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US Club Soccer Leading The Way In Player Health And Safety

In today’s post I’d like to highlight a webinar I participated in recently with US Club Soccer, which you can view here.  The focus of the webinar was on key aspects of player health and safety, from the perspective of immediate steps a team or coach can take while in-season. In the webinar, led by Ashley Lehr of US Club Soccer, we cover four areas. In coming weeks I’ll dig deeper into each of these areas in separate posts but here they are:

What can coaches do today to prevent injuries & keep players healthy?
What goals should a club have regarding the health and safety training for their coaches?
What advice would you give to a parent of a youth soccer player regarding being proactive or reactive to injuries and overall health? What could a parent encourage their child to do throughout the season?
What are some of the common misconceptions about player health at the different ages in youth soccer?

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Stingers and Burners In Football

As football season rolls along we are seeing a fair number of injuries called “stingers”, also known as “burners”. The injury is named for the stinging or burning pain that spreads from the shoulder to the hand. This can feel like an electric shock down the arm. Stingers are fairly common injuries in collision sport athletes, and fortunately most of these injuries are temporary with rapid return to normal function. A stinger occurs when there is an injury to the network of nerves surrounding the neck and traveling to the shoulder, arm, and hand. In football we commonly see stingers when the neck is stretched to the side during a tackle. We will also see stingers occasionally when the side of the player’s head makes contact with the ground.

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When Can I Play Again: Tibia Stress Fracture

A stress fracture is an overuse injury that occurs when muscles become fatigued and eventually are unable to absorb the shock from a sport or fitness activity. Rather than being absorbed by the muscle, the stresses are instead transferred to the bone causing an injury to the bone itself. The bone injury is called a stress fracture. It can range from deep bruising within the bone to more severe type of injury where the outer surface of the bone is cracked. The most common site for a stress fracture is in the lower extremities in the tibia or in the foot but can also occur in other areas such as the spine. In this post will cover stress fractures to the tibia and typical return to play times.

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Sports and Exercise: Good For Your Mental Health

I have a belief that those people who regularly participate in sport or fitness activities have a better mental health profile than those who don’t. This shouldn’t come as a surprise, pretty much everyone shares this belief but actually proving it can be difficult. It’s probably one of those basic principles that you have to take on faith. However, a recently published studyshows a correlation between regular sport and fitness participation and fewer “bad” mental health days.

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Can A Concussion Increase Lower Extremity Injury Risk?

Is it possible that a concussion can place an athlete at increased risk of injuries to other areas in the body, such as injuries in the lower extremity? This might not make sense at first, until you consider that a concussion has effects on the athlete’s visual field and balance. Essentially, this means that a concussion could alter the normal visual field and balance, placing the athlete at risk for contact injuries from players or objects out of their field of view, or noncontact injuries due to poor balance and coordination.

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Movement Matters

As a society it seems that we’ve elevated sitting into an art form. Excessive sitting seems to afflict people from the youngest ages into working adulthood, and is now linked with at least 35 diseasesand conditions including obesity, hypertension, chronic back pain, some types of cancers, and of course cardiovascular disease and depression. Fortunately, simple daily movement – movement is a form of exercise for many people – can go a very long way towards reducing all of these risks.

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Poor Helmet Fit Increases Concussion Risk In High School Football

High school football players with improperly fitted helmets are at greater risk for more severe concussions, according to this studypublished in the journal Sports Health. During a presentation of the study findings at the 2016 American Academy of Orthopedic Surgeons annual meeting, senior study author Joseph Torg M.D. said: “This study suggests that incorrect helmet fit may be one variable that predisposes a football player to sustain a more severe concussion.”  Dr. Torg has been instrumental in developing many of the policies surrounding heads-up tackling techniques at all levels of tackle football.

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Real-Time Mobile Sensor Data Shows Pitchers’ Arm Fatigues Quickly

Many people have a sense that injuries happen more often when you’re tired. We see this all the time in the orthopedic clinic: someone tears an ACL on the last planned run of a long weekend of skiing; a volleyball player injures her ankle after the final game of a long series of tournament games. There is a common belief that fatigue plays a major role in increasing injury risk, but proving this can be difficult. A recent study on pitching mechanicsperformed at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit, takes an interesting step in connecting the dots between fatigue, biomechanics, and possible injury risk. A wearable motion capture device allowed for real-time data acquisition in a simulated game setting.

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Why I Like The King-Devick Concussion Tool

I really like the King Devick rapid number naming testas part of a comprehensive concussion assessment program. We find it to be easy, fast, reliable, and with a large amount of independent scientific studies vouching for its validity. At the high schools I work with we use the King Devick in our preseason concussion baseline assessment and then use it as a part of our comprehensive evaluation for in-game concussions. I’d recommend you consider using it too. (Neither I, nor Sideline Sports Doc have any financial relationship with the company).

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Questionable Science

Sensational headlines frequently drive viewership through social media and mainstream news outlets. In the world of sports health, research about diet, nutrition, exercise regimens, and even the long-term effects of childhood injury are frequently hijacked by the media to fuel their agenda. I’m going to deviate a bit from my typical blog post to highlight a few things to beware of when you are reading about scientific studies. The problem frequently stems from something called an “observational study” that claims to show cause and effect.

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