UHealth Sports Medicine Wows Athletes at Wodapalooza

UHealth Sports Medicine physicians and staff took their game from the clinic to Bayfront Park in downtown Miami January 15-17 for Wodapalooza, a three-day fitness festival boasting more than 1,500 competing athletes and 20,000-plus spectators. On the sidelines were approximately 50 UHealth – the University of Miami Health System sports medicine physicians, residents, athletic trainers, physical therapists and staff.

For the first time, UHealth Sports Medicine was a sponsor at Wodapalooza. Seeing a unique fit with a group of athletes that is often in need of sports medicine services, UHealth joined Wodapalooza to provide medical care to the competitors, and the athletes took full advantage of the treatments being offered, particularly on Friday when storms moved in and the athletes competed in driving wind and rain.

“We are way busier than expected,” said Clifton Page, M.D., primary care sports medicine physician at UHealth Sports Medicine. “We are seeing a variety of overuse injuries from athletes who are still trying to compete at their peak performance.”

“Lots of soft tissue stuff,” said Priscilla Dobbs, an athletic trainer with UHealth. “Most of the athletes just want mobilization and stretching — get me loose and get me ready.”

UHealth Sports Medicine set up in the Athlete Village, which meant they had direct contact with the participants, who ranged from professional CrossFit athletes to seniors who train for personal health. Branded massage tables lined one half of the tent, where physicians, residents, trainers and therapists waited for the next patient – although it typically was the athlete who had a short wait, because the services being offered by UHealth were in high demand.

“This is more than we could have hoped for,” said Annie Hazday, executive director of UHealth Sports Medicine. “While we saw a number of the athletes return for repeat treatments, we also saw new faces daily. We were able to spread the message that UHealth Sports Medicine is here today to get you ready for your next heat, but we’re also here to treat you long-term should any medical needs arise.”

“This demographic is exactly who UHealth Sports Medicine can help,” Page said of the CrossFit/functional fitness community. “These are young, active, fit athletes who might someday need our services. Wodapalooza was an opportunity to let these athletes know that UHealth Sports Medicine has the latest treatments for their possible injuries.”

Even those who didn’t require any medical treatment got a taste of UHealth Sports Medicine at Wodapalooza, when 2,000 xylo bands, bracelets that light up in sync to music, were activated for Saturday night’s light show. Pulsing in time to the music, fans packing the stands cheered as they waved arms that were banded with the UHealth Sports Medicine light-up bracelets.

“It was a great event for UHealth Sports Medicine and the athletes,” Hazday said. “We’re already looking forward to next year.”

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