuries, unfortunately, they do still occur.
When our clients ask us why fitness, flexibility, core strength and correct biomechanical function are important, one of the primary reasons we give is that by excelling in these areas, the chance of serious crash-injury is reduced significantly. For a recent example of how Pro Performance have helped one of our drivers recover from a major spinal injury, please see the case-study on this page.
At Pro Performance we have created a team of top consultants who are highly trained to deal with all aspects of injury rehabilitation. In the team we have Physiotherapists, Sports Doctors, Peadiatric Consultants, Sports Therapists, Nutritionists, Sports Psychologists and Strength and Conditioning Coaches who can all work closely together within the Pro Performance team. This creates a fantastic model of athletic recovery and gives our clients the speediest and most comprehensive rehabilitation package available.
Case Study: Spinal Injury Rehabilitation of a European Formula 3 driver (2012)
With permission from the driver, and their management, we have outlined how a successful and speedy recovery from a serious racing incident was reached by the Pro Performance team.
In May 2012 a male European Formula 3 driver sustained a number of fractured thoracic vertebrae from a head-on impact with a concrete wall at approximately 80 mph. read more
The driver underwent surgery the day after the crash where a titanium plate and a number of screws were inserted into his back to allow the damaged vertebrae a chance to heal. The original diagnosis was at least 12-months before the driver would be allowed to step back into a car.
Once discharged from Hospital, the driver spent the next 4-weeks living in close proximity to Pro Performance where his rehabilitation programme began. Under the watchful eye of our Paediatric Consultant, we focused on getting the driver on his feet and moving. In the first couple of weeks the programme was heavily biomechanics-driven, involving exercises to get the driver walking, bending and mobilising his shoulders, hips, neck and upper-spine. With daily treatment, and close monitoring the driver soon started to make some big improvements.
The next stage of rehabilitation was still centred around function and mobilisation, but now it was time to bring in some other members of the Pro Performance team. Both our Nutritionist Alex Carlow, and Sports Psychologist, Fergus Mumford got involved in other aspects of the driver’s recovery. Alex’s job was to monitor the driver’s weight loss, and reduce muscle wastage, whilst ensuring the driver’s diet contained the extra vitamins and minerals required to promote recovery. Fergus was brought in to help the driver with the inevitable mental demands of not being able to race, and coping strategies of dealing with a long term stint out of the car. At this stage, one of the real benefits became clear, and that was the close communication between different members of the Pro Performance team. Without this harmony, the driver’s progress would certainly have been slower. The driver comments:
“I've made really good progress. The hospital reckoned that it would take me 12-18 months to be able to drive a road car again and it's taken me four”.
The driver’s rehabilitation and strength work continued through to September 2012, when we had a follow-up meeting with the original medical team that operated on the driver. They were very impressed by the speed of the driver’s rehabilitation, giving us the all-clear to train as hard as we liked, as long as it was within the driver’s capabilities.
At the time of writing (November, 2012) the driver is doing extremely well and plans are being made to remove the metal-work and after a short recovery period, the driver has the all-clear to start testing again. When asked for to comment, the driver’s Manager said:
“Working with Pro Performance has certainly added a huge amount of value to my management company. We started our relationship back in 2008 and we haven't looked back since.
Their attention to detail and hunger to find the very best solutions has paid off time and time again, what they did for my driver after his back braking accident is a credit to the hard work they all put in! To think the driver was back in an F3 car just six months after sustaining injuries like he did is a huge credit to the whole Pro Performance team”.